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Irish actor and former ambassador for culture, Gabriel Byrne, has called The Gathering a "scam" Photo by: Time Out

After Gabriel Byrne slammed The Gathering it emerges he ran up $20,000 in expenses as cultural ambassador

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Irish actor and former ambassador for culture, Gabriel Byrne, has called The Gathering a "scam" Photo by: Time Out

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht have released figures which was the Hollywood actor spent $20,158 (€15,845) on hotels, flights and chauffeurs during his tenure as Ireland’s cultural ambassador.

Last week Byrne called the Gathering a “scam” aimed at gullible Americans. He told “The Last Word” on TodayFM that Americans were not receptive to being “shaken down” for money.

He said the Irish “don't give a s**t about the Diaspora except to shake them down for a few quid.”

Byrne acted as a cultural ambassador to promote development of Irish arts and culture, particularly in the United States. During his role in 2010 he received no salary but his expenses were paid.

Read more: The Gathering not a scam but an opportunity -- Gabriel Byrne right on culture, wrong on The Gathering

Figures released this week show that Byrne racked up a bill for $2,518 (€1,980) at Dublin’s historic Shelbourne Hotel and a bill for $2,379 (€1,870) at the Westbury Hotel, off Grafton Street, the Irish Independent reports. His other expenses including first class tickets, VIP and Club Travel and chauffeur services.

Following Byrne’s comments last week Jim Mily, the Gathering’s project director, this was “just one man's opinion”.

He said “The Diaspora and The Gathering are bigger than any one man, be it Gabriel Byrne or otherwise.”
 

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