Catholic Communications Office welcomes RTÉ’s decision to postpone closure of its Longwave transmitter

15 Oct 2014

The Catholic Communications Office of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference welcomed the decision today by RTÉ to postpone the closure of its Longwave transmitter.  The director of the Catholic Communications Office, Martin Long, said, “The decision by RTÉ to postpone its decision to close its Longwave radio transmitter is welcome as this will give more time to prepare and plan for the consequences of this significant broadcasting decision.  As the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference stated at the conclusion of its Autumn General Meeting on 1 October:

‘Serving its audience – especially a marginal audience – should be the priority for the national public service broadcaster.  RTÉ’s decision to close its Longwave 252 transmitter from 27 October on the grounds of cost, the environment and due to obsolete technology, will mean the end of broadcasting of worship programmes on this frequency.  It is also likely that the short-notice given by RTÉ will result in a net loss of listenership.  Bishops are concerned that the audience affected will be mostly rural, older, less well-off, living in the North of Ireland, as well as the elderly Irish in Britain.  Bishops ask RTÉ to consider postponing its decision and to undertake an audience survey in order to determine the actual number of listeners to its LW broadcasts of religious programmes; how prepared this radio audience is for a digital switchover; and, to determine which areas of the country (north and south) will be affected by this decision.  In tandem with such research, it would be very helpful if RTÉ sought to improve FM broadcasting across the North as good listening reception is inconsistent.’”


For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444