RTE International service put on indefinite hold…

First it was to launch by this year’s end. Then by St Patrick’s Day next year. Now, the satellite Diaspora TV service is to be postponed, possibly until the end of 2009 and given the bleeding edge cuts in the domestic budget, possibly indefinately. According to Minister Eamon Ryan there are 850,000 Irish born people living in Britain (and last year’s Broadcasting Act imposes obligations upon the state broadcaster to provide a service outside the island). Brian Greene suggests they just use RTE 2 for its orginal purpose (ie for the rights problematic programmes) and take the Sky encryption off RTE One… As he says: Simple! In the meantime Irish TV reckons it’s two fingers up to the Irish in Britain from the mandarins of Montrose… The Irish Post has a campaign on the go… RTE are maintaining radio (ahem, shouldn’t that be tv – ed) silence on the matter and letting the Minister take the rap…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty