Mr. Willie O’Reilly, chairman of the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI) has expressed surprise at the legal difficulties which have emerged in appointing members to the boards of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and RTE.
“The Broadcasting Act 2009 is a largely excellent piece of legislation that among other thing aims to ensure a wide representation of talent on key Boards such as the new Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and RTE. To meet these criteria the Minister introduced the innovative idea that in addition to appointments by himself, further nominations would be made by the Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Marine and Natural Resources. However, this process has resulted in the appointment of several people whose eligibility under the Act is being questioned”, he said.
“All of these people are talented people who have a contribution to make and who do not deserve to be put in this invidious position. The process provided under the Act has let them down, it has let broadcasting down and it has failed the laudable principles it was intended to support. Talented and reputable people are having their reputations sullied and a legal cloud now hangs over critically important boards and their decisions.”
“There now needs to be immediate clarification of the status of all the existing directors of the BAI and RTE. There further needs to be immediate clarification of the status of all decisions made by these bodies since these appointments were made. On behalf of the members of the IBI, I especially want clarification of the position in regard to the status of the BAI budget which will be funded by a levy imposed on foot of a BAI board decision on broadcasters”.
Lisa Ni Choisdealbha, Independent Broadcasters of Ireland: 087-2038956
Laurie Mannix MKC Communications: (01) 7038600
About the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland
The Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI) is the representative body for Ireland’s independent commercial radio broadcasters. The mission of the IBI is to champion the agenda of independent broadcasters in Ireland and to be a distinct and coherent national voice in the ongoing campaign for competitive equality across the sector.
The independent voice of Ireland, 63.3% of the population tune into independent radio on a daily basis. This translates into weekday figures of 2.393 million listeners. With more than 1500 people employed in the sector, independent broadcasters make a significant economic, social and cultural contribution to the Irish economy. The IBI represents 2 national radio stations, 1 multicity radio station, 4 regional radio stations and 27 local radio stations. For more information please visit: www.ibireland.ie.