Yesterday evening.

Drogheda, County Louth.

Residents in East Meath and Louth, including Remi Olukokun (pics1-4) originally from Nigeria using the traditional African method to carry water.

Large parts of counties Meath and Louth have  suffered a water shortage due a burst pipe.

Environment Minister Eoghan Murphy (above) faced questions from residents…

On the issue of communication of information to the people who have been affected, the minister said there has been a question around communication and lessons for the future about how to communicate better.

The minister has pledged to fix the issue as quickly as possible.

He said that he has made it clear the Irish Water needs to replace this particular piece of pipe which is vulnerable.

He said it is a particularly critical piece of infrastructure and the 2.2km stretch of pipeline will be prioritised for repair.

Public criticise Minister on lack of accurate updates on water crisis (RTÉ)

Rollingnews

Vincent Browne

TV3 said last night that when interviewing Mr Varadkar, Browne would take the opportunity to ask the Taoiseach about his plans for his time in office and what he meant by vowing to represent “people who get up early in the morning”, as well as Brexit. The programme is broadcast from 11pm.

FIGHT!

Leo Varadkar submits to Vincent Browne TV3 interrogation (Irish Times)

Pic” TV3

Free Friday?

Want to celebrate ten years of Once?

Kate Sculthorpe writes:

Happenings in association with 7UP Free® Presents: Summer Cinema will host a special screening of the Irish musical ‘Once’ in Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2  this Friday, July 28 and we would love to offer you FIVE pairs of tickets to Broadsheet readers.

Before the movie kicks off, guests can settle in to comfy billow bags with a complimentary 7UP Mojito Free in the beautiful surroundings of Fitzwilliam Square, perfectly capturing the taste and feeling of summer – #SummerYourWay.

Broadsheet readers can find out more information on the 7UP Free and Happenings social channels listed below.

To enter, please outline a brief plot outline for a prospective sequel to Once.

Just complete this sentence.

‘The plot for ‘Once 2′ will involve___________________________’

Lines MUST close at MIDDAY tomorrow.

Zombies are allowed.

Happenings (Facebook)

7UP Ireland

From top: RTÉ Television Centre; Vanessa Foran

Accountant and insolvency expert Vanessa Foran (her off the telly!) kindly agreed to have ‘look see’ through RTÉ’s recently published Annual Report for 2016.

What she saw will make you TORCH your remote.

Vanessa writes:

If anyone was watching Broadsheet on the Telly last Thursday night you might remember I had a look at the RTE Annual Report for Broadsheet, but unfortunately we didn’t get to it on the broadcast.

I would like to fill you in on two particular areas that got my attention: The distribution of the Licence Fee income and payments to the directors.

First, a look at allocation of the licence fee.

In 2016, Licence Fee Income was reported as €179.1 million.

Of that 57.4% [€102,803,400] was allocated to television (RTÉ 1 & 2).

Of the €25.7 million allocated to private providers, 14% of total taxpayers’ finance, €22.6 million of it is paid to suppliers outside of our national broadcaster’s jurisdiction or, if you like, Tax Take area.

That’s €22.6 million = 12.6 % of the Irish taxpayers’ 2016 contribution to our national broadcaster.

Money that could go to up and coming screen writers, pilots, animation development, wildlife programming – all sorts of Irish stuff. It might even introduce some new faces to the RTÉ canteen, which I feel confident and competent enough to assume is something we would all like to see.

As a viewer myself, and a taxpayer, I would prefer to see more of this, the above, even if it is awful, than see RTÉ pay for and host repeats of shows I can already get on ITV or TLC, or YouTube.

For comparison, as that’s a requirement of any accountant’s report, the sum spent by our national broadcaster on acquiring programming from Irish suppliers was €3.1 million (1.7%)… €3.1m v €22.6m…1.7% v 12.6%.

[Note: If information that this money was spent on getting into the Rio Olympics and other events, becomes available, then I will reverse my opinion but, as I write this, I am of the opinion that sporting events and such are in the RTÉ Sports and Current Affairs allocations].

Meanwhile, the report’s Governance Section contains the directors’ emoluments….

RTÉ Authority chair Moya Doherty is paid twice what her fellow directors get paid.

Is Ms Doherty worth 100% more than anyone else? Argue that among yourselves but I would have to state, without any apology, that €3,100 plus mileage etc, per meeting, is outrageous.

And while it pales the other sum of €1,600 per head, €1,600 is still outrageous. It is an abuse of taxpayers’ money in my very humble opinion

And it’s all multiplied by 10.

The sum of €41,000 is also recorded for mileage and subsistence (up ten grand from previous) for directors. This is €41,000 of expenses.

Interestingly, there is good attendance at meetings, but with this kind of stipend per meeting why wouldn’t there be?

Charities and your local credit unions are forbidden from paying their directors any fees so why should RTÉ?

Why, in receipt of €179,100,000 from taxpayers, should RTÉ be allowed pay a multi-millionaire €3,100 to attend a meeting? And, repeat it, month after month for 10 meetings a year?

A hospital would never get away with that.

Also, Aengus MacGrianna is the staff representative on the board, and gets this €1,600 (aka a €16k annual top-up.) Why is this coming from RTÉ? Why isn’t his union paying it?

Perhaps the Broadsheet commentariat could decide the answer to this and my other questions between yourselves. But do let me know the outcome.

Vanessa Foran is a principle at Recovery Partners.  Follow Vanessa on Twitter: @vef_pip

Earlier: Muck And Brass