Limerick Council paid €49,200 for ‘extra’ episode of long-running RTÉ TV series

David Hurley

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David Hurley

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david.hurley@limerickleader.ie

The production costs of an episode of the popular television series, Eco Eye, were funded by Limerick City and County Council

The production costs of an episode of the popular television series, Eco Eye, were funded by Limerick City and County Council

THE production costs of an episode of the popular television series, Eco Eye, were funded by Limerick City and County Council on behalf of the county’s regional waste management offices.

Documents obtained by this newspaper under Freedom of Information show the local authority paid €49,200 to Earth Horizon Productions Ltd, which is behind the long-running series.

Correspondence between the production company and the Southern Regional Waste Management Office in Dooradoyle shows producers sought ‘sponsorship’ to enable production of an ‘extra’ episode during season 16. The additional episode focused on “hazardous waste prevention”.

In the documentation, the production company says its main objective is to “disseminate environmental issues to a wide Irish audience through the medium of television and audiovisual productions”.

The sponsorship proposal was formally approved by the Southern Regional Waste Management Office in September 2017 and the programme, which was presented by Duncan Stewart, was broadcast on RTÉ One television on February 27, 2018.

In his pitch for sponsorship, Marcus Stewart of Earth Horizon Productions stated the long-running series is “acquired by RTÉ and not commissioned, which means it is almost entirely funded outside of RTÉ by state and semi-state organisations”.

He said the additional episode would “encompass some exemplary examples of waste prevention around the country” and would “aim to inform the wider general public about the long term environmental and health implications of the current consumer society/economy, and will explore options for the general public to make personal choices”.  

In her reply, Pauline McDonagh of the Southern Regional Waste Management Office said funding for the additional episode had been secured (by SRWMO) from the Department of Communication, Climate Action and Environment.

It’s understood a number of meetings took place between the production company and representatives of the regional waste management agencies before production of the episode began.

According to the production company, episodes of Eco Eye regularly attract more than 400,000 viewers.