RTÉ accused of running slush fund as €5,000 spent on flip-flops

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

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

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

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

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

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

“This isn’t a barter account, this is a slush fund.”

The former chairperson of the RTÉ board Moya Doherty told Mr Griffin the board was “not aware of the existence of the barter account.”

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

“They didn’t refuse to take a cut,” RTÉ’s former chief financial officer Breda O’Keefe replied.

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

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