LW252 to continue until 2019 as hoped for digital replacement is awaited

Following discussions between stakeholders the Long Wave service will continue at least until 2019. Localised DAB+ services are hoped for in new UK broadcasting legislation under way.

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St Patricks Day Parades UK

Manchester – UK’s largest parade on March 12th

Click for video clip 

Rochdale Mayor with Margaret Golden

From Dundalk I followed my sister Moira here to Manchester to train as a nurse in 1966. My mother saw an advertisement in a Catholic newspaper. I enjoyed my training and qualified as a state registered nurse in 1969. I met and married Patrick from Co Clare. We had two children, now married with children of their own. We enjoy walking, theatre, dining out and are members of various Irish organisations in the city. We just had a successful St Patrick’s Day parade on Sunday. Here we are in the photo supporting the diaspora!


Manchester

Mary Collins Liscarrol, Co Cork a key driving force for LW252
Background L-R :- Kay Sheridan, Co Galway, Rita Hanraghan Co Mayo.



L-R Myra- Hynes Butler, Andy Burnham M.P. (placard), Margaret Golden

Tony Gallagher, Margaret Golden, Anne Bohan, Festival Committee, Páidí Shine, Kerry, Christine Matthison, Claddagh Irish Dancers with supporting musicians to rere.


Huddersfield

Leeds  

 Tim Roach Cork

L to R – Margaret Hadd and from  Donegal – James Callaghan, Killybegs,
Annie O’Donnell, Dungloe, John Gallagher, Annagry

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    Manchester prepares for St Patricks Day 

 

Myra Hynes-Butler, Shaw, Manchester – a daily listener to LW252.

Myra has proud memories of early schooling in Ballydesmond which she completed in Banteer Cork before emigrating to a career in publishing. She is a regular visitor home with a sister in Mallow. Myra is a daily listener to and leading campaigner to save RTE LW252.

Margaret Golden a leading light in the campaign to save LW252.

Daughter of former Dundalk lighthouse keeper Frank Ryan and settled in Manchester since 1966 Margaret and husband Patrick are busy preparing sashes, banners and posters for Manchester’s St Patricks Day parade on March 12th.  Joining them will be former Dundalk neighbours Paddy and Susan Moore and Cork born friend Myra Butler.
Margaret and Myra have prepared sashes for every county in Ireland and of course her own the “wee county”.

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SONY DSC

Rena Cosgrove (top right), Secretary of Leeds Irish Centre joins campaigners calling for retention of RTE’s long wave radio service threatened with closure this coming May.

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Peter Fawcett is just back from a visit to Leeds Irish Centre where he caught up with Centre Secretary Rena Cosgrove.

This short audio clip of the interview is followed by a transcript: 

 

 Peter : Hello, I’m with Rena Cosgrove Sec of Leeds Irish Centre in Yorkshire.  Why do you think it’s important to save RTE long wave for Britain?

Rena : Well I think this wavelength keeps us in touch with events in Ireland our homeland and this is very important for the Irish Community in Leeds and elsewhere. By dispensing with it we would feel we don’t belong or matter anymore and for that reason alone it should be kept.

Peter : Very important points you’v made Rena and so what do you think would be the reaction if there wasn’t an RTE long wave in Britain?

 Rena : I think bitter disappointment and we’d be completely out of touch with what is happening in Ireland and that would make us very isolated.

 Peter : That would include the GAA games which everybody loves over here?

 Rena : Yes everything what’s going on as regards the music scene …..sporting …. everything in Ireland …. Government decisions and all that kind of thing.

Peter : Yes, well lets hope that the RTE long wave is retained for Britain.

Thank you very much Rena.

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Independent Senator Billy Lawless has called on RTÉ to retain
its UK long-wave radio service for Irish emigrants.
He told the Seanad on Feb 2nd 2017 that the service was due to be abolished some time this year. “There are more than 600,000 Irish-born emigrants living in the UK, with many of its older members forced out of Ireland in the 1950s with little education and no prospects of work at home,’’ said Mr Lawless. He said a survey, carried out by the Social Policy Research Centre at Middlesex University London a year ago, revealed 92 per cent of respondents listened every day or most days. Some 44 per cent listened in the car or in another vehicle, he said.

Older age groups
Unsurprisingly, it was the so-called older age groups who did not access the service on digital radio platforms, on a laptop or digital TV,’’ Mr Lawless said. He urged Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Joe McHugh to “implore RTÉ management to reconsider this ageist and discriminatory cut” to its long-wave service. “Nobody is trying to halt the digitalisation of our media or impede RTÉ in its process of modernisation,’’ Mr Lawless said. Mr McHugh said a survey in the United Kingdom had revealed 72 per cent of listeners were over 60, while 68 per cent were born in Ireland and 62 per cent retired.

A lifeline
For the majority of respondents, long wave was seen as a lifeline to Ireland, helping them to maintain a sense of Irishness and to keep up with events back home,’’ he added. Mr McHugh said the majority of listeners in the focus groups preferred the familiar analogue service as opposed to digital platforms: computers, laptops and smartphones. He said a meeting of a consultative group would take place in London next week to discuss the next steps and he was hopeful for a positive outcome. Ultimately, it was an operational matter for RTÉ, he said.

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Ministers Flanagan and McHugh Welcome Research Findings on RTÉ Radio Longwave Listenership

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan T.D., and the Minister of State for the Diaspora, Joe McHugh T.D., have welcomed the publication of research findings on the current level of listenership to RTÉ Radio Longwave Services amongst the Irish community in Britain. The findings also indicate that a majority of listeners have a preference for the current analogue version of RTÉ Longwave Services over that available via digital platforms, computers, laptops and smartphones.

Read the full story…

Or read the full report PDF.

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22 thoughts on “LW252 to continue until 2019 as hoped for digital replacement is awaited

    • Thanks Jonathan for your support in setting up a Facebook page. Many share your view. We know RTE Radio One is wiped out over a large area of the UK including London. A near zero cost technical fix can be implemented overnight.

  1. How can RTE fail to acknowledge an entire generation
    Demonstrating their passion as 600,000 Strong Irish
    Emigrant Community 175,000 within Greater London?
    Fantastic photos in Manchester Sunday 12th March

    iTU should “Authorise” frequency Uplift to 255kHz
    Algeria are currently broadcasting at 750kW (252.4)
    In breach of Geneva GE75 which also required RTE
    Reducing power 100kW (100,000watts) after 18:00
    100% Compliance from the Launch of Atlantic252
    28 +1/2 years ago. 1st September 1989.

    RTE should Optimise their 612kHz @ 100kW from 6pm
    Many of my parent’s Generation recognise ATHLONE
    490mts & former Tullamore 529m/567kHz Closed 9
    Years at 3pm on Easter Monday 24th March 2008. 🙁

    J.P. Coakley claimed on the RTE. 6.01 News that 252
    Longwave could be received reliably into London.
    A statement which should be fulfilled with complete
    Upgrade to 500kW as originally licenced by I.T.U.

    33% of its
    Current maximum, although licenced 500,000 watts.

  2. I live in Belfast FM is very patchy and DAB non existent all I have is LW so not just in England is there a problem-can’t say it often enough though

    • Thanks Richard.
      At best FM is patchy in N.Ireland. Only along border counties is reception any way acceptable.
      When MW was dropped RTE promised that LW would continue into the future.

  3. RTE SHOW YOU CARE…. KEEP LW 252 ON AIR
    Well it is all systems go with regard to our taking part in the St Patrick’s Day parade Manchester March 12th. Margaret Golden has been to the printers and the banner is on its way. We now have to engender support and call upon people to join us that day. We will not settle for another stay of execution. We want a commitment from RTE that we will be afforded a permanent radio station. We are a deserving generation of elderly Irish. We also appeal to the politicians to do more on our behalf. Some of these politicians will be flying out to all corners of the world to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. So give us an extra reason to celebrate on this auspicious date in the Irish calendar.
    Myra Butler
    Shaw
    Oldham

    P.S. We are attending “Echoes of Erin” at Irish World Heritage Centre this Saturday night. A great opportunity to drum up support and get as many as possible to walk with us on March 12th.

    Myra Butler
    Shaw
    Oldham

  4. Along with Myra Butler, Mary Collins and I Margaret Golden, will take part in the Manchester St Patrick’s Day Parade along with others, to highlight our campaign on saving RTE LW252. No definite announcement yet from RTE to say that it is continuing beyond 2017.
    Join us to show you care at :-
    Irish World Heritage Centre,
    1, Irishtownway,
    Cheetham Hill,
    Manchester. M8 0RY.
    On Sunday MARCH 12th at 10.30 am.

    We can demonstrate how we do cherish our link with Ireland, LW252

    • It’s really a shame that pensioners have to take to the streets and join the St Patricks Day Parade in Manchester to keep this vital link with home.
      Are there any politicians at all listening?

      • Let’s hope they are! On Wednesday next Martin Logan has invited us to voice our campaign on his radio programme ‘Out and about in Manchester’ on 96.9 ALL FM at 7.30pm.
        This will reach his many listeners to encourage them to join in the Manchester St Patrick’s Day parade on Sunday March 12th at The Irish World Heritage Centre, Irishtownway at 10am

  5. Save RTÉ 252

    I live in Greater Manchester. I am a long-term campaigner to save RTÉ 252 together with other issues concerning the elderly Irish in my area. You may know that the plan is to axe this broadcast in May 2017.

    I know this broadcast can be accessed by internet and Sky TV etc. However, I appeal for the forgotten race of elderly Irish… 70 years and plus. They do not have internet access and never will. They live on a very small British pension (unlike the generous Irish pension). They cannot afford Sky TV or any other.

    They need the simple appliance, ie, the radio. I know of housebound people, who rarely have anybody calling, who listen to RTÉ day and night. It is their friend, the voice of home. It allows them many a nostalgic trip to their roots.

    The Mass broadcast every Sunday is an absolute boon. Additionally, the added bonus is that the Mass is broadcast from different places all over Ireland. So that on some occasions, it possibly comes from their own home village or town. They carry the radio from kitchen to sitting-room to bedroom. My heart breaks for them and indeed for myself.

    Personally I listen to RTÉ 252 most of the day. It is always on in the background in my kitchen. My visiting family have got used to it and know more about Ireland and events than some of their cousins back in Ireland, as a result. I listen to it in my car… a joy. I approach all our people back home in the hope that they might help us to get the message across on behalf of the Irish diaspora.

    In the meantime we are going to make our displeasure known in the streets of Manchester on March 12th in the St Patrick’s Day parade. We are an elderly group and so passionate about keeping our RTE 252 that we will partake in this march at our own expense i.e. having banners made and posters printed. I say shame on you RTE !

    Myra Butler

    Shaw

    Oldham

    England

    • Folks at home are out of touch with the needs of the 6M UK Diaspora. Some initially misunderstood the listenership to LW252 when 3,000+ engaged in listenership research.
      The younger generation do not understand. The internet today dominates. Brilliant as it is it is not available to all. The older long reach long and medium waves have still a place until there is a system to replace them.

  6. I hope that the RTE1 longwave service can be maintained for listeners in Ireland, Britain and the near continental Europe. In the 70’s I worked in Chelmsford , Essex and reception of Radio Eireann 530 metres was difficult but was the only means I had of getting Irish news. A motorcycle ride on the A12 to central London was a daunting one to get an Irish newspaper !
    The powers that be are not interested in continuing the longwave service , saying it is out of date and costing too much. Cost is small in the overall RTE budget , considering some of the rubbish TV they transmit. But the Algerian station on the same frequency is high powered and causing interference , RTE reception is ruined here ( Cork ) at night , RTE should move the transmitter frequency .Let’s hope that RTE1 longwave continues for years to come.
    Des Walsh

  7. This is excellent news – now I can keep up to date with Irish affairs while I’m driving to work in Dover. My daughter and family moved to Ireland and although emails are fine they don’t allow much in the way of understanding issues local to Ireland, and the anticipated impact of such as the Brexit decision.
    But now look to moving away from 252 so we can continue to listen after dark when 252 is blotted out by the Algerian LW station!
    Next the BBC’s 198 LW transmission? It needs to continue for the Brits all around Europe.

  8. RTE 252 is very important to all of us Irish in Britain, helps us keep in touch with home. This is vital for those of us who do not have family in Ireland any longer.

  9. I’m surprised that RTE has not done a deal to get at least RTE 1 on UK Digital Radio? Ideally I’d prefer to see RTE 1 stay on LW indefinitely. I listen every day and don’t use the internet outside of my local library. If RTE 252 disappears it will hurt a lot of people. Aren’t people worth more than money?

  10. The transmission of RTE Radio 1 on longwave must be maintained even if the RTE chiefs want it buried – too involved with DAB (dead and buried ? ) and other digital escapades. Digital systems are too vulnerable to reception difficulties , can be hacked by undesirables , and have very limited radio range.
    RTE had three satellite radio transmissions of Radio 1 at one stage , only one now , and is not covering Europe any longer ( tight Astra 28 beam ) .
    The longwave channel travels hundreds of miles but unfortunately 252kHz is shared with an Algerian transmitter which has much higher power with the result RTE suffers much interference in southern areas ( of Ireland and Britain ) at night. Even can by heard under RTE in Cork in daytime ! A move to 261kHz should be made. The money saved by closing our longwave service is minescule in the overall spending on broadcasting.

  11. Oct 8th 2016 . I hope now that RTE has postponed the planned closure of the longwave service that it can be persuaded to keep the service going. However the 252kHz channel suffers from severe interference at times , mainly after dark, from the very high-powered transmitter in Algeria. RTE could and should move to a clear channel such as 261kHz , so that in the southern areas of Ireland and Britain clear reception can be achieved . Longwave signals are much more secure from hacking or other interruptions that digital sourced transmissions are subject to. Longwave transmitter to listeners’ receivers is only one link compared to the many of digital carried services . Digital services are weak in terms of security. RTE Longwave must be kept going.
    Des Walsh, Cork

  12. Here in Kent 252 comes in reasonable well during the day allowing us who have relatives in Ireland keep in touch with events and news that affects them. Listening in the car or at home gives a sense of being in contact and allows us to talk with some knowledge of what is of interest or concern to them. One current topic is the teue rms of the UK’s exit from control by Brussels. Analogue Long wave is simple, straightforward and works well without the dropouts and black spots we experience with digital services. To keep the British people informed of events in the Republic 252 kHz is pivotal. Without it, Ireland is simply cut off from its nearest neighbour. But at night 252 is hopeless. Algeria blasts through in French. So apply to the ITU and retune. As the BBC are equally challenged with 198 kHz how about a joint effort to keep both LW services going employing DRM techniques employing a single transmitter possibly located in the North of the isle?

  13. It is critical to keep Long wave transmission from Ireland. Not just for the Irish diaspora living in the UK but for many Irish people living in other jurisdictions.

    It should also be seen as a method of tourism promotion at a time when millions are being spent on promoting Ireland as a destination for English tourists. RTE are not using its broadcasting remit to promote the country. This is at variance with every other national broadcaster who routinely use their LW to promote their countries.

    LW broadcasting is another form of communication apart from digital and internet / Satelite. DAB etc. There is a kind of attitude abroad that LW is redundant / obsolete / old fashioned but this attitude has more to do with a kind of mindset within the broadcaster staff than reality.

    It is important for public representatives, and all others with any interest in promoting this country and supporting our diaspora to make it clear to RTE that a change in their attitude is required and LW must be retained and enhanced rather than binned.

    There are a number of options open to RTE to enhance LW252 which inludes broadcasting on LW 261 and in Analogue and digital. So there really is no logical reason for RTE to reduce its capacity in broadcasting and makes for bad strategic planning for the long term
    Mise
    Liamowen

  14. I’ve been a big fan of LW radio since I was in short trousers -BBC light wave 1500m and now 198 and when I travel to UK I always tuned in RTE 252 – if we pay our licence fee then we should be entitled to a proper service for all citizens and especially those who live across the world

    I continue to listen to BBC on LW

  15. My husband listens to RTE all day every day. We listen together sometimes. He is not able to use a computer so it would make a big difference to him if RTE closed down LW252. There are many others in Manchester who rely on this station to get news from Ireland.

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