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RTÉ must fully explain execs exit packages & the cost – Dillon

18th February 2024 - Alan Dillon, TD

RTÉ must immediately explain everything concerning the exit packages of senior executives who left the broadcaster and for how much, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Fine Gael TD Alan Dillon, who serves on the Oireachtas Media Committee, said this morning the constant drip drip of crucial information from the national broadcaster is seriously damaging public confidence.

“When this saga began last year, we said we have to have all information to get to the bottom of it and restore public trust.

“Yet here we are in February 2024 still waiting to hear who agreed to all senior executives leaving RTÉ in 2023 with handsome financial packages as the financial debacle that took place at Montrose began to emerge,” Deputy Dillon said.

Yesterday, it emerged former Director of Strategy Rory Coveney received an estimated year’s salary after his role was made redundant.

And RTÉ’s Director General Kevin Bakhurst said in a statement yesterday: ‘Following independent mediation, Richard Collins, RTÉ’s former Chief Financial Officer, departed RTÉ by mutual agreement, with a binding confidentiality clause that was agreed to by both sides and in the interest of fairness and respect cannot be breached’.

However, Deputy Dillon said this information is simply not enough or adequate.

“We need to have the full details of these financial arrangements and what is their worth and how they came about.

“One news report today states RTÉ’s current Director General Kevin Bakhurst and Chair Siún Ni Raghallaigh agreed a €200,000 exit payout for Mr Coveney. This needs to further explained.

“The taxpayer picks up the tab here and it’s proving to be an expensive one yet RTÉ are refusing to tell us what is the final figure for all packages,” the Mayo TD said.

Deputy Dillon reiterated his call for the details of all exit packages of all executives for the entire Dee Forbes era, who served as Director General from 2016 to last June, to be published by RTÉ too.

“In recent days, we have learnt that €2.6m was provided in exit packages to RTÉ executives since 2017. We need to know all these details.

“RTÉ need to realise this issue will not go away until all details are published.

“A few weeks ago we had reports with names redacted before RTÉ eventually published the full report after much criticism. Over the last few days, we are being drip fed details on executives exit packages but not the full details so this goes on and on.

“The station has been dragged through the mire throughout 2023, now it is being towed back and dragged through it all again.

“RTÉ’s future credibility is at stake here. It is absolutely critical that we have all information now,” Deputy Dillon said.

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