RTÉ Director General Dee Forbes was suspended two days ago, the broadcaster has announced.
It comes after the State broadcaster revealed that it had paid former Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy hundreds of thousands of euro more than it had declared to the public or the Oireachtas.
In a lengthy statement yesterday, RTÉ said the TV and radio broadcaster was paid €345,000 more than it officially declared between 2017 and 2022.
This morning, RTÉ confirmed that Director General Dee Forbes has been suspended.
“The RTÉ Board confirms that Dee Forbes, the Director General was suspended from her employment on Wednesday, June 21st,” it said.
"There are processes ongoing and RTÉ must be mindful of its legal responsibilities and the rights of individuals."
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, former RTÉ Commercial Director Willie O’Reilly told Newstalk Breakfast he had been “utterly shocked” by the pay revelations and called for the decision-making process to be investigated.
“People have got to be brought in front of the pack,” he said.
“There has to be some kind of an internal investigation and there has to be an external independent investigation too… I’ve never in my years in media heard of such a setup - and I was Commercial Director up until 2017.
“It never happened when I was there.
“I can’t understand why you would do it.”
Mr O’Reilly said the arrangement was “highly unusual” and the revelation had already damaged RTÉ’s reputation.
“Endless questions arise,” he said.
“Who thought this was a good idea? In any company of RTÉ’s size, there are a number of risks - finance is one - but reputation is right up there.
“In many ways, this is a venial sin that has caused catastrophic failure.
“You know in a 300 million [budget] organisation, something that cost [75 thousand] a year has now brought huge scrutiny to the organisation [and] questions of financial reporting over five to six years.”
— NewstalkFM (@NewstalkFM) June 22, 2023
Mr O’Reilly also said staff at RTÉ would likely “feel really angry this morning” at the “questionable and, seemingly, unethical behaviour” of management.
In the wake of the revelation, Mr Tubridy issued his own statement in which he said he was "surprised" by RTÉ’s statement and could not "answer for their mistakes in this regard."
Meanwhile, Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee Chair Brian Stanley told the show the revelations made a mockery of RTÉ’s claim to be short of cash.
“It’s fairly rocky outfit,” he told Newstalk Breakfast.
“They plead poor mouth when they come in a number of times looking for an increase in the licence fee.”
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Mai image: RTÉ Director General Dee Forbes.