The announcement that RTÉ Radio will continue its longwave 252 service until 2019, while it seeks an alternative service to facilitate Irish people in Britain, has been widely welcomed.
RTÉ had previously announced that it would close its longwave service, which includes the broadcast of Sunday Mass, in 2014 as part of a migration to a digital platform. The closure was postponed until 2017 following criticism, including from Irish bishops, that it would “adversely affect” the older, less well-off, living in the North, as well as the elderly Irish in Britain.
RTÉ has announced the service will now continue until June 2019 and in preparation, the broadcaster plans to launch a replacement service on DAB+ digital radio transmitted via a chain of small broadcast networks which cover the main urban centres in the UK.
Patrick Morrison, Chair of Irish in Britain, said he believed “that this way forward represents the ‘happy medium’”.
Sally Mulready of the Irish Elderly Advice Network said the proposals “will succeed because RTÉ engaged with our community in a supportive and imaginative way”.