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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Louise Burne

Explosive committee meetings discussing RTÉ scandal to kick off this morning

Just two of the seven RTÉ Executives invited to address the Oireachtas Media Committee will attend a meeting on Wednesday afternoon to address the Ryan Tubridy pay scandal.

Members expressed deep unhappiness to the Irish Mirror last night that other high-level executives would not attend the first of two Oireachtas Committee meetings, with one describing the attendance as “horrendous”.

Former Director General Dee Forbes, who resigned on Monday, confirmed that she would not attend either today’s Media Committee meeting today or the Public Accounts Committee on Thursday.

READ MORE: RTE says ex-Director General Dee Forbes was the only one who could have known Ryan Tubridy's published pay was wrong

The Irish Mirror understands that a letter from a solicitor was sent to the Media Committee noting that Ms Forbes would not attend due to poor health. A doctor’s note was also received. However, it is understood that the members were not given the note.

Members of the Committee told the Irish Mirror that they would expect Ms Forbes to attend the meeting when she is in better health.

It is understood that just Siún Ní Raghallaigh, chair of the RTÉ Board and Adrian Lynch, deputy Director General, confirmed on Tuesday evening that they would attend the Media Committee.

Geraldine O’Leary, Director of Commercial, Jim Jennings, Director of Content, Rory Coveney, Director of Strategy and Chief Financial Officer Richard Collins were all asked to attend.

The Committee Secretariat told members that other attendees may be confirmed on Wednesday morning.

There was anger over the fact that Ms Forbes will not be in attendance, as one member questioned how much information they will be able to obtain given that RTÉ’s statement noted that “no member of the RTÉ Executive Board, other than the Director General, had all the necessary information in order to understand that the publicly declared figures for Ryan Tubridy could have been wrong”.

They also expressed anger over the fact that opening statements had not been received.

The meeting will last for three hours and it is expected that tempers will be high as a number of Committee members admitted that they are “furious” over what they described as a “messy” situation.

RTÉ will face a second bruising on Thursday as it faces the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

They have invited 18 people to attend its hearing. This includes the Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary at the Department of Media Katherine Licken and Tríona Quill.

From RTÉ it has requested, Ms Forbes, Adrian Lynch (acting Director General). Kevin Bakhurst (the incoming Director General), Noel Curran (former Director General, Ms Ní Raghallaigh, Moya Doherty (former Chairperson of the Board) Richard Collins (Chief Financial Officer), Breda O’Keeffe (former Chief Financial Officer), Ms Fiona O’Shea (former Commercial Finance Manager), Geraldine O’Leary (Director of Commercial), Willie O’Reilly (former Director of Commercial), Paula Mullooly (Director of Legal Affairs), Eamonn Kennedy (former Director of Legal Affairs), Rory Coveney (Director of Strategy) Anne O’Leary (Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee) and board member Dr. P.J Mathews.

PAC has also been told Ms Forbes will not attend.

The matter was discussed at length at Tuesday's Cabinet, with Media Minister Catherine Martin updating her colleagues on an external review.


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