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RTE boss to answer questions about The Saturday Night Show for the first time

Director General Noel Curran will field questions about a number of issues before an Oireachtas committee this morning.

Noel Curran
Noel Curran
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

RTE’S DIRECTOR GENERAL Noel Curran and senior management at the national broadcaster will field questions about a number of major issues when they appear before an Oireachtas committee today.

The management are expected to be asked about the fallout from RTE’s financial settlement in the wake of the defamation claims on The Saturday Night Show in January.

The station was strongly criticised after host Brendan O’Connor asked guest Rory O’Neill – aka Panti – to name commentators in the media who he believed to be homophobic.  Within three weeks, RTE paid out €85,000 to five people over defamation claims.

In an internal memo circulated to staff, the station’s head of television Glen Killane said that “every option” had been explored before the payout was made.

The committee chair said the meeting will asses RTE’s rationale for making the payments.

TDs and Senators are also likely to bring up staffing and pay levels at the station, as well as the strategic plan for the coming years for RTE.

“In previous meetings, Mr Curran has admitted that RTE has overpaid its top broadcasters in the past, and we will wish to assess the current levels of remuneration of its most high-profile figures,” said committee chair John O’Mahony of Fine Gael.

The meeting of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport and Communications will begin at 9.30am in Committee Room 4 and can be watched online here.

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