Entertainment

RTÉ accused of running a slush fund when €5,000 was spent on flip flops

ProDentim

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The committee heard that RTÉ had engaged a UK-based barter agent to sell “excess advertising airtime”.

The broadcaster paid the agent a fee and received around €300,000 in cash and services such as hotel accommodation and return flights, the committee heard.

But questioning RTÉ’s chief financial officer, Richard Collins, Mr Griffin accused the organization of operating a slush fund.

Fine Gael TD read a number of payments the broadcaster had made, including €12,000 for Bruce Springsteen tickets and €6,358 for 50 tickets to a concert by Phil Collins and Robbie Williams.

“I’ve heard of ‘let me entertain you,’ but it’s kind of ridiculous,” Mr Griffin said.

“Two hundred units of flip flops for the summer party for agencies and clients €4,956,” he continued.

“It’s not a barter account, it’s a slush fund.”

Former RTÉ board chairman Moya Doherty told Mr Griffin the board was ‘not aware of the existence of the barter account’.

Mr. Griffin also asked company witnesses before the committee whether Mr. Tubridy had refused to take a pay cut?

“They didn’t refuse to take a share,” replied former RTÉ finance director Breda O’Keefe.

“It was the level of cut that we disagreed on.”

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