RTÉ Cork studio essential to regional balance

Seán Sherlock TD
16 September 2019

Reacting to reports that RTÉ may consider selling the Cork studio in order to make savings, Labour Cork TD and Communications spokesperson Seán Sherlock said:

“Selling off capital assets will not resolve the funding problems of our national broadcaster. The report in the Irish Mail on Sunday that RTÉ is looking at flogging off the Cork studio would be disastrous for regional balance. Once off windfalls won’t make RTÉ more sustainable.

“As the national broadcaster, RTÉ has a responsibility to represent people right across Ireland and shutting down the southern base sends the wrong message. In fact the opposite should happen, and there should be a strong commitment to producing further news, current affairs and broadcasting content from our second city.

“Cork provides an important hub for RTÉ television and radio output, and this southern presence should not only be maintained but beefed up. It would send completely the wrong signal to sell the building. Most state broadcasters have regional hubs outside the capital cities that give variety to the overall output.

“The sale would only raise about €1.5m which would not make any real contribution to the balance sheet. I am also concerned about the doubt being cast over the future of Lyric FM which is based in Limerick. This would be a further blow to regional balance.

“Before any more kites are flown about sell offs and shut downs, we need to know what happened to the money raised from the sale of land in Donnybrook to Cairn Homes, and what savings were made from the voluntary redundancy programme. Cuts alone won’t restore the viability of RTÉ.

“A long term approach to investment is also needed, with thought to how it will impact the future of Irish public broadcasting. The Government’s National Development Plan is meant to focus on strengthening the regions. For RTÉ to retreat to its Dublin 4 base would send completely the wrong signal.”

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