WRITER and star Chris O'Dowd has said RTE could never have made his hit Sky comedy 'Moone Boy'.
"RTE don't even have a comedy department, so who would I pitch it to? That would be a difficult thing," O'Dowd told the Irish Independent as his series beat Brendan O'Carroll's 'Mrs Brown's Boys' to win the best entertainment category at the weekend's Irish Film and Television Awards.
In response, an RTE spokeswoman congratulated O'Dowd on his award and said RTE had a wide range of comedy from 'The Savage Eye' to 'Irish Pictorial Weekly' to 'Republic of Telly'.
While Saoirse Ronan and 'Chicago' actor John C Reilly were at the glamorous event, Colin Farrell and Michael Fassbender were among the absent A-listers, with empty seats sprinkled throughout Dublin's Convention Centre.
RTE drama 'Love/Hate' was the big winner, scooping six gongs including best script for its writer/creator Stuart Carolan.
The Navan-born playwright-turned-scriptwriter credited contacts in An Garda Siochana with ensuring that his gritty scripts are true to life.
"I do a huge amount of research, talking to the gardai who help me get it right," said Mr Carolan, who is now working around the clock before filming begins on a fourth series later this month.
Director Lenny Abrahamson's film 'What Richard Did' dominated the film categories, winning four awards including best film and best script.
Its star Jack Reynor, winning his first IFTA for best actor, created a bit of a frenzy among photographers when he stepped on to the red carpet introducing Rubberbandits video star Madeline Mulqueen as his girlfriend.
The two met after the model tweeted she had been punched in the face by a man in Limerick.
"Madeline and I started hanging out and I loved it. She's amazing, I love being around her. I'm so happy to have her here with me tonight. I'll be spending more time with her before I go to America,' said Reynor, who will begin filming the fourth 'Transformers' movie later this year.
"It's one of those things where it's a big studio film and you're working for a big studio, but at the end of the day, if you're an actor you get up there and do your job and get on with it. I'm obviously really excited about it and have a big year coming up this year," added the Co Wicklow actor.
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar, who attended with Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore, praised the IFTAS in its tenth years as a "great Gathering event" but admitted he didn't watch much small-screen entertainment.
"My TV broke last year and I haven't bothered getting it fixed," said Mr Varadkar.