Tuesday 24 September 2019

Martina Fitzgerald pictured soaking up festive atmosphere after news of her RTÉ departure

Martina Fitzgerald shopping on Henry Street Dublin yesterday. Picture By David Conachy.
Martina Fitzgerald shopping on Henry Street Dublin yesterday. Picture By David Conachy.
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Former RTÉ political journalist Martina Fitzgerald was pictured soaking up the festive atmosphere in Dublin's city centre after news of her departure from the national broadcaster.

The journalist and author was pictured shopping on Dublin's Henry Street yesterday, enjoying the Christmas buzz and picking up a few last-minute gifts.

It was reported in Saturday's Irish Independent that Ms Fitzgerald received a significant payout from RTÉ and was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement after agreeing to part ways with the broadcaster.

Ms Fitzgerald sought legal advice after her political correspondent contract was not renewed by RTÉ.

An RTÉ spokesperson refused to comment on the payment or the confidentiality clause in the agreement.

It is understood Ms Fitzgerald will continue to promote her recently published book 'Madam Politician'.

It is also understood Ms Fitzgerald was "thrilled" with the deal struck with the broadcaster.

"RTÉ offered her a settlement and she is delighted with the outcome," a source said.

"RTÉ insisted on a confidentiality clause so neither she or the broadcaster can discuss the terms of the offer."

The source added: "She won't be in any rush to make a decision on her next career move due to the settlement."

In RTÉ's statement, managing director of news and current affairs Jon Williams said Ms Fitzgerald was an "integral part" of the station's coverage of general elections, referendums and other political events over the past five years.

"We wish Martina every success in her future endeavours," Mr Williams added.

In the same statement, Ms Fitzgerald said she took "great pride" in working in Leinster House during key political events over the last five years.

"I loved every minute reporting on political developments - and providing analysis and context - for RTÉ's audience," she added.

"Thank you to my colleagues who helped me with all this work and to everyone for their loyalty and decency."

Ms Fitzgerald was replaced by long-time RTÉ political reporter Paul Cunningham who was appointed after the role was advertised as an open competition internally.

Mr Cunningham is a highly regarded and award-winning journalist who has worked at RTÉ for 25 years.

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