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Media minister holds ‘positive’ meeting with new chair of RTE board

Media minister Catherine Martin said she discussed the programme of reform at RTE during a meeting with the new chair of the board of the broadcaster, Terence O’Rourke.

Mr O’Rourke was appointed to the position this week following the resignation of former chair Siun Ni Raghallaigh.

Mr O’Rourke and Kevin Bakhurst, director general at the crisis-hit broadcaster, met with Ms Martin on Thursday.

The minister said: “This was a very positive engagement where we discussed the importance of continuing the programme of reform of RTE, and the priority of putting in place a sustainable funding model for RTE and public service media in Ireland.”

RTE pay revelations
Irish broadcaster RTE has been hit by a number of controversies (Liam McBurney/PA)

The meeting discussed responses to recommendations published by the Public Accounts Committee and two independent expert advisory committee reports that Ms Martin has commissioned.

She said: “I am looking forward to working with the chair and the board in progressing the major reform agenda underway in the organisation.”

Ms Ni Raghallaigh resigned from her role on the board of the broadcaster hours after Ms Martin expressed disappointment in her during a live television interview.

Appearing on Prime Time on February 22, the minister refused to express confidence in Ms Ni Raghallaigh, saying she had been misinformed about the chairwoman’s role in approving an exit package for former RTE chief financial officer, Richard Collins.

The minister was criticised for her handling of the situation with opposition TDs claiming she had effectively sacked the chairwoman live on air.