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    Sign the petition to save longwave

    By Noreen Bowden | October 13, 2014

    Update: RTE has backed down from the decision to shut down longwave broadcasts. They will keep broadcasting for an additional two years, until May 2017. The Department of Foreign Affairs has also pledged to conduct a study focusing on the needs of listeners. Read more details at the IrishinBritain website


    There is now a petition up at asking RTE to postpone the move to shutdown longwave.

    You might want to sign it, too. Here is the text:

    We are requesting that RTE keep its broadcasting services to the Irish in Britain. RTE announced with one month’s notice that it would shut down its longwave service on October 27. This move was done with no consultation with its listeners, and will be a significant loss to the whole Irish community.

    A wide section of the Irish community listens to RTE Radio 1 on longwave in Britain – people of all ages listen in their cars, sports fans hear GAA matches, and for many older emigrants, it is a treasured link with home. There are no adequate alternatives for many people: RTE advises listening online or via satellite, but these are not accessible to everyone. Listeners in Britain (and Northern Ireland) will not be able to use DAB, which RTE is also pushing as an alternative, as that signal is only available in parts of Ireland.

    Older people are likely to be hardest hit by the shutdown, and many of them will lose this powerful link with Ireland forever. As the chair of the Provincial Council of the GAA of Britain, Brendie Brien, has said, longwave provides “a home from home – and the shutdown would be depriving them of that.”  The shutdown will be “a massive setback to the whole of the Irish community…We have a lot of old people who wouldn’t be into modern IT – and who won’t have any access to Ireland whatsoever once that would go.”

    RTE does not know how many people are affected by the shutdown of this vital service and have not released the amount of money this will save. The longwave transmitter is only ten years old.

    We are asking for RTE to postpone the longwave shutdown until there are better alternatives for all the Irish in Britain.

    The petition is being shared on Twitter and Facebook – please sign and share.

    Topics: Latest News | 5 Comments »

    5 Responses to “Sign the petition to save longwave”

    1. patrick Toolan Says:
      October 13th, 2014 at 8:57 pm

      Can RTE postpone longwave closure until RTE is available on DAB or FM

    2. Noreen Bowden Says:
      October 14th, 2014 at 5:33 pm

      Unfortunately, RTE’s DAB and FM services don’t have the range to reach Britain. Right now they don’t have a good solution for the Irish abroad.

    3. Ann Lucas Says:
      October 14th, 2014 at 6:40 pm

      It was heartening to read Noreen Bowden’s opinion in the Irish Times yesterday. Am a trustee of Irish Community Services in Greenwich, Bexley and Lewisham and our Carers Manager, Eileen Taylor, added her voice to those of other organisations working in UK with older Irish people. My brother, who lives in London, and never missed a match or other programmes since he came to London in the 60s. There are thousands like him who are not computer literate and they are upset and feel betrayed that the plug has been pulled on this service. We came from a generation who only had the radio to listen to in our younger years and we are still avid listeners to this day. We feel betrayed and let down as It cannot be the cost of the service . Wonderful article and I hope the reconsider but they pulled RTE out of London. Thank you for your excellent article on our behalf.
      Most of course will not know that the service is going to end and I expect will spend hours trying to tune in.

    4. Noreen Bowden Says:
      October 14th, 2014 at 6:46 pm

      Thank you, Ann. Your message means a lot to me. I do believe it’s terribly wrong that RTE – and Ireland – would pull such a valuable service from people who gave so much loyalty to Ireland who have received so little in return. I agree that many will not know the service is coming to an end – my own uncle was in the same situation when they shut down medium wave. Keep spreading the word – it’s so important that RTE understands the seriousness of what they are doing, and the terrible effects it will have.

    5. W.Galvin Says:
      December 12th, 2014 at 9:39 am

      I listen on average for 20 hours every week to RTE 1 on long wave. I find it a lifeline to ” home ” although I have lived and worked in Cheshire England for the past 50 years.
      Many of the services are excellent especially the Saturday and Sunday morning broadcasts.

      Please keep broadcasting on Long Wave if at all possible,

      William Galvin