Tuesday 20 November 2018

Samantha McCaughren

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RTE director general Dee Forbes

Desperation mounts in Montrose as cash appeals fall on deaf ears 

What a couple of weeks it has been for former Communications Minister Denis Naughten, and what a couple of weeks it has been for RTE, whose fate has lain with Naughten since he took over the brief. Two weeks ago the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland took the unprecedented step of stressing the urgency of RTE's funding crisis, calling for an extra €30m a year for the broadcaster. For a po-faced regulator that usually goes out of its way to distance itself from politics, it was extraordinary to see it make an impassioned plea on behalf of the public service broadcaster.

Philip Berber’s house in Austin, Texas

Samantha McCaughren: Home where heart is for philanthropist Berber 

"To have been blessed with success in business was exciting, but to be able to use those skills to help make a real difference in the lives of so many is fulfilling and purposeful." So says Texan-based entrepreneur and philanthropist Philip Berber, who sold his share-trading firm CyberCorp to Charles Schwab for a sweet $488m in 2000. The Dubliner - who co-founded the charity 'A Glimmer of Hope' with his wife Donna to reduce extreme poverty in rural Ethiopia, as well as helping charities in Austin, Texas - is counting his blessings now that their children have flown the nest.