The worst thing, for RTÉ and its staff, would be for a drip-feed of information to characterise the inquiry into this debacle
Dee Forbes’ resignation statement raises further serious questions, and it is important she attends the Public Accounts Committee on Thursday to answer them, according to Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy.
Deputy Murphy, who is Vice Chair of PAC, said:
“In her resignation statement, Ms Forbes conceded she was centrally involved in putting the arrangement, whereby a commercial partner was tapped to pick up part of Mr Tubridy’s salary, into place.
“Clearly, as the person who led this process, and was leading the organisation at the time, Ms Forbes is best place to answer questions at the Committee.
“Ms Forbes has also intimated that the negotiations, now the subject of public controversy, were a protracted process and that multiple departments within RTÉ were involved.
“Clearly, there are those within RTÉ who have, or should have, all the relevant details about this process – and those individuals should also be at the PAC to answer questions on Thursday.
“The worst thing, for RTÉ and its staff, would be for a drip-feed of information to characterise the inquiry into this debacle. Those with knowledge of the process, and the decision makers who signed off on this deal, must make themselves available to answer questions.
“Some of those questions will be – how did RTÉ save money on this deal when any saving in 2020 was offset by a credit note issued to the commercial partner; why are we still in the dark about how Mr Tubridy received an additional €120,000 between 2017 and 2019; why does a State-funded public service broadcaster need such byzantine financial arrangements to pay salaries; and why was incorrect information about Mr Tubridy’s salary put into the public domain?
“RTÉ, as a public service broadcaster, routinely demands transparency and accountability from those in public life. We should demand nothing less from the RTE executives whose actions have brought the organisation into disrepute.”
26 June, 2023