My Parliamentary Question to the Minister for Communications on the closure of Lyric FM in Limerick is below. His response isn’t good enough and once again shows the lack of commitment to the regions from this Government!
* To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the reason Lyric FM is being moved from Limerick; his views on whether it is run in a less cost effective manner than the stations broadcast by RTÉ in Dublin; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that this is a blow to the arts and media in Limerick and a lack of commitment by him and RTÉ to Limerick and the regions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Willie O’Dea.
Section 98 of the Broadcasting Act provides that RTÉ shall be independent in the pursuit of its objects. As such, I, as Minister, have no function in RTÉ’s management of their day to day affairs, including the location of broadcast studios and services. My role under section 103 of the Act relates to a situation where a public service broadcasting corporation wishes to increase or vary the number of television or sound broadcasting channels it operates. This is not the case in relation to Lyric FM.
RTÉ has indicated that it will continue to provide a mid-West news service in Limerick and that it is committed to discussing the impact of any changes with those directly affected, via their unions.
The organisation recognises, however, that it must be financially viable while also developing a strategy that repositions RTÉ to take up opportunities in a rapidly changing broadcasting environment.