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Michael O'Doherty: What an obnoxious tit O'Leary really is

MICHAEL O'Leary's interview with American business magazine Bloomberg BusinessWeek, published today, reminds us why we hate him so much. While flying a kite for another of his daft ideas -- getting rid of co-pilots -- O'Leary offers further insights into his grubby, no-frills mindset.

"The physical process of getting from point A to point B shouldn't be pleasant, nor enriching," he tells the mag. He can certainly count Ryanair a success on that front, as it's surely the most unpleasant method of transport, short of being dragged by a horse, face down and naked, over a field of broken glass.

And what of his attitude to those people who've been let down or just plain insulted by mini-O'leary Ryanair staff?

"The customer is usually wrong," pontificates O'Leary. "The only time you hear from a customer is when they're complaining 'why can't I get a refund?'.

"Bugger off," he articulates.

Sadly, O'Leary reveals that we will never be granted an in-depth insight into his life, as he assures the mag that he will never write a memoir.

In such absence, let me do Michael O'Leary a favour, and write his life story for him.

"Michael O'Leary. Brilliant businessman. Obnoxious tit. The End."

You just don't get it, Pat. You're paid €500k of OUR cash

PAT Kenny rarely gives interviews, other than his annual love-in with the RTE Guide. And yesterday, I found out why.

In a clumsy, ill-advised apologia, Pat bemoaned the fuss made about his salary -- €950,000 in 2008 -- when compared to the lack of concern we have for the earnings of top footballers.

"John O'Shea earns in three weeks what Marian Finucane does in a year," he says.

Bizarre

Aside from the fact that this statement isn't true -- O'Shea earns nothing like €170k a week -- it also points to a bizarre ignorance of what riles so many people about RTE salaries. Which is that we, the taxpayer, pay for much of them.

If we don't like a professional footballer, we can simply stop paying to watch them. And if they don't perform, they're dropped and their career is over.

Pat, on the other hand, receives licence fee money from us whether we want to watch him or not, and regardless of how good we consider him to be at his job.

He also fails to address that issue which bugs so many people -- the cloak and dagger nature of RTE's salaries. What Premier League footballers earn becomes public knowledge before the ink on their latest contract has dried.

Even now, however, Pat seems embarrassed about what he earns to the extent that he's unable to say it out loud.

Instead, he says that his salary is "now back to what it was in 2002". Well let me put a number on that Pat -- it's about €500k a year. I have to say 'about' because, predictably, neither Pat nor RTE reveal how much it was exactly.

But it's hardly a hand to mouth existence.

His complaint that he doesn't get a pension from RTE will strike pity into the hearts of not one single person. To draw a comparison with Premier League footballers -- sorry Pat, but it was you that brought them up -- they don't get a pension either, and unlike TV presenters, their careers tend to be over by the time they're 35.

Holes

Many footballers are obliged to earn in about 10 years enough money to keep them going for another 40 -- TV presenters, on the other hand, have 40 years of earnings from which to sustain themselves for about 10 years in retirement... Do you see the difference there, Pat?

Pat's defence for his own salary was so self-serving, so out of touch with popular opinion, and so full of holes that it would have been ripped apart by any intelligent, astute and knowledgeable interviewer.

Something similar, in fact, to what Pat Kenny is so well paid to be...


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