Further details have emerged relating to RTÉ‘s taxi-spend scandal, in which the state-funded National Broadcaster was found to spend close to €1K a day on taxis. Revelations that the taxpayer-funded national broadcaster provided a taxi to bring Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae on a 650km round trip left tax-payers reeling in disbelief. However, further shocking news emerged this morning when it was disclosed that Healy-Rae travelled by stagecoach and also received a gross of fresh lemons to consume during the 18-hour journey at his request.
The journey took him from Kilgarvan, Co Kerry, to Dublin and back, to appear at RTE’s Montrose studios for ‘The Saturday Night Show‘ where he wore a flat cap and said the words “sure jays” before all sentences.
The fare for Mr Healy-Rae’s trip would be around €800 with an additional €70 spent on lemons and the remainder of €1000 used to feed the horses and buy tic-tacs, Nuts Magazine and a Picnic bar at the service station on the M8.
Mr Healy-Rae defended the decision to take a taxi, saying that he had to be back in Kilgarvan for a birthday party later that evening. “That’s why I have to have all these lemons” he added, sure jaysingly. He said he did not get a fee for appearing on the programme, but then winked and mouthed the words “lemons” and winked again.
An RTE spokeswoman said at the time it would “not be appropriate” to say how much it cost to bring the TD to Dublin, and that it would be “inappropriate”
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The collosal spend was revealed to be an increase of €55K on the previous year and a whopping 76% of journeys concerned the retrieval of orders from a chip van situated just 8 feet from the gates of Montrose. A separate inquiry has found the broadcaster has also paid a large cleaning bill resulting from a suspicious and almost daily spill of garlic cheese chips onto taxi upholstery.