February 16, 2024
Fine Gael at odds over accountability at RTÉ – Rose Conway-Walsh TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Public Expenditure, Rose Conway-Walsh TD, has criticised the government’s latest mixed messaging around RTÉ.

Teachta Conway-Walsh was speaking following Fine Gael TD Alan Dillon’s public contradiction of Minister Paschal Donohoe on the issue of RTÉ coming under the remit of the state auditor, the C&AG.

Teachta Conway-Walsh said:

“The mixed messaging and direct contractions are extremely frustrating for the public that wants to see the government get to grips with the dysfunction at RTÉ.

“For months, I have been calling on the government to end the exemption RTÉ has from being audited by the state auditor.

“Only last Thursday, Minister Paschal Donohue made clear to me in the Dáil that he had no intention of ending RTÉs exemption despite the ongoing scandals.

“Yet, on local radio, Alan Dillon is supporting Sinn Féin’s position on empowering the C&AG to have oversight of RTÉ.

“This is another blatant example of mixed messages from Fine Gael on the issue. And the latest government TD acting like the opposition in the constituency while they continue to vote with the government up in Dublin.

“Sinn Féin has been clear and consistent. The current system, where oversight is conducted solely by a private auditor, is unsatisfactory.

“This government has the power to legislate so that the state auditor can act. Either on an annual basis or as the office of the C&AG deems necessary.

“This could be easily done by amending the Broadcasting Act 2009 and removing the special rules for RTÉ. This oversight already applies to TG4.

“The government has refused to engage seriously with Sinn Féin’s proposal to end the TV licence and reform the funding of public broadcasting.

“Instead government TDs have just attempted to throw as much mud as possible and distract from the serious issues at hand. And, we have Fine Gael directly contradicting each other.

“The government needs to get serious about this issue and stop acting like spectators. The public wants to see decisive action.”

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