Oireachtas Communications Committee Ratifies New Members of RTÉ Board and Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

Nomination Process Could be Used as Template for Appointments to Other State Boards The Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources has today approved the nominees to serve on the Board of RTÉ and on the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

Following a meeting today with the nominees, Committee members unanimously agreed to recommend the following candidates to the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Eamon Ryan TD:

Board of RTÉ
Mr. Stuart Switzer: Independent TV producer. 
Ms. Orlaith Carmody: Director of a media and management consultancy.
Ms. Eunice O’Raw: a practising barrister, currently Director of Legal Affairs (designate) for the HSE.
Ms. Aileen O’Meara: a self-employed independent radio producer with her own production company.

Broadcasting Authority of Ireland
Mr. Larry Bass: Managing Director and CEO of an independent production company.
Mr. Michael Moriarty: General Secretary of the Irish Vocational Educational Authority (IVEA). 
Professor Colum Kenny: Professor of Communications and Journalism in DCU.
Ms. Siobhán Ní Ghadhra: Head of production for a production company.

Today’s recommendation of candidates is the final part of an innovative process undertaken to appoint suitably qualified members of the public to both bodies. This is the first time an Oireachtas Committee has been mandated to appoint members to the board of a State agency.

As part of this procedure, newspaper adverts were placed seeking suitable candidates. From this, 139 applications were received for the RTÉ Board and 130 for the Broadcasting Authority with 44 individuals short listed and 20 called for interview. Committee members, MJ Nolan TD, Simon Coveney TD, Liz McManus TD and Senator Joe O’Toole conducted the interviews with the assistance of the Public Appointments Service.

Committee Chairman, MJ Nolan TD said;
“The Committee is extremely satisfied with the calibre of candidates we have recommended today. All of them will bring a range of skills and talents which I am certain will make a positive contribution to broadcasting and regulation in Ireland.”

It is also the first occasion in which an Oireachtas Committee has been authorised to appoint individuals to the board of a state agency.

In the past, sometimes the impression has existed that membership of such agencies was a closed shop and that no opportunity existed for interested individuals to become board members of state agencies. The Committee hopes that this initiative, which has been open and transparent will help to counter this notion.

I also believe that this process could be used as a template for appointments to other state agencies and could become best practice when it comes to seeking people for state boards. I feel that it is fair and constructive that members of the public have a genuine opportunity to influence policy and strategy of those agencies which are there to serve them.”

The new Broadcasting Authority will replace the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) and the Broadcasting Complaints Commission (BCC) and for the first time will regulate both commercial and public service broadcasting. The Authority will comprise 9 members; the 4 announced today will join the 5 appointed by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

The RTE Board is charged with overseeing the activities of the RTÉ Group. The RTÉ Director-General reports directly to the RTÉ Board. The Minister for Communications, Energy Resources appoints a further six members, 1 member will be elected by the staff of RTÉ and the Director General will sit on the Board in an ex-officio capacity

ENDS

Daniel English
Oireachtas Communications Office
01 618 4484
087 6949926
Committee Membership
M.J. Nolan TD, Fianna Fáil, (Chairman)
Peter Kelly TD, Fianna Fáil, (Vice Chairman)
Noel Coonan TD, Fine Gael
Simon Coveney TD, Fine Gael
Michael D'Arcy TD, Fine Gael
Jimmy Devins TD, Fianna Fáil
Mattie McGrath TD, Fianna Fáil
Joe McHugh TD, Fine Gael
Liz McManus TD, Labour Party
Michael Moynihan TD, Fianna Fáil
John Browne TD, Fianna Fáil
Senator Maria Corrigan, Fianna Fáil
Senator Joe O'Reilly, Fine Gael
Senator Jim Walsh, Fianna Fáil
Senator Joe O’Toole, Independent