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BROADCASTING CAMPAIGN - VICTORY IN SIGHT
The campaign by pressure groups, emigrant bodies and Irish politicians to ensure that Irish television services are received by the expatriate community in the United Kingdom (and possibly further afield) appears to have been successful. We understand that RTE will be required to provide Irish emigrants in Britain with a television service
Cathal Ó Luain pour Celtic League le 4/01/07 23:01

The campaign by pressure groups, emigrant bodies and Irish politicians to ensure that Irish television services are received by the expatriate community in the United Kingdom (and possibly further afield) appears to have been successful.

We understand that RTE will be required to provide Irish emigrants in Britain with a television service under new legislation to be fast-tracked through the Dáil this month, or early in the new year.

The move is expected to cost RTE millions of euro, and the broadcaster is waiting to see the exact requirements contained in new legislation in order to estimate the final costs.

Last year the Celtic League at its AGM, held at Sabhal Mór Ostaig on the Isle of Skye adopted a resolution in support of the move (text below):

"This AGM supports calls from political leaders and community groups to extend all Irish TV broadcasting to the substantial Irish expatriate community in Britain."

We wrote to An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, in September of 2005 urging immediate action on the issue.

(See Celtic News No 1766 - AHERN URGED TO ACT ON RTE COVERAGE - Sept. 2005)

We understand that a new "Broadcasting (Amendment) Bill" will require broadcasting services to be provided to Irish communities to mirror the existing schedules of RTE and TG4.

Since the short-lived Tara TV satellite channel closed Irish people in the United Kingdom who wanted to watch any RTE programming could only do so over the internet.

It will now be possible via the new legislation for the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland to enter into contracts with multiplex contractors to provide Irish programming on digital television and radio, as well as on analogue television overseas.

However it is unclear at this stage if such broadcasts will be controlled by encryption or if RTE will follow the BBC example which saw all BBC TV services become free to air (FTA) on satellites covering the British Isles.

The latest developments do indicate the power of campaign pressure to move governments and the Celtic League will be encouraged by this latest move to press for better TV services in another Celtic country we 'have in our sights' Brittany!

J B Moffatt Director of Information Celtic League

16/12/06

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The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues. TEL (UK) 01624 877918 MOBILE (UK)07624 491609 (voir le site)
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