Moya Doherty

Moya DOherty

WITH THE wait for RTÉ’s 2022 annual report going on, there will be some information included that may be of interest to followers of events at Montrose, specifically a return to the good old days of fees for the directors.

When the Moya Doherty-chaired board unveiled its Revised Strategy 2020–2024, it included a commitment by the board to “waive its fees”. By state board standards, the remuneration for the part-time directors is pretty good, with bog standard members earning just on €16,000 a year for a maximum commitment (in normal circumstances) of two days a month. The current fee for the chair, meanwhile, is set at €31,500 per annum.

While it was unclear from the strategy document if the forgoing of fees was a voluntary matter for individual directors, the whole board accepted the change. The 2021 annual report highlights the fees waiver in the context of the (recently much ridiculed) “cost reduction initiatives identified as part of the revised RTÉ strategy 2020–2024”.

When Goldhawk previously asked if any new appointees to the RTÉ board would have to accept the binning of fees, the broadcaster said, “This would be a matter for discussion between new members and the chair of the board”. The good news is that fee-linked discussions got going in earnest last year, with Doherty and her fellow directors clearly of the view that everything was by then hunky-dory (and what could possibly go wrong?).

As a result, a decision was taken that starting in September 2022 the hard-working board members could once again start trousering their €16,000 pa (and €31,000 for Moya Doherty). The move will be welcomed by any potential candidates for appointment to the Montrose board. The term of deputy chair Ian Kehoe of The Currency is next to conclude, with just 10 weeks left to run. Presumably, he won’t lobby for a second stint given the conflict issues that had to be handled as a result of his dual roles of editor of The Currency and RTÉ director.

Next year, a couple of seats come up for grabs when the terms of Anne O’Leary (who starred in the recent Oireachtas committee hearings in her role of audit and risk committee chair) and UCD associate professor PJ Mathews. Both will have completed two terms at that stage.

As an existing public sector employee, Mathews is not paid any fees by RTÉ. Maybe it is a stance the other members of the badly bruised board could once again consider.

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