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Today at the Flood Tribunal

Mr Patrick Taylor, former finance director of the UK’s Capital Radio who invested over £1m in Century Radio, said today that it was suggested to him that former Communications Minister Ray Burke was paid £35,000 by Oliver Barry, Century’s co-founder, in return for placing a cap on RTÉ’s advertising revenue.
The suggestion was made to him by Mr James Stafford, also co-founder of Century, in late 1991.

Mr Taylor also told the Tribunal that he was unaware that Mr John Mulhern, son-in-law of Charles Haughey, was an investor in Century Radio. It was not disclosed in the legal documents drawn up at the time of Capital’s investment in the station, he said.

In other evidence given today, Mr Paddy Corbett (Manager of Bank of Ireland, O’Connell Street) agreed that words recorded in an internal bank memo to the effect that Mr Oliver Barry had used his ‘political clout to get…a level playing field’ – referring to the cap on RTÉ’s advertising – were his, but he had no recollection of saying it.

Mr Séamus O’Neill, former marketing director of Century Radio, said that he had sold advertising prior to the station’s launch on the basis that the signal would reach 60% of the country on it’s first day of broadcasting and that it should not have launched, because at that point, only 45% of the country could receive the station. He had never been shown RTÉ’s transmission document which stated that it would take nine months before this level of coverage could be reached. This led to advertisers cancelling orders and it became difficult to get new business, he added.