15th November, 2001


To Douglas weekly,

Thank you for printing our last letter. The replies we received were really only what we expected, reply after reply from people totally disillusioned with the radio situation here in Cork. They could not understand why Cork bands should not be played on Cork radio.. The Perfect Mix of Music but no Cork bands. We received responses from several politicians. Meetings are being arranged. We are planning to hold a Gig in a large Cork Venue with many Cork Bands to highlight this problem. If there are any bands interested please emails us radioforcork@iol.ie. Following our meeting at the end of October we are looking for some answers and we have requested from the IRTC the following information. We have requested this information because we are looking for a Dail debate on this matter.
A history of all Licenses given out since the beginning of Commercial Radio in 1988
The owners
The Companies these are registered to
The Changes that have taken place in these licenses since then
Who owns 96FM now what is the division of shares
Who owned South Coast Radio
Submission Criteria for new commercial licenses
Under what section of broadcasting is Chorus allowed to Broadcast BBC2 Radio on its hours of non-broadcasting television programmers.
Radio licenses are being given out like sweet shop licenses and sold on accordingly. Radio is the part of our Country that has the most influence on our people. Radio owners are buying up all the regional newspapers for more media power. This area is becoming very irresponsible and getting out of control. We believe that there are some serious questions to be answered by the board of the IRTC. We also wish to know, what influence politicians have had on the granting of these licenses?
Cork has had only one commercial radio license for years. Why were other licenses prevented from being granted here while several attempts were made to secure more licenses? This we believe is totally anti-competitive for the population living in this area. We will be questioning the fact that South Coast Radio was owned and sold to 96FM by parties that have now being given a new license. We are also asking for an inquiry into the Lottery that was run in the early years of this license in Cork under the heading of community radio. While we in Cork City have had to endure HITS AND MEMORIES. The farthest from community radio any station could ever get. Then to find that this license has been sold off outside our state, this is the last straw. As for RTE in Cork the situation remains the same even though the station is closed CD’s are still being submitted for national airplay. But the reply is still the same: NO Reply. We believe this is the reason this station closed in Cork; it became so distant form Cork people that eventually no one would listen or advertise. And now they want a license increase, for what? This station should be owned by our state, for our state, as should some local twenty-four hour stations for our own Irish Culture. There is plenty room for the commercials after that.
Greed and Power seem to be the basis for Irish conglomerate radios stations today instead of what radio should represent: a reflection of our country. No radio for tourists. But maybe this is what the Politics and Government today in Ireland really represent. Ireland is only a small Country losing its identity to the world of Power Mongers. Give Ireland back its identity. We are sure that to be an Irish politician is a proud representation of our people. That is why we are confident that there are politicians in Dail Eireann who feel as we do. So we ask for a Dail debate to have a serious look at this matter. Give Irish musicians and bands our rights to our Irish Radio Stations. Stop this discrimination.
Email us at: radioforcork@iol.ie
Post Dept 214, 2 Crawford Hall, Wandesford Quay, Western Road Cork Ireland