Entire RTÉ Board should be sacked to rebuild trust – Shane Ross

Shane Ross believes the current Board failed to ask enough questions.
James Wilson
James Wilson

10.04 19 Feb 2024

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Entire RTÉ Board should be sac...

Entire RTÉ Board should be sacked to rebuild trust – Shane Ross

James Wilson
James Wilson

10.04 19 Feb 2024

Share this article

The entire RTÉ Board should be sacked and replaced to rebuild trust in the broadcaster, Shane Ross has said.

RTÉ Director General Kevin Bakhurst and Board Chair Súin Ní Raghallaigh have this morning been summoned to a meeting with the Media Minister.

It comes after another weekend of calls for ‘full disclosure’ on the exit packages paid to top RTÉ executive.


Mr Bakhurst admitted over the weekend that former director of strategy Rory Coveney accepted a payment when he stood down from his role last summer.

Mr Bakhurst did not provide details about the payment; however it is understood Mr Coveney received around €200,000 when he left the role.

The revelation came just days after it emerged former chief financial officer Breda O’Keefe received a €450,000 exit payment from the broadcaster.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, former Government Minister Shane Ross said the entire RTÉ Board must share in the blame for the organisation’s present difficulties.

“We’ve got a board here who really hasn’t been asking for anything and has been sitting on a problem,” he said.

“They themselves are people who have to answer questions.

“You look at the situation where some of them have been there for 10 years when all these appalling things have been happening… and some of them were there for Toy Show The Musical.”

The RTÉ logo at the station in Donnybrook, Dublin 4 The RTÉ logo at the station in Donnybrook, Dublin 4, 26-06-2023. Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews

Following the revelation that hidden payments were made to Ryan Tubridy, members of the Board were hauled before the Oireachtas to answer questions and the number of people paying the licence fee plummeted.

Mr Ross said if the people are to trust RTÉ again, the State broadcaster cannot continue with the same team in charge.

“It’s going to be a mountain to climb,” he said.

“But if you’ve got the same people in charge of corporate governance as were there when these things happened, I don’t think we’re going to make any progress.”

Members of the Board are obliged to “promote and maintain confidence and trust in RTÉ” - something Mr Ross said they had failed to do.

“Anyone who read the annual reports would ask a few questions if they were getting involved in the board,” he said.

“They should have asked questions; they should have asked questions about, for instance, the exit pay.”

satirical news sketch The RTE Montrose campus in Donnybrook, Dublin in 2009. Picture by: Mark Stedman/

Mr Ross said there is precedent for the entire Board to be sacked and replaced, noting it last happened in 1972 when RTÉ broadcast an interview with Seán Mac Stíofáin, then chief of staff of the Provisional IRA.

The Government justified the decision on the grounds RTÉ was legally obliged “not to project people who put forward violent means for achieving their purpose”.

“For the sake of the crisis - and RTÉ is in a bigger crisis now - they actually removed the board that was responsible and sitting at the time,” Mr Ross said.

“They put in a new interim board and that worked very, very well.”

There are currently nine members of the RTÉ Board, two of whom have served since 2014.

RTÉ has been contacted for comment.

Main image: Shane Ross. Picture by: Photo: Leah Farrell/

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