Former FG insider is paid €14,000 a month – to manage 'The Gathering'
AS THE annual binge drinking and leprechaun worshipping St Patrick's Day Festival kicks off in earnest, it has emerged that former Fine Gael secretary general Jim Miley, who was appointed to head up The Gathering, has received €14,000 per month since taking the job last May.
"Jim Miley was selected following a strict tender process as project manager for The Gathering 2013, as has been reported elsewhere on a number of occasions," according to Failte Ireland.
Documents received by the Sunday Independent detailing spending by the State agency show that a number of well-known business people were paid to advise the agency.
The documents show that Aer Arann founder Padraig O Ceidigh received €12,000 for facilitating services in January, with former Enterprise Ireland boss Dan Flinter and former Jurys Doyle chairman Peter Malone also receiving consultancy fees.
Failte Ireland spent over €17,000 wining and dining foreign travel writers in the Michelin star restaurant Chapter One over the last year.
Some 1,400 travel writers visited Ireland last year, generating €250m in "advertising value", according to the agency.
Failte Ireland also spent €677.02 on "fresh meat (red)" and €3,132.88 on "fruit & veg", as well as close to €1,500 on "baking products". IBEC received €11,611.96 from the State body in 2011.