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Ministers welcome continuance of Longwave Radio Services

Irish abroad, Minister Charles Flanagan, MoS Jimmy Deenihan, Press Releases, Ireland, Great Britain, 2014

 

Dept of Foreign Affairs to fund research on Longwave Services

 

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan T.D., has welcomed RTE’s decision to continue Longwave Radio services until 2017. During that period, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will fund research into Longwave Services which are of particular importance to many elderly Irish emigrants living in the UK.

Minister Flanagan stated:

“Since RTÉ announced its intention to cease longwave radio services, I have been contacted by many members of the Irish community in Britain and I have heard, first hand, their concerns about the proposed closures. Many of these emigrants are older and are very attached to the longwave radio service which brings RTE into their homes and is, as such, an important link to their home country.

“My Department has engaged with RTÉ to find a solution to protect longwave radio services. Since the initial announcement by RTÉ, it became clear that there is a lack of data on who listens to RTÉ radio in Britain and how they access it. I have agreed that my Department will work with RTE and fund research to deliver a better picture of need to inform a solution acceptable to all.

“In the meantime, I very much welcome the decision by RTÉ to maintain services until at least 2017. I know that this announcement will be welcomed by those in Britain, and elsewhere, who have lobbied to keep the service.

“I know that my colleague, Jimmy Deenihan T.D., Minister of State for Diaspora Affairs, has also been discussing this issue with members of the community and those lobbying on their behalf. Our London Embassy has also been active on this issue.”

Jimmy Deenihan T.D., Minister for the Diaspora also welcomed the decision:

“I’m delighted with the RTÉ decision. I know that many people in Britain listen to Radio 1 for news and updates from home. But in my visits to Britain, I have learned that many more listen to it as a familiar soundtrack to their daily lives.

“While we may have preferred to see the decision reversed, this is an operational matter for RTÉ and the significant deferral of the closure will give time for people to prepare.”

Given the level of concern about this matter expressed by the Irish community in Britain, in 2015, “the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, working with RTÉ, will commission research to get a better understanding of how Irish people listen to Radio 1.”

 

END

Press Office
December 19, 2014