Key Government reports on RTÉ should be published ‘as soon as possible’, says Senator

Marie Sherlock urges Government not to ‘drag out’ publication of two reports, due to be submitted to Catherine Martin in March

The Government has been urged not to “drag out” the publication of two key reports on RTÉ after the Department of Arts and Media said neither has yet been submitted to Catherine Martin.

Minister for Arts and Media Ms Martin commissioned two external reports on the national broadcaster last summer, one reviewing governance and culture, and the second focusing on contractor fees, human resources and other matters.

The second report is also expected to look at the issue of so-called bogus self-employment at RTÉ, which has already made a multimillion-euro provision to pay payroll taxes associated with the issue.

The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, recently told the Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting that irregular self-employment was “one of the biggest issues facing the national broadcaster” and that PRSI might not have been paid to the State “along with other financial implications”.


Early in March, the Department of Arts and Media said Ms Martin’s expectation was that both reviews would be submitted to her “during this month”, and that the committee examining contractor fees had concluded its work programme.

However, late last week a spokesman for the department said that the other review into governance and culture was still undergoing the “completion of necessary fact-checking procedures”.

He said that given that the two reports are complementary, they will be submitted alongside each other, adding: “It is expected that they will be submitted to the Minister in due course.”

Following their submission, the Minister will examine the reviews, after which they will be brought to Government for consideration and then published. The timing of bringing the reports to Government will be decided when the reports have been received.

Labour Senator Marie Sherlock, who is the party’s arts and media spokeswoman, said the party wants to see these reports “as soon as possible” and that the broadcaster “needs these reports to be able to move on”.

“But they need to be got right. The Government must publish as soon as they have the recommendations and not drag out the process any more than is necessary.”

Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy said it was “essential” Ms Martin does not delay in bringing recommendations to Government “to ensure RTE is governed in such a way that builds public confidence”.

“The high profile governance failures that came to light in 2023 have to become a thing of the past,” Ms Murphy said.

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times