All In The Family


00137964anton_savageFrom top: Terry Prone and Tom Savage and (above) Anton Savage.


The latest edition of Phoenix magazine (on shelves today) contains a lengthy profile of Anton Savage, who presents his own show on Today FM from 9am until noon, Monday to Friday, and  is a director of the Communications Clinic, a business he founded with his parents Chinese Wall specialists Terry Prone and Tom Savage.

The Phoenix writes:

“The Communications Clinic and FG have a longstanding relationship in terms of media training. PR advice, etc. Savage has personally trained Enda Kenny in the past. Meanwhile, records released recently to Goldhawk under the Freedom of Information Act show how lucrative this relationship has been for the PR firm.

These show that from 2012 to 2014, the company was paid nearly €180,000 from an Oireachtas fund called the Special Secretarial Allowance (SSA).

The SSA “is to assist towards expenses arising from the purchase of certain secretarial assistance [and] public relations.”

Over those years, the now Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald paid the company nearly €60,000 out of this fund, including around €15,000 last year. This is despite the fact that Fitzgerald already has a press advisor, former Sunday Business Post political correspondent Niamh Connolly.”

“James Reilly also used the SSA to pay a total of nearly €60,000 to the Communications Clinic over those three years, including over €16,000 last year.

His spokesman told Goldhawk that this was for public relations advice on healthcare reform. Phil Hogan was also a client, having paid the company €40,000 from 2012 to 2014 from the SSA, while FG chief whip Paul Kehoe paid the Communications Clinic €18,500 in 2012 from this fund.”

“These figures provide a snapshot of the relationship between FG and the Communications Clinic but don’t tell the full story. They don’t indicate, for example, how much FG pays the company out of party funds, which are not subject to Freedom of Information.”

Anything else?

The PR firm’s complete client list is a closely guarded secret but there was good news for Savage in 2013 when it emerged that a proposed public register of broadcasters’ interests from the BAI was to be shelved (for the time being, at least). Such a register would pose a major headache for Savage and the Communications Clinic and happily this has been firmly kicked to touch. The BAI recently told Goldhawk that a statutory review of the 2013 code is to take place in 2017 and that , ‘it may be that the outcomes of the review will result in considering again the issue of a public register of interests’

.Good times.


Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 14.14.11Ah here.

The Phoenix (facebook)

18 thoughts on “All In The Family

  1. Mr. T.

    Only one industry worse than advertising, that’s PR. The most two-faced insincere industry going. They remind me of banks who lend to both sides of a war in order to line their pockets for longer.

  2. SOMK

    “Savage has personally trained Enda Kenny in the past.”

    ‘Trained’ to what exactly, bark on command, speak in a Mayo accent, not piss on the furniture, hump Sarkozy’s leg openly, how to sate his appetite for bondholder semen by rooting in the bins of davos for used condoms, how to walk upright without a vertibrate, how to manage to sound condecending with a sub 65 IQ, how to get mates onto state boards, how to be worse than the people who got the economy into the mess it’s in, how to mindlessly fuel a second housing bubble, hide soup stains behind your tie, hump DOB’s leg discretely, how to cry in public and make it sound sincere, how to be able to inflict austerity whilst also breaking the salary pay cap for your special advisors, how to make a troika technocracy look more appealing than elected democracy, how to centralise power in a spirit fundamentally against that of the constitution, how to speak out of both sides of his mouth whilst not speaking, how to hide from Vincent Browne, how to avoid a coup because even your own party finds you embarrassing, how to make an anthropomorphic treehouse say “and I thought I was wooden”, how to make Marie Antoinette look like Benjamin Disraeli, how to avoid ordinary people, how to make the word and concept ’embrassed’ feel embrassed, how to give lots of money to Terry Prone, how to reduce the Irish language to a politcal bullying tool like a Unionist uses Ulster Scott, how to make the most rigid hand gestures in the history of non-verbal communication etc.?

  3. Derval

    They need public relations advice because they can’t just tell the truth about everything.

  4. Truth in the News

    The trick is to get them say it often enough and loudly….they will bellieve
    it themselves even if its a lie or polite Dublin 4 circles…an untrouth.
    What’s TomSavage doing on the Board of RTE if his PR company advise
    members of the Government, don’t tell me that the Carr Communication’s
    have also imported a Chinese Wall too.

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