SIPTU representatives have called on the Fianna Fáil Spokesman on Communications, Timmy Dooley, to withdraw remarks made in the Dáil yesterday (Thursday, 17th October) concerning the need for RTÉ to consider compulsory redundancies to deal with the current financial crisis at the national broadcaster. SIPTU Services Division Organiser, Karan O Loughlin, said: “Fianna Fáil Spokesman on Communications, Timmy Dooley, made contradictory remarks in the Dáil yesterday concerning RTÉ.  On one hand he said that closing RTÉ Lyric FM is not appealing as it is ‘overall relatively cheap’ while also stating that compulsory redundancies may have to be considered at the national broadcaster. “Cutting more staff and reducing the services and programming provided by RTÉ will not resolve its current financial crisis. It would only damage the station and undermine the pivotal role which RTÉ plays in supporting and developing the very successful independent film and television sector in Ireland. “Over the last 9 years RTÉ has shed over 500 staff. The remaining staff have not had a pay increase in over 11 years even though they are doing more work and and have adopted more flexible working practices. Timmy Dooley’s remarks that these workers should now just be regarded as disposable with compulsory redundancy is not acceptable.” She added: “Timmy Dooley behaves as if his party has had no input into Government policy on RTÉ. The reality is it supports Fine Gael in Government on all these issues. “As well as withdrawing his remarks and apologising to the workers in RTÉ he should set about engaging his Government partners in developing a workable funding plan for the national broadcaster. With the ownership of private media coming under the control of an ever-decreasing number of private individuals, the importance of public service broadcasting, for independent unbiased programming and reporting has never been more important.”