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Names mentioned as possible successors to Siún Ní Raghallaigh as RTÉ chairman or woman

Accomplished names in media, independent television sector and academic world linked with vacant role

Prof Kevin Rafter

The DCU academic has wide and varied experience as a journalist and broadcaster, working as a reporter with RTÉ, as a political correspondent, and as editor of Magill.

With a doctorate in politics, his academic work has focused on political journalism and how the media cover elections. He has also extensive experience on State boards. He was chairman of the Arts Council from 2019 to 2023. He was the chairman of the compliance committee of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. He was also a board member of Dublin Bus, the Galway International Arts Festival and Oxfam Ireland as well as chairman of Culture Ireland, the State agency for promoting Irish art globally

Rafter was not contactable for comment yesterday.

Prof Brian Mac Craith

A former president of DCU, Prof Brian MacCraith would be a heavyweight appointment. He has an impeccable track record, having led DCU for a decade, in addition to being a renowned physicist.


His service on behalf of the State has also been high profile. He was chairman of the Future of the Media Commission, the work of which has informed Government policy on the forward path for public service broadcasting and journalism. When the report was published last year, all of the recommendations of the commission were accepted, except one. The commission had recommended the scrapping of the TV licence but the Coalition did not take it on board. Its attitude may have evolved since the beginning of the eight-month crisis that has beset the broadcaster.

Mac Craith also chaired the high-level taskforce on the Covid-19 vaccination that ran a successful programme of mass vaccination.

A Gaeilgeoir, authoritative but approachable, he would be a safe choice, if interested. He was not contactable yesterday.

Elaine Geraghty

The two most recent chairwomen of the RTÉ Board, Moya Doherty and Siún Ní Raghallaigh, had long-track records as successful independent producers. Geraghty is the chief executive of Ardmore Studios and Troy Productions, having formerly been the chief executive of Screen Producers Ireland. She is vastly experienced in broadcasting and media content. She held executive positions in the Sunday Tribune and was chief executive of Newstalk, bringing it from a local Dublin station to the first nationally dedicated news broadcaster.

Stuart Switzer

Another highly experienced producer, Switzer would be a credible name from the independent production sector. He was managing director of Coco Productions for many years and is a former member of the RTÉ board. Coco produces many lifestyle programmes for RTÉ including Room to Improve, First Dates, and Home Rescue. Would Coco having a long and significant commercial relationship with RTÉ have a bearing though?

Mark Little

The former Prime Time presenter and founder of Storyful is a national figure who commands a high level of trust and respect in broadcasting and journalism. Little has pivoted from being a successful broadcaster to being a successful businessman in the media space. That said, there has been a strong public service element to all he has done — his projects have focused on ensuring that journalism and broadcasting are truthful, objective, trusted and have integrity.

Catherine Heaney

She is a highly experienced communications and public affairs professional, the founder and chairwoman of DHR Communications and has also an impressive record serving on State boards. She was chairwoman of the National Museum of Ireland for four years from 2016. Heaney also served as chairwoman of the Department of Enterprise’s Social Responsibility Forum and as chief executive of the Irish Family Planning Association. However, it is understood she is not interested in the position.

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Harry McGee

Harry McGee

Harry McGee is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times