RTÉ crisis: PAC seeks five key documents and further meeting with management

Committee looks for fresh documentation, including ‘side letter’ between Kelly and Forbes

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The Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee is seeking a further meeting with RTÉ management and fresh documentation regarding the recent pay controversy.

The committee is looking for five key documents before having a further meeting with officials from the broadcaster, committee chairman Brian Stanley said on Friday.

This includes a copy of the “side letter” between Ryan Tubridy’s agent Noel Kelly and former RTÉ director general Dee Forbes. This is the letter that emerged from a Microsoft Teams call on the May 7th, 2020, that allegedly agreed and underwrote the tripartite agreement between Mr Tubridy, Renault and the station.

The RTÉ payments scandal broke initially on June 22nd, when the broadcaster disclosed it had understated how much it paid Mr Tubridy by €345,000 over several years, saying it discovered the discrepancy through a “routine audit” of its accounts.


The committee is also looking for confirmation from RTÉ that it is satisfied all tax liabilities have been covered off regarding the two €75,000 barter payments for services by Mr Tubridy.

The committee also wants to see the retirement package of former chief financial officer Breda O’Keeffe and the minutes from the RTÉ executive board outlining who signed off on it.

Members of the committee also want to see a copy of Dee Forbes’s contract as well as a full audit over the past five years of appearances by the top 20 stars in RTÉ on shows they were not involved in.

Mr Stanley said the committee is seeking further witnesses to come before it.

“As Chair of the PAC, there are a number of witnesses that I want to see before the committee when they are available.

“These are former Director General Dee Forbes, former Chief Financial Officer Breda O’Keeffe, former Commercial Director Geraldine O’Leary and former Director of Content Jim Jennings.”

“Three of those individuals have not been before the PAC yet and I believe each of them have invaluable information to provide to the committee.”

“The committee is eager to see the Grant Thornton report on the 2017-2019 payments to Ryan Tubridy. We have yet to hear any credible answers from RTÉ representatives regarding these payments and when we see that report we may well need to speak again to other witnesses.

“It is my view that, once we have received these documents and the Grant Thornton report, we will need to have a further hearing with RTÉ representatives,” Mr Stanley said.

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times