Irish community radio licensing

June 29th, 2005 | by Andrew Ó Baoill |

News from the BCI today includes that they will tomorrow:

place advertisements in the national and regional press seeking expressions of interest in the provision of eighteen community and community of interest radio services nationally. This phase incorporates the beginning of the re-licensing process for thirteen existing community and community of interest franchise areas, in addition to seeking expressions of interest in the provision of five new community-based services in Charleville, Claremorris, Knock, Shannon and Sligo town.

While the (much anticipated) potential for new stations is welcome, it should be put in the context of the announcement that the BCI has decided not to award licenses to any of the applicants in Athlone, Carlow or Dundalk. I’d reported on the applications as part of my review of the rise of Christian would-be broadcasters in Ireland. Michael O’Keefe, the BCI’s Chief Executive, is quoted as saying that:

However there were a number of fundamental weaknesses in each application, particularly in relation to the nature of the proposed programme schedule in each case. In this regard none of the programming proposals were in accordance with the Commission’s Community Radio Policy. A detailed feedback report will be issued to each group in the coming weeks

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