Martina leaves RTE with 'significant' secret payout

Martina Fitzgerald is unable to discuss her leaving package

Philip Ryan

Martina Fitzgerald received a significant payout from RTE and was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement after agreeing to part ways with the broadcaster.

The journalist and author sought legal advice after her contract as political corr- espondent was not renewed.

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

It is understood her legal team have struck a deal with RTE lawyers under which she will receive a substantial payment.

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

A friend of Ms Fitzgerald said last night she was "thrilled" with the deal.

"RTE offered her a settlement and she is delighted with the outcome," the friend added. "RTE insisted on a confidentiality clause, so neither she nor the broadcaster can discuss the terms of the offer.

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

An RTE spokesperson ref-used 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 the RTE statement, the 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," he added.

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

"I loved every minute reporting on political developments and providing analysis and context for RTEs 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 RTE's decision not to renew Ms Fitzgerald's contract as a political correspondent.

She was replaced by long-time RTE political reporter Paul Cunningham, who was appointed after the role was advertised as an open competition internally.

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