GERMANY’S AMBASSADOR to Ireland has gone to the Gardaí over complaints that he can’t sleep at night – because RTÉ staff are working late doing work on the set of Fair City.
Busso von Alvensleben says that his official receptions at his residence in Danesfield, outside Donnybrook, are regularly disrupted by set designers hammering away at the Carrigstown set, located to the village side of RTÉ’s Donnybrook headquarters.
Staff say they had to ask a building crew to stop work at 1:30am one night in April, but had to call local Gardai when the work was still ongoing at 2:15am.
The ambassador is now one of a number of people who have lodged objections to RTÉ’s planning application to retain the exterior set, for which it recently emerged it only had a 10-year permission which had lapsed in 2005.
An embassy spokesman told the Sunday Times that the embassy had made a formal complaint to Dublin City Council and that RTÉ was given a verbal warning after the late-night works.
On one occasion the staff were even disturbed by small explosions on the set – though RTÉ did, on that occasion, give its neighbours warnings of its plans.
The embassy says it has no objection to “RTÉ having a film set within their extensive grounds but they do object to it being up against the wall of their staff residence.”
The Sunday Independent leads with a report issued by O’Connell St department store Clerys, which implicitly rubbishes the government’s claims to have successfully staved off the worst of the financial crisis.
It also reveals that golfer Padraig Harrington has lost about €4m he invested in a UK technology firm U4EA, while Dermot Desmond lost about €14.5m, according to its administrator’s latest figures.
Inside, Celia Larkin – the former partner of Bertie Ahern – says that the Galway Races are a much more enjoyable occasion without Fianna Fáil’s fundraising tent. Life magazine interviews Beyoncé.
The Sunday Business Post says that some of Ireland’s highest earners used a series of tax allowance loopholes to pay as little as 4% tax on their earnings in 2008.
It also reveals that Arnotts’ ill-fated expansion into the Jervis Centre cost it €40m, as the department store is forced to close off some arms because of its crippling €320m debt.
Inside it reveals that the rate of TV licence payments is down, according to An Post, while Ireland’s reputation as being a cinema-loving nation is under threat with attendances down 7% in the last six months.
Agenda magazine publishes extracts from a new novel recalling the moment the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.
The Sunday Tribune gives its front page to a secret HSE report which says that cutbacks in the health service pose a major safety risk to the elderly, the mentally ill, and mothers and babies.
It also tells how GAA fans have attacked the organisation for increasing the prices of ten-year premium tickets in Croke Park by 63% at a specially convened meeting of ticketholders during the week.
Inside it says that renovations works on Leinster House cost over €1m last year – mainly to keep the “crumbling 18th century residence” safe.
T2 magazine investigates the death of Phoebe Prince, the Clare teen who hanged herself after intensive bullying at her school in Massachusetts.
The Sunday Times leads with news that the bosses of commercial state companies are facing significant pay cuts, under new rules to be announced by Brian Lenihan in the autumn.
It also carries the slightly offbeat story that the German ambassador to Ireland has demanded that RTÉ relocate the set of Fair City, because work on the set wakes him up in his nearby Donnybrook home.
Inside it asks whether WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange is a freedom fighter or information terrorist, while Style magazine interviews Catherine Zeta-Jones.
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