You will have seen from the news that the Chief Executive of Independent News and Media (INM) made a protected disclosure under the Whistleblower legislation in respect of a proposed bid by the company for Newstalk, which is a radio station owned by Denis O’Brien who is INM’s largest shareholder. It subsequently prompted the ODCE, the State’s corporate watchdog, to direct INM to produce records relating to this Newstalk bid. We understand that the CEO of INM, Robert Pitt, had an issue with regard to the price that INM would pay for Newstalk, and so he felt compelled to become a whistleblower, attracting the protection of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014.
Protected Disclosures can be made to the company or to a State body like the ODCE, but to be made by the CEO of a company is unheard of. By making the Protected Disclosure, the CEO is legally protecting himself from being dismissed for making the disclosure, and he cannot otherwise be penalised.
Who would have thought that all of this would have resulted from the Garda whistleblowing about penalty points! Interesting days ahead.