DANCING With The Stars presenter Doireann Garrihy bagged more than €20,000 last year for promoting horse racing festivals like Cheltenham on her social media, The Irish Sun can reveal.
The 2FM DJ is among a string of RTE stars netting tidy sums from State-sponsored bodies and Government Departments for promotion or hosting jobs.
New figures show Garrihy was the top earning RTE influencer from State contracts last year after she landed two lucrative deals with Horse Racing Ireland.
The Dubliner was paid €13,000 to promote the famous Cheltenham Festival on her TikTok and Instagram channels last year. The video content included filming in trainer Joseph O’Brien’s yard ahead of the festival.
Doireann also scooped €7,000 from the State-backed HRI to raise awareness of the Dublin Racing Festival on her social media channels.
HRI paid the DWTS host a further €390 to promote the Galway Racing Festival on TikTok and Instagram.
In total, Horse Racing Ireland paid around €27,600 for Doireann Garrihy’s social media services last year.
The horse racing authority also paid significantly smaller amounts to other influencers to promote their races, including €1,000 to travel vlogging couple Zoe Hargan and Danielle Borthwick.
Other social media stars hired by HRI include Ali O’Driscoll, Pamela Uba, Dev Skehan and Melissah Mullins who received payments varying between €390 and €700.
The figures were provided in response to parliamentary questions from Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy who is seeking transparency around State spending on social media influencers and radio and TV presenters.
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Host of RTE’s How to be Good With Money Eoin McGee was the only star to come close to Doireann’s €20,000 racing promo contract.
The finance guru was paid €17,000 by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission last year to make videos.
Former RTE star Mary Kennedy bagged €4,305 from the Department of Rural and Community Development to launch the Our Rural Future campaign in 2021.
TV star Anne Cassin was paid €2,000 to host the Tidy Towns awards for the Department in 2021 and €4,000 for the job last year.
Explaining why Garrihy was hired to promote an horse racing festival outside Ireland, a spokesperson for HRI said: “Doireann engaged exclusively with Irish stable-staff, Irish trainers and Irish jockeys and promoted their outstanding success at the Cheltenham Festival entails.
“Irish racing always sees an uplift in sales for our racing festivals off the back of high-profile UK/International events like Cheltenham, Aintree and Ascot.”