News & Media

Support needed for local radio stations says Howlin

19 March 2020

Statement by Brendan Howlin TD
Party Leader and Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Northern Ireland

Speaking in the Dáil today on the emergency legislation for the coronavirus epidemic, Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin called for support to be provided to local radio stations who are an essential source of information but suffering from a dramatic fall in advertising revenue.

Deputy Howlin said:

“In this national crisis, local radio is a vital source of information, and across the country hundreds of thousands of people get their news there. They listen assiduously to their station for the latest updates and advice, and it has never been more important.

“However, the fall in economic activity due to the shutdown of many businesses and people going into self-isolation is having a big impact on local radio stations.

“Due to the current crisis, many businesses have pulled their ads, cutting off vital funding for local radio. Already some staff have been laid off.

“Speaking in the Dáil today I called on the Government to please ensure that local radio is supported with a small amount of money so that this vital lifeline remains fully active throughout the crisis.

“I have written to the Minister for Communications to see if a fund can be delivered through the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland that would recognise the essential public service broadcasting role of local radio as a new source during this crisis.”

ENDS
An audio file of his comments in the Dáil is available here from 20 seconds in:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1QdmqPL3KOD40CATniRj5M-9QHefS7da8