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RTE cuts sure to make Goan moan; Murphy's Law.

Byline: Murphy

MURPHY hears much weeping and gnashing of teeth in Montrose these days.

First, poor Gerry Ryan (wages - EUR600,000 a year and he refused a pay freeze) complained that he can't even get a free coffee in the morning due to RTE cutbacks.

Then RTE's director general Cathal Goan revealed last November that the national broadcaster was set to slash EUR50million from its 2009 budget.

Cynics might suggest that sending 19 staff to cover a foreign presidential election was perhaps a little excessive. And viewers are still wondering if it was strictly necessary to issue Charlie Bird with a return ticket during his recent trip to the Arctic.

But now it appears that the knife is about to fall where it will hurt most - in Cathal Goan's expenses, which have leapt threefold in as many years. Goan (wages EUR440,000 a year) claimed expenses of just over EUR5,000 in 2004. But by 2007, his expenses bill had spiralled to more than EUR14,000.

Apparently this was due to repeated trips to Switzerland to meet the European Broadcasting Union, the people responsible for the Eurovision Song Contest.

Now poor Cathal can expect a pay cut of at least EUR100,000 as the RTE pay freeze kicks in.

But most of RTE's top stars negotiate their pay as freelance contracts. So the only freeze any of them will experience this year is a touch of Arctic frostbite contracted during Charlie Bird's busman's holiday, courtesy of the licence fee payer.

GOVERNOR of California Arnold Schwarenegger has declined an invitation to officiate at the St Patrick's Day parade in Cork.

The former bodybuilder and movie tough guy, 61, was delighted by the Lord Mayor, Brian Birmingham's offer.

But unfortunately Arnie said he had prior commitments.

And no, he hadn't heard about the turf wars in neighbouring Limerick.

CAPTION(S):

Expenses... Cathal Goan
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 11, 2009
Words:311
Previous Article:Voice of the IRISH SUNDAY Mirror: Little right lies.
Next Article:Influence across pond; Murphy's Law.


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