“but come what may, we are switching in 2012”

Both RTÉ and the BBC report the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the UK and Irish governments “which provides a framework for continuing co-operation on broadcasting issues on the island of Ireland.” Specifically, on what will happen after the digital switchover in 2012. The memorandum is available here [pdf file]. From the RTÉ report

[Irish Minister for Communications Eamon Ryan] said: “At a time when there’s a lot of attention on North-South negotiations, it’s important for people to be able to access culture, sports, news and know what’s happening North and South. Having the BBC available in the South gives us a clear link with what politicians in the North are doing. Having TG4 and RTÉ available in the North is equally important so we have a common understanding on the island of what we have as a common culture.”

Adds Here’s the NIO statement.An Irish Times report adds

Negotiations with a number of companies to provide the €100 million digital system in the Republic – which have run into some difficulties – are still continuing, “but come what may, we are switching in 2012”, Mr Ryan said.