Dereliction of duty towards RTÉ by Minister for Media

04 March 2024
  • Government needs to get a grip of ensuing crisis.

Labour media spokesperson Senator Marie Sherlock has reiterated her calls to Government to appoint a new Minister for Media following the publication of a statement by former RTÉ Board Chair Siún Ní Raghallaigh.

Senator Sherlock said:

“The statement by former RTÉ Chair Siun Ní Raghallaigh is a devastating exposure of a Minister not in command of her brief, disinterested in details until forced to react by a public outcry, “hands off” in her relationship with the Chair with whom she has a formal statutory relationship with, petulant and imperious when dealing with an honest mistake by the former Chair and crucially that she has a dysfunctional relationship with her officials in the media and broadcasting unit.

“Furthermore, there appears to have been a clear dereliction of duty on the part of the Minister in failing to ensure board appointments were made in a timely manner and to respond to the call by the Chair for the need to have the appropriate skillsets in the boardroom. A board is not just about the Chair – it’s about all the members.

“The statement published tonight calls into serious question the role of the senior officials in the Department and in its media and broadcasting unit and their relationship with the Minister. Given that the Minister did not communicate directly with the Chair, was information being passed to the Minister?

“Last week at the Joint Oireachtas committee hearing I asked that the Department release all correspondence and notes between Department officials and RTÉ regarding the exit packages.

“Ultimately, the statement by the former Chair calls into question how any future Chair could work with this Minister going forward? Government seem happy to allow RTÉ to dominate the headlines for all the wrong reasons. It suits them, it is distracting from their major failings in housing, health and the economy. But the time has come to deal with this once and for all. Minister Martin must go.”

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