RTÉ’s C-suite departures, golden goodbyes and confidentiality clauses

Siún Ní Raghallaigh is just the latest in a spate of departures from the broadcaster in the wake of the Tubridy payments controversy

Siún Ní Raghallaigh’s resignation as chairwoman of the board of RTÉ is the latest in a string of exits from the broadcaster.

Others to depart following the Ryan Tubridy payments scandal include:

Dee Forbes

Director general Dee Forbes resigned days after revelations of secret payments to Ryan Tubridy on her watch.

“I am deeply sorry for what has happened and my part in this episode and for that, I apologise unreservedly to everyone,” she said at the time.


Ms Forbes claimed RTÉ did not treat her with anything approaching the levels of fairness, equity and respect “that anyone should expect as an employee, a colleague or a person”.

“All of this has had a very serious and ongoing impact on my health and wellbeing,” she said.

It later emerged that Ms Forbes had been asked to resign by Ms Ní Raghallaigh days before the payments scandal became public.

Ms Forbes has not attended any Oireachtas committee meetings for questions due to health reasons.

Breda O’Keeffe

Breda O’Keeffe was RTÉ's chief financial officer until she resigned in March 2020.

It emerged this month that Ms O’Keeffe was paid €450,000 as part of an exit package when she left the broadcaster.

Ms O’Keeffe’s exit package was signed off on by former director general Dee Forbes but was not brought to the executive board before it was approved.

Rory Coveney

RTÉ's former director of strategy Rory Coveney, who spearheaded the Toy Show the Musical project, resigned in July.

The senior executive came under pressure over his role in the production, which made a loss of €2.3 million.

Mr Coveney is understood to have received the equivalent of a year’s salary, suggesting his payout was about €200,000, but this has not been confirmed.

Richard Collins

Richard Collins, who succeeded Breda O’Keeffe as chief financial officer, also received an exit package when he resigned in October.

He caused eyebrows to be raised during a heated Oireachtas committee meeting by saying he did not know his exact salary, before later giving an estimate of €200,000 plus a €25,000 car allowance.

Kevin Bakhurst has said Collins was “paid to leave” but details of his exit payment have not been disclosed due to a confidentiality clause.

Geraldine O’Leary

The former director of commercial at RTÉ announced her early retirement in July. She did not receive an exit payment.

During one committee appearance, she said the unfolding scandal had affected her mental health.

She worked in the national broadcaster for close to 25 years and had been due to retire in the coming weeks.

  • See our new project Common Ground, Evolving Islands: Ireland & Britain
  • Sign up for push alerts and have the best news, analysis and comment delivered directly to your phone
  • Find The Irish Times on WhatsApp and stay up to date
  • Our In The News podcast is now published daily – Find the latest episode here