Research to assess listenership of RTÉ’s longwave service

The Irish diaspora in the UK has been urged to speak up on the importance of access to RTÉ longwave radio, including Sunday Mass, as part of a research programme to access the future of the service.

Last September RTÉ announced that its longwave service would cease transmission in October to allow it to focus on FM and digital transmission. Following criticism of a lack of viable alternatives for communities outside the Republic, the closure was postponed initially until January and again to 2017, to allow more time to “understand and enable the migration to digital platforms for all listeners”.

The Catholic bishops, who had voiced concern that ceasing longwave transmissions would “adversely affect” the sick and housebound who rely on their radios to listen to Sunday Mass, welcomed the postponement.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade announced on Monday that it is funding research to assess listenership to the longwave services among the Irish community in the UK. Minister Jimmy Deenihan encouraged the community “to engage with this process” saying he was “very conscious of the importance of the longwave service for the Irish community in the UK, especially the older members of this community, in maintaining their links to Ireland”.