By Sean O’Riordan
Plans are being finalised to set up the first community radio on a Cork island, and, also for the first time, to live stream the All-Island Football Championships, which will be held there.
Community radio will be launched on Bere Island before the end of the year and its progress will be monitored, over a three-year period, by UCC academics, to see what benefit it has for island communities.
It is being driven by Bere Island Projects Group, which is funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht.
Project co-ordinator John Walsh said they are going through the linensing process with the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI).
“We’re looking for a temporary licence, which will allow us to broadcast for a couple of hours every week,” said Mr Walsh.
Training will be done in conjunction with Craol, amateur community radio enthusiasts.
Mr Walsh said that the broadcasts are likely to involve heritage programming, music, current affairs, public information, and community news, and these items will be aired a couple of hours every week.
“All you need is an aerial transmitter and a phone,” he said. “You don’t need a readymade studio to do it.
“We will broadcast from Bere Island Heritage Centre.”
The island population is 175, but it swells during the summer months to more than 800, due to the arrival of holiday home-owners and day trippers, who would also benefit from the broadcasts.
“There’s a lot of potential for this,” Mr Walsh said.
Meanwhile, Bere Island is to host this year’s All-Island Football Championships, for both men and women.
It is scheduled to take place on the island next month and is expected to attract up to 1,000 players and supporters.
“We’re planning to live stream it on the internet,” said Mr Walsh. “This has never been done before.
Bere Island won the All Ireland Islands Tournament in 2005.
The island hosted the tournament in September, 2010, with the local women’s team winning the overall competition.