The Irish Times view on the resignation of Siún Ní Raghallaigh: a misstep by Catherine Martin

This week’s events reflect poorly on the judgment of the Minister for Media and of the three Government party leaders

Just when it seemed the crisis at RTÉ might have been brought under control, it has escalated further into the political sphere, thanks to the actions of Minister for Media Catherine Martin.

The resignation of RTÉ chair Siún Ní Raghallaigh is another setback to the organisation’s attempts to get its house in order. This time the blow was not entirely self-inflicted. While Ní Raghallaigh has acknowledged some fault on her part in failing to communicate the full detail of the process around the departure of RTÉ's former chief financial officer, the error appears to be mitigated by the fact that those details had previously been conveyed to the Department of Media, although the department contests this. It is difficult to understand though, how what Labour leader Ivana Bacik correctly describes as a “summary dismissal on air” was in the best interests of RTÉ.

There is something farcical about the entire affair, with its missteps, misunderstandings and very public disagreements. Most of the scandals which have been exposed in recent months have revolved around RTÉ's failure to inform its own board about decisions taken by its executives. It seems remarkable, therefore, that the chain of events which precipitated Ní Raghallaigh’s departure arose yet again from confusion about what the board did or did not know. This time, though, the confusion may extend to communications within Martin’s own department.

Alongside director general Kevin Bakhurst, Ní Raghallaigh has led RTÉ's attempts to account for past wrongdoings and implement reforms. The process has been fraught but she has demonstrated tenacity and commitment to what has often been a thankless task. The current controversy is different in that it arises from actions taken by the current leadership. Nevertheless this week’s events reflect poorly on the judgment of the Minister, and of the three Government party leaders who reportedly approved her actions. They will need to act swiftly to restore ebbing confidence with a credible appointment to what is now a deeply unattractive job.