RTE's €90,000 trip to the World Cup Finals
We may not have made it to the World Cup finals in Rio last year, but a team of RTE pundits did, costing the taxpayer almost €90,000.
Overall, RTE splashed out more than €120,000 on travel, food and hospitality costs at home and abroad while broadcasting the World Cup last summer.
The national broadcaster sent a team of six to Brazil to cover the games live. This squad included two commentators, two co-commentators and two RTE producers.
Almost €53,400 was spent on their hotels, while the flights cost €14,612.
The Montrose bosses were also hit with a bill of almost €20,000 for food, laundry and other incidental expenditures incurred on the trip.
The crew that travelled, which included soccer legend Ray Houghton (right), spent between 30 and 38 days in Brazil. However, the former Liverpool star was forced to return early for health reasons.
It wasn't just the team abroad which kept viewers tuned in, as the Irish studio panel featured regular contributors Eamon Dunphy, John Giles, Liam Brady and the late Bill O'Herlihy. Other participants included Richie Sadlier and Kenny Cunningham.
They also clocked up bills and RTE said that "flight costs for talent based in Ireland" came to a total of €5,953, while more than €21,000 was spent on "hotel costs for talent based here". There was also a taxi bill of €5,945.
Their hard work appears to have built up an appetite, as documents released to the Herald revealed that €1,523 was spent on food for the team in the south Dublin studios.
The station defended the costs and heaped praise on the team, describing their work as "amazing", claiming they had "tiny resources and manpower".
"Unlike the British broadcasters, we did all 64 games live and we did it with a crew of six in Brazil. The BBC had 272 staff and ITV had 120. Each of them only broadcast half the amount of games we did," a spokesman added.