Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Joint Committee on Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht

Future of Public Service Broadcasting and Impact of Covid-19 on the Media Sector: Discussion

Photo of Mattie McGrathMattie McGrath (Tipperary, Independent) | Oireachtas source

I apologise for being a bit late. I do not have much time and I say that with no disrespect to any of the witnesses. I thank RTÉ. Every time I go to the RTÉ studios I am well received and looked after, which I appreciate. I have issues with the licence but I will not go into that today.

I really want to cut to our guests and discuss local media in Tipperary. I wish to refer to the savaging and gobbling up of titles, some of which have existed since the last century. Also, I wish to talk about the treatment of long-standing excellent journalists who gave huge service. They gave a quality service and are respected in the area but they were thrown to the wolves. These companies have availed of pandemic unemployment payments and other subsidy schemes arising from the Covid pandemic while running the titles with a skeleton staff. These titles have given valuable service to communities and communities are linked to them. The Chair has titles in her own county and every county has them. These titles are a household item and one would not have the weekly news if one did not have them. I pay tribute to the wonderful journalists who have been cast aside and trampled on. We have an awful and outrageous situation in Tipperary. It is shocking that there is no accountability or justice for these long-serving titles, the staff, their families and the communities that they served.

I also thank the local radio stations and local media. I particularly thank the radio stations for maintaining their link with family homes from morning until night, and from the cradle to the grave through death notices and other notices. Radio stations have come into their own in this time.

I have issues with the dissemination of funds. I believe that not enough funds go to independent radio stations and local titles. I would like to hear answers to my queries, please.


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