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RTÉ cannot ignore their older overseas listeners with LW closure

I refer to Claire Droney’s enlightened article (November 7) detailing how the “sense of home will be lost with(out) longwave.”

Shutting off long wave Radio 1 LW has been postponed by RTÉ until January 2015 when transmission will cease as the station focuses on FM service, DAB, and Digital Channel RTE Radio 1 Extra.

The closure is regrettable as listeners will be unable to receive the channel on their car radios when travelling to and from work, missing GAA matches, Marion Finucane and Joe Duffy shows.

Radio is a perfect medium for comedy, narrative, everyday yabbering and storytelling as listeners tend to remember what they hear whereas TV distracts the viewer by flashing pictures, and camera acrobatics.

Surely, digital radio could go hand in hand with analogue radio which is transmitting to Britain since 1926, providing a vital service for the Irish diaspora there?

RTÉ’s wider plan to go digital claims: “LW is inconsistent with environmental best practice and represents poor value for money.” It is supposed to make savings of €250,000 yet last year, RTÉ’s wardrobe bill came to €366,000 to clothe their top stars.

Tara TV, the overseas television service, was closed by RTÉ in 2002 with no replacement in sight. For Irish emigrants in Britain RTÉ Radio is their primary source of news and LW offers a cheap, reliable, lifeline for emigrants.

Gerry Coughlan

Parkhill West

Kilnamanagh

Dublin 24


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