Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said on Friday that An Garda Síochána should be notified of any alleged financial fraud at RTÉ.
The national public broadcaster is struggling to survive after it was revealed it had paid undisclosed sums to former star Ryan Tubridy of The Late Late Show, reports Breaking News.
Speaking in Limerick, Mr Donnelly said: “A submission will have to go to the gardaí, I would imagine that will happen, and then obviously it will be for the Gardai to take a look into that. There are a lot of questions that still need to be answered in terms of this particular situation, I thought there was some very concerning testimony heard yesterday at the Public Accounts Committee. I think there were was a reference from the (RTÉ) board to potential ‘deception’ – I think ‘fraud’ was mentioned by one member of the board – these are serious things that we are hearing from the board,” reports Breaking News.
Asked whether there should be a more in-depth investigation and involvement of the gardaí – in addition to the proposed review by Media Minister Catherine Martin – Mr Donnelly said the terms of Ms Martin’s review had not yet been signed but “no doubt minister Martin will be presenting to government terms of reference that are sufficient to address the issues that have raised”, reports Breaking News,
Asked if he thought RTÉ executives should ought to be a clean-out, Mr Donnelly replied: “What we need to do now is gather the facts, I imagine the Oireachtas committees will seek further hearings and we need to sign off and get this (government) review (of RTÉ) going so that we can understand the full picture,” reports Breaking News.
Meanwhile, moving on to other issues, Mr Donnelly said he had no intention of rolling back the sugar tax after the WHO (World Health Organization) announced it had identified aspartame – a widely used artificial sweetener – as a potential carcinogen.
Asked if the sugar tax would continue despite the trend towards potentially dangerous artificial sweeteners, the health minister replied: “Yes, yes it is,” reports Breaking News.
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