Sinn Féin spokesperson for Jobs, Workers Rights and Pay Equality Maurice Quinlivan has said today that the announcement from RTÉ was a slap in the face for Limerick. RTÉ prides itself on being the national public service, but today’s announcement from them will make it more D4 centred.
If the broadcaster truly wants to be a national public broadcaster, must maintain not just its commitment to Limerick but to regional Ireland as well.
The Limerick TD said:
“For many years RTÉ has seemed detached from many people. Licence payers were often outraged that RTÉ was asking for more money while at the same time paying many of its top presenters massive out of kilter wages.
“The closure of the Lyric FM studio in Limerick is not acceptable and abandons RTÉ commitment to the regions as it retreats to D4. What economist can tell me that it will be cheaper to produce material in Ballsbridge than at the Cornmarket in Limerick? Along with their middle class, D4-focussed output, this decision shows how D4 centric the organisation is in its productions and now in its proposed future.
“The RTÉ facility in Limerick is a world-class operation and should be retained.
“I am also very concerned at the scale of the job losses indicated. Any job cuts must be carried out in full consultation with the relevant unions.
“The Government has a huge responsibility here as it has failed to address the funding issues at RTÉ for the last number of years. As an interim measure, the Government must commit to increase the funding that is ringfenced for independent productions at RTÉ.
“This would alleviate some of the pressure on the broadcaster, while creating jobs in the regions and supporting our indigenous screen producers.
“Public broadcasting must be an incubator for local talent, and both RTÉ and the government need to re-embrace this function if we are to have any hope of creating a genuine public service broadcasting sector.
“If RTÉ truly want to be a national broadcaster, it must retain its presence in the regions and Lyric FM must stay in Limerick.”