Incoming RTÉ Director-General to announce 'detailed' plan on Monday

Kevin Bakhurst said he needs to talk to "individuals involved" before announcing his plans next week
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

13.40 6 Jul 2023

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Incoming RTÉ Director-General...

Incoming RTÉ Director-General to announce 'detailed' plan on Monday

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

13.40 6 Jul 2023

Share this article

The incoming Director-General of RTÉ has said he will outline his plans for the 'reconstitution' of the Executive Board from Monday.

Kevin Bakhurst met with the Media Minister Catherine Martin this morning following the current scandal surrounding the broadcaster.

Mr Bakhurst will start as director-general on Monday, replacing Dee Forbes who stepped down in June.


Speaking afterwards, he said he had a 'frank and very useful' meeting with Minister Martin.

"I told the Minister - set out a little bit - about my plans, which I'll be announcing on Monday in more detail," he said.

"I just want to say to audiences of RTÉ my job is to restore trust, clearly that's been severely damaged and again I apologise for that.

"My job is to restore trust in this organisation and that's what I will try and do.

"I'll be setting out a lot more detail on Monday about how we intend to do that".

Split-screen image shows file photos of Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht Catherine Martin, and incoming Director-General of RTÉ Kevin Bakhurst

Mr Bakhurst said he needs to talk to "individuals involved" before announcing his plans.

"I also want to talk to staff before I came out and say something publicly," he said.

"For me restoring the trust of the audience, and of staff and of politicians in RTÉ is absolutely key to what we're trying to do here.

"It's been a highly damaging few weeks for RTÉ... but I'm looking forward to starting the job and trying to repair that".

Mr Bakhurst appealed to licence fee payers to watch what happens next.

"I'd say, 'Please look at what we do, look at our actions, look at what we're trying to do to restore trust'" he said.

"Funding the programming we do, particularly news and current affairs - which has in my view performed excellently throughout this - relies on public funding.

"I'd urge people who pay their licence fees [to] look at the actions what we do and we'll earn their trust back," he added.

RTÉ executives appearing before the Oireachtas Media Committee. Picture by: Oireachtas screenshot

It comes amid fresh revelations about the station's barter account.

The accounts were used to spend nearly €86,000 on golf outings between 2012 and 2022.

The golf spending, largely signed off by the broadcaster’s Head of Sales, includes nearly €19,000 spent in McGuirks Golf on items including ‘sweaters, golf balls and shoe hire’.

Just over €38,000 was spent on two outings at Powerscourt in 2017 and 2018.

Presenter Ryan Tubridy and his agent Noel Kelly have asked to appear before the two Oireachtas Committees investigating RTÉ next week.

'Total change'

Former Minister Shane Ross has said there needs to be a 'total cleansing' at the top of RTÉ with a new board 'absolutely essential' for the broadcaster.

Mr Ross earlier told Newstalk Breakfast: "I don't think RTÉ can credibly continue with the same people who've been there at the top,” he said.

"I think it needs a kind of total cleansing and total change in the structure".

"Boards are there to challenge executives, that's what the point of the board is for," Mr Ross said.

The board in this case - not just in the case of remuneration, but it's one [thing] - quite patently, obviously, was not challenging the executive.

"They didn't seem to know what was going on.

"The board doesn't seem to have challenged them on any of the issues which have emerged.

"What I saw yesterday was a board that was captured.... by its executives, [as] if the executives are kind of working separately from the board.

"But the board is actually tacit and complicit in that, and not aggressively asking those questions which would have exposed some of these problems at some stage," he added.

Main image: Incoming Director-General of RTÉ Kevin Bakhurst leaving after meeting Media Minister Catherine Martin at her department in Dublin city. Picture by: Sam Boal/

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Barter Account Catherine Martin Dee Forbes Director General Executive Board Kevin Bakhurst Licence Fee Licence Fees RTE Rte Director General Ryan Tubridy Shane Ross

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