Thursday 19 September 2019

Martina Fitzgerald will leave RTÉ after being given substantial payout

Delighted: Martina Fitzgerald. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Delighted: Martina Fitzgerald. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Martina 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.

Yesterday, the broadcaster released a statement announcing Ms Fitzgerald's 18-year career at the station was coming to an end.

It is understood her legal team struck a deal with RTÉ's lawyers which will see her receive a substantial payment.

She was also asked to sign a confidentiality clause which means she will be unable to discuss the terms of her exit package.

Last night, a friend of Ms Fitzgerald said she was "thrilled" with the deal struck with the broadcaster.

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

"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."

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'.

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."

Several senior politicians, including Cabinet minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor spoke out publicly against RTÉ's decision not to renew Ms Fitzgerald's contract as a political correspondent.

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.

Irish Independent

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