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Saturday 20 April 2019

Rody's rationale: Molloy's explanations for expenses during Pat Kenny interview

A FAS official went with his wife on a three-week round the world trip to Frankfurt, Tokyo, Honolulu, San Francisco and back to Dublin via Frankfurt. Their business class tickets cost €12,021. The expense claim was signed by Rody Molloy.

Rody's rationale:

"It was (signed by me). The individual in question who was at an event in Tokyo on official business to do with the World Skills competition and with the graduate programme we have in Japan, who then at his own expense, spent some time on the way back coming back through the US."

Fas chairman, trade union boss Peter McLoone, accompanied chief executive Rody Molloy on a €7,300-a-head return business class flight to Orlando for a week-long stay.

Rody's rationale:

"Orlando also happens to be very close to the NASA facility where the shuttle lands and takes off from. And we, over a number of years, have built a relationship with NASA where we have placed Irish students in NASA to give them opportunities to work in the top research facilities in the world, and to allow them to build relationships between their own universities in Ireland and the facilities in Florida. I think anyone who knows Florida knows it's not just about Disney World."

Fas executives billed the taxpayer for pay-per-view movies watched in their US hotel rooms, ranging in price from $12.71 to $34.40.

Rody's rationale:

1)"Ah well, the amount for pay per view movies, with all due respects Pat, it's chickenfeed. What, $10 for a movie?"

(After being told by Pat Kenny that RTE did not cover pay-per-view movies in expenses)

2) "Maybe that was an oversight on our part but the bill was paid as a communal bill for a number of people who were there at a time when we were trying to develop relationships with senior people. NASA is a major US government agency. To develop relationships with them, given that we are not American citizens, is not easy. We know there is a number of other countries who have tried to copy the programmes we have developed with NASA."

FAS corporate affairs director Greg Craig's company credit card was used to cover a $410 bill at Solutions beauty and nail salon on West Cocoa Beach, Florida in August 2005.

Rody's rationale:

"Again, with all due respects, getting into detail of a preparation of somebody for a particular event. Again the amount of money, in terms of the total package, is very, very small."

A Fas credit card was used to pay $942.53 for Rody Molloy to play a three-ball golf match at the Orlando Florida Grand Cypress Resort Golf club in January 2005.

Rody's rationale:

"I've already explained to you Pat that people aren't volunteering to come here to look for our students to go to these major scientific events. We are out there developing relationships. I had an opportunity to work with some people as part of building that relationship and I took that opportunity. If that is a major sin, then I hold my hands up and say very sorry."

In a four-year period, Mr Molloy, sometimes flying with his wife, clocked up almost €48,000 in business-class airfares. In February of this year they incurred an airfare bill for a return trip to the east coast of America for €7,500.

Last year, the Molloys flew to New York in May, costing €6,655. Both travelled business class. In November they returned to New York, with airfares costing €7,281. Last year they cost FAS €6,455 for a similar trip, business class again.

The Molloys also visited Boston on a cheaper €1,634 flight in June 2005.

In July 2004, the pair flew to Orlando at a cost of €9,648 for the business class fares.

Rody's rationale:

"Well, it wasn't first class travel, it was business class travel. It (business class) is hellishly expensive but anytime that a spouse travelled, it was because there were reasons for the spouse to travel, to do with the kind of activities that were involved there. One which comes to mind was a dinner which involved President McAleese and her husband.

"All I can say to you on that when a spouse travels with FAS, they travel at no additional expense to the organisation -- unless there's a very specific reason for it.

"There are occasions when it is appropriate for my spouse to be with me.

"But anytime she has been with me, there was no additional expense to FAS because I traded down my travel entitlement to allow her to travel so it comes in at less expense to the organisation. I'm entitled to travel first class."

FAS bought a €500 glass barometer as a gift for Minister for Education Mary Hanafin on a visit to their US project. FAS paid an extra €419 for it to be posted back to Ireland.

Rody's rationale:

"I don't have the detail of that with me. But any gifts we bought to bring to the US were essentially what would be described in any organisation as a corporate gift, usually items like Waterford Glass crystal. I suspect in that case there was a corporate gift to Mary Hanafin from the people in NASA, which was probably sizeable. The cost of shipping it home is maybe what's referred to. I don't know, I don't have that information in front of me."

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