Wednesday 1 March 2017

George hints at summer return to RTE

BARRY DUGGAN

FORMER politician and RTE economics editor George Lee last night gave his first public lecture since he resigned from politics -- and promptly refused to answer questions on politics.

The journalist indicated he could be back on TV screens by the end of the summer, but pointed out that discussions with RTE were ongoing.

At a lecture to University of Limerick students on 'Ireland's Economic Collapse: Where to Now?' Mr Lee said politics was a difficult subject matter for him to discuss since his resignation from Fine Gael in February.

Before he gave last night's lecture to third-level students -- including journalism undergraduates -- Mr Lee refused to answer questions from the waiting media and said he would not discuss politics.

When asked by a member of the audience if he was restricted in Fine Gael, and why he couldn't work with the party to bring about change, he said politics was a "difficult subject matter for me at the moment to get into in any big way".

"Obviously I would have felt and thought similarly as I do now 12 months ago. Where it was possible I would have made clear that I had an opinion."

"I clearly was at variance with Fine Gael's policy on a number of occasions, as was highlighted by some people, so I haven't changed from start to finish and neither have they and that's all I can say," he said.

Negotiations between Mr Lee and RTE are ongoing since he resigned as a TD in February.

When asked when he would return to the screen, Mr Lee said: "My understanding is there would be a six-month moratorium from the time I left politics until I was back on the screen. That would be August."

Irish Independent

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