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Dublin: 2 °C Tuesday 22 January, 2019
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Broadcast moratorium on referendum coverage starts at 2pm

The traditional radio and TV silence in the hours before polls open comes into effect this afternoon.

Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

A MORATORIUM ON broadcasters covering the Fiscal Compact referendum will come into effect from 2pm today.

The moratorium remains in effect until 10pm tomorrow when polling stations close.

It means that during this moratorium period radio and television broadcasts that are regulated in the Republic of Ireland will not be permitted to carry any content that relates to issues in the referendum.

It also applies to any person appearing on radio or television.

Michael O’Keeffe, Chief Executive of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), explained: “The moratorium is not intended to preclude coverage during this period of legitimate news and current affairs stories that are unrelated to the referendum.

“However, broadcasters should avoid airing content that it believes is intended and/or likely to influence or manipulate voters’ decisions during the moratorium period.”

Explanatory guidance on the moratorium has been published on the BAI website.

Counting votes in the referendum will begin at 9am on Friday at various count centres around the country with results being returned to the Central Count Centre at Dublin Castle.

Early tallies from count centres across the country’s 43 constituencies on Friday morning should indicate which way the referendum is likely to go.

Read in full: The Fiscal Compact Treaty in laymans’ terms (PDF)>

Read more: TheJournal.ie’s coverage of the Fiscal Compact referendum>

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Hugh O'Connell

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