rat in the kitchen | 

RTÉ stars forced to eat elsewhere after staff canteen closed amid rodent infestation

The canteen, where meals are heavily subsidised by taxpayers, is alleged to have been contaminated by rats or mice or both in recent weeks.

Stock image: Getty© Getty Images

Eugene MastersonSunday World

RTÉ’S staff canteen is at the centre of an alarming rodent infestation scare and employees have been forced to eat elsewhere.

Stars such as Ryan Tubridy, Sharon Ní Bheoláin, Claire Byrne, Ray D’Arcy, Joe Duffy and Miriam O’Callaghan have been sent notification for dining alternatives elsewhere in the Donnybrook premises in south Dublin.

The canteen, where meals are heavily subsidised by taxpayers, is alleged to have been contaminated by rats or mice or both in recent weeks.

RTÉ admit there has been recent rodent outbreak in the premises but refused to clarify when asked by Sundayworld.com if the canteen has been infected by rodents.

"RTÉ has a number of controls in place to monitor rodent activity on our sites, which can occur from time to time, particularly due to building or other works on site or in the area.

“Where any rodent activity is detected, as happened recently, experts are brought on site to assess such activity and take the appropriate action, including precautionary measures. The main canteen is currently closed for essential maintenance,” a spokesperson told us.

Staff have been told to use alternative facilities in the building until next Friday.

Four years ago Ryan Tubridy revealed staff at RTÉ were worried about mice infestation due to building works next door

They include Bite café, which will be open from 8am until 6.30pm on weekdays, with a hot meal available from 5pm each day.

The Oasis room will also be transformed into a café, with the station’s catering partner Mount Charles serving teas, coffees and sandwiches there.

The café in the radio building will be open from 8am until 2pm tomorrow and from Monday to Friday next week, also serving teas, coffees and sandwiches.

The recent upheaval and catering changes appear to mean there will be no hot lunches or breakfasts available at RTÉ until after next Friday.

One RTE insider confirmed: “Yes. We have heard there’s been a rodent outbreak in the canteen and staff have been told to eat elsewhere while they are got rid of.

“There’s a bet amongst the staff as to which DJ will be brave enough to be first to play UB40’s ‘Rat in the kitchen’!”.

Belfast based catering company Mount Charles confirmed four years ago that it has invested £100,000 (€118,219) to deliver a “new experience” for RTÉ’s then 1,822 staff and visitors to enjoy at the Donnybrook campus.

Mount Charles, which employs 2500 people, said all of the menus on the Donnybrook campus have been developed exclusively for RTÉ.

Four years ago Ryan Tubridy revealed staff at RTÉ were worried about mice infestation due to building works next door to the south Dublin campus.

“They’re (the builders) doing a very good job from what I see, I’m not a builder but I got the impression, it’s clean, it’s not messy and not scrappy,” he said back then on his radio show.

“But they’ve unearthed a lot of the ground near where there will be our new neighbours, who we look forward to bringing over a bottle of wine and some cheese or whatever people do when new neighbours come in.

“But maybe not the cheese because I was told this morning that we have to be on high alert for mice.

“What seems to have happened is, with all the digging and what have you, the natural habitat of some of our rodent friends have meant that they’re looking for somewhere to go, and they appear to have come to our radio centre.

“Somebody said a mouse were doing the rounds. I swear it was like CSI Montrose listening to them this morning describing the mouse and then our friends on Ray’s [D’Arcy’s] programme were talking about it and we were talking about it, it’s the talk of town here, such is the level of diligence that’s put into these programmes...so the mouse is apparently doing the rounds.

“I said; ‘are you sure it’s not a rat?’, and they were like; ‘fake news, it’s a mouse’. I said; ‘are you sure it’s not a hoard of rats running around the place?’

“Do you remember what Vladimir Putin said about hamsters? He said hamsters are just rats with good PR. So maybe these are mice with good PR. I don’t know.

“I’m not sure what might happen but we’re all watching with great interest to see what might scurry across the ground.”


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