DOWN IN DANGER OF LOSING RTE and TG4 COVERAGE

Cllr Cadogan Enright at Down District Council

Cllr Cadogan Enright at Down District Council

The issue of Digital TV coverage cropped up again at Monday Night’s Down Council Meeting, as the latest reply from digitaluk on TV coverage in the Down area was discussed in Council. Cllr Cadogan Enright pointed out that digitaluk management seemed to be ignoring the fears of the council that neither the Saorview signal in Louth nor the Divis transmitter in Belfast was currently set up to cover Down District.

In response to queries from local sporting organizations, Councilor Cadogan Enright has been campaigning to ensure that when Freeview digital TV is launched next October that residents in Down District will continue to receive RTE and TG4 as well as UK television services.

Cllr Enright said, “I received written reassurances last year from the ‘digitaluk’ team at Havelock House in Belfast, but have recently been given new cause for concern when the management of digitaluk came to make a presentation to Down Council.”

“The digitaluk management team invited Down Councilors to examine www.saorview.ie to see what our likely signal would be from the Republic, myself and other councilors did so and we discovered that the Downpatrick, Newcastle and Ballynahinch areas will not be covered”. continued Cllr Enright.

“Worryingly, digitaluk’s team here in N.I. have confirmed that only one of the two transmitters in the Belfast area will be carrying the Irish as well as the UK stations. Blackmountain will have both, but the Divis transmitter will only have UK services – most TV’s in Down District receive their signal from the Divis Transmitter”.

Cllr Cadogan Enright said “A large number of people in Down District follow sports, News and even the soaps in Irish TV channels, and are annoyed that their coverage could be threatened in this way. Especially as the availability of Irish TV channels was expressly written into the Good Friday Agreement.”

“Over the last 10 years we have had several joint press releases from Direct Rule Ministers and their Southern counterparts promising that this would be dealt with, but we find ourselves in Down District Council having to write to both digitaluk and Saorview with only 5 months left before the switchover. I will be meeting with local MLA’s to address this issue and will continue to chase this up personally and though Down Council.” Concluded Cllr Enright

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