Wages Of Spin

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The company that fared best from the special secretarial allowance was the Communications Clinic, a well-known PR firm run by Today FM radio host Anton Savage, his mother Terry Prone, and her husband Tom Savage (a former chairman of RTÉ). In total, the company was paid €211,826 by a variety of government Ministers including Children’s Minister James Reilly, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, and the now-EU Commissioner Phil Hogan.

Ms Fitzgerald for instance has paid the firm a sum of between €1,815 and €1,845 per-month during her time both at the Department of Justice, and before that, at the Dept of Children. Dr James Reilly pays a monthly fee of 1,845, while the monthly fee for Phil Hogan – when he was Minister for the Environment – was €2,214. The government chief whip Paul Kehoe also paid a once-off fee of €18,500 to the Communications Clinic in 2012 for public relations.

€1 million in special allowances for politicians (RTÉ Investigations Unit)

Thanks Ken Foxe

18 thoughts on “Wages Of Spin

  1. Donal

    Media in shock that the people they deal with on a daily basis (and mostly get on quite well with) are paid…

  2. Benz

    I’m no fan of Terry Prone or Communications Clinic and yer man, Anto is a plank but the figures above include VAT so the real figure is €1,500 per month (not €1,845) and €172,216 (not €211,826).

    And in fairness if you operated in government circles I’d imagine that once you find a firm that you feel you can trust it’d be difficult to be swayed from them.

    Still think that whatever ‘training’ they’ve given to the Taoiseach has had absolutely no effect. Jaysus, he’s dire.

      1. Rob_G

        Civil servants you have to pay until they retire (and again after that until they die); contracting out work gives you more flexibility in your HR costs, if nothing else.

        1. Earthworm Jim

          That’s exactly what people don’t get about consulting. You can hire people to do a job, and they feck off when it’s done. That’s the advantage of it.
          Advantage on the consultant side is the cash is pretty good but they also take risk, i.e. work might dry up.
          But overall it’s a win win

          1. realPolithicks

            Thanks, Jim but I understand perfectly well how hiring consultants works. My point is that there is bound be people within the civil service who are capable of doing this type of work, it’s not exactly rocket science.

          2. Anne

            @RealP

            Yeah, you’re right…. but guess what? That doesn’t matter.. it’s a free for all at our expense.

            “An analysis of the figures show that the majority of the money – €610,763 in total – went on public relations services, despite the fact that the Ministers involved have the use of Departmental press offices”

            That’s from the article linked to above there.

  3. Someone

    The Communication Clinic must be terrible, because O’Reilly, Hogan and Fitzgerald all have terrible public images.

    1. Spaghetti Hoop

      Indeed. When your entire constituents boo you off the stage at Nowlan Park (big Phil, 2012), how can 2 grand a month fix a lousy public persona and reputation?

    2. Domestos

      What would you think of them if they didn’t have the Communication Clinic on board?111!!

  4. Anne

    I’d love to see how quickly Prone and her horsesh*te wouldn’t be required, if it was coming out of their salary and not on top of it with a ‘special secretarial allowance’.. 2k a fupping month.. Taking the p*ss again.

    It’s a f***ing free for all at our expense.
    2 f***ing grand a month for PR.

    Scumbags would have more morals.

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