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SKEWERED; Kebab minister Lenihan slams Rip Off Republic show as 'not very accurate'.. then admits: I've never watched it.

Byline: By DIARMAID Mac DERMOTT and NIALL MOONAN

CONOR Lenihan yesterday admitted he'd never watched Eddie Hobbs' Rip Off Republic - after slamming it as inaccurate.

The blundering Overseas Aid Minister - who snored through a TV debate on Tuesday - condemned the hit RTE show in a radio interview.

But when challenged that he had not actually seen the series, Lenihan - who infamously dubbed Turkish workers kebabs earlier this year - said he had heard enough about it on the streets but did not think there was "a lot of accuracy" in Hobbs' series.

He told RTE radio: "In fairness to Eddie Hobbs, a lot of people would question the manner in which he presented his facts, but at least he was having a go at a policy level.

"I didn't see the show but I fully accept that he has done us all a favour in highlighting this and the Taoiseach believes the same." Figures released yesterday showed that Rip Off Republic attracted 840,000 viewers for its final show on Monday night.

Asked by radio host Ryan Tubridy why he hadn't watched the programme, Mr Lenihan replied: "Why don't you send me one [tape] then, Ryan?" Ryan replied: "I'm not your personal videotape recording machine."

Mr Lenihan said: "I'll certainly try to get it. I said it was a good programme." He also admitted he had been asleep while waiting to do an interview on TV3 on Tuesday.

He added: "I just slept through the call. If I was at home the good lady wife would give me a dig in the ribs and I'd be up like a flash.

"When I was up in Slieve Russell [FF policy meeting] I decided to take it easy and sleep out.

"No I wasn't on the tear. You stay up late talking to colleagues but there wasn't that much wild drinking at these events. I slept through the call."

CAPTION(S):

CAUGHT OUT: Lenihan
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 8, 2005
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