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Don't cut off the Irish in Britain

This petition had 2,029 supporters

We are requesting that RTE keep its broadcasting services to the Irish in Britain. RTE announced with one month's notice that it would shut down its longwave service on October 27. This move was done with no consultation with its listeners, and will be a significant loss to the whole Irish community. 

A wide section of the Irish community listens to RTE Radio 1 on longwave in Britain - people of all ages listen in their cars, sports fans hear GAA matches, and for many older emigrants, it is a treasured link with home. There are no adequate alternatives for many people: RTE advises listening online or via satellite, but these are not accessible to everyone. Listeners in Britain (and Northern Ireland) will not be able to use DAB, which RTE is also pushing as an alternative, as that signal is only available in parts of Ireland.

Older people are likely to be hardest hit by the shutdown, and many of them will lose this powerful link with Ireland forever. As the chair of the Provincial Council of the GAA of Britain, Brendie Brien, has said, longwave provides “a home from home - and the shutdown would be depriving them of that.”  The shutdown will be “a massive setback to the whole of the Irish community...We have a lot of old people who wouldn’t be into modern IT - and who won’t have any access to Ireland whatsoever once that would go.” 

RTE does not know how many people are affected by the shutdown of this vital service and have not released the amount of money this will save. The longwave transmitter is only ten years old.

We are asking for RTE to postpone the longwave shutdown until there are better alternatives for all the Irish in Britain.


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