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Dublin: 14°C Tuesday 5 July 2022

Longwave radio service will be out for a month as works get underway to preserve it for another two years

Irish expats in the UK campaigned to save the longwave radio service.

Image: Shutterstock/T.Dallas

WORKS TO MAINTAIN the longwave radio service have begun after original plans to scrap the service were rolled back by RTÉ. 

RTÉ announced plans to end its longwave radio service in 2014 which sparked criticism from groups who said the move would isolate elderly people, particularly those in Britain, who rely on it to keep up to date with Irish news and current affairs. 

A group in Manchester signed a petition calling for it to be saved so Irish expats could continue to receive the service abroad, with some saying “having a voice from home” helped solve loneliness. 

Cancelling the service would have seen some older radio sets unable to pick up RTÉ Radio 1, with RTÉ’s director general Dee Forbes at the time saying it made the decision in keeping with “evolving technologies”. 

Representations were made to the Oireachtas communications committee on behalf of the Irish diaspora in Britain, and chair of that committee, Fine Gael TD Hildegarde Naughton has confirmed works have begun to ensure the broadcast continues for at least another two years. 

“The maintenance of long wave radio for the Irish diaspora has been a significant concern to the Committee,” she said. 

“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.”

As remedial works are carried out on the transmission equipment, mainly the antenna/mast, the longwave service will be interrupted for a period of time over the next two months. 

The majority of the work is scheduled to be carried out between Tuesday 10 September and Thursday 17 October, during which time listeners are being advised to use apps and digital television providers.

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