Works have begun today to help ensure the continuance of RTÉ’s longwave radio service for a minimum of two years, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Deputy Hildegarde Naughton, Chair of the Oireachtas Communications Committee, said: “I have received confirmation from the national broadcaster that works have begun today on elements of the transmission equipment which will help ensure the continuance of the longwave service for a minimum of a further two years.
“The maintenance of long wave radio for the Irish diaspora has been a significant concern to the Committee.
“Earlier this year, RTÉ committed to maintaining the service following engagement with the Committee and I am pleased that listeners abroad can now be assured that service will continue for a minimum of two years.”
Deputy Naughton continued: “While other long term alternative solutions continue to be explored, RTÉ has to undertake significant remedial works on elements of the transmission equipment, mainly the antenna/mast.
“Given the height of the mast this work has to happen now in advance of the winter. To facilitate this essential maintenance, and to ensure the safety of those undertaking the work, service was suspended for a time today and will be suspended again tomorrow, Thursday, from 9.30am until 4.30pm.
“This initial outage is to facilitate the preparatory work for a subsequent, more extensive and essential body of work to maintain this service.
“This larger body of maintenance work will be carried out between Tuesday 10th September and Thursday 17th October.
“During both of these times, RTÉ Radio 1 will not be available via LW, however listeners will be advised of the various alternatives available such as listening via apps and television while the usual service is off air.”
Deputy Naughton concluded: “I welcome the efforts being made to continue this service, which serves as an invaluable link between the diaspora and home.
“However I intend to work with the committee to explore other longer term alternative solutions to ensure this service continues in the long term.”