Fine Gael Senator, Maria Byrne has criticised the national broadcaster, RTÉ for its failure to consider the human cost of closing Lyric FM’s Limerick studios while seemingly being more concerned about how such information was leaked to the media.

It is proposed that RTÉ will close its current studio in Limerick in 2020 with production of RTÉ lyric fm moving to Cork and Dublin.

The news of RTE’s cost cutting and restructuring plan broke late last night by The Irish Times.

Following this, RTÉ officially announced its plans to address key issues by providing an update on the broadcasters’ future strategy and plan to cut costs and restructure its current structure.

The RTÉ release states: “With so much detail now leaked into the public domain, our first priority was to contact all staff immediately with an update on the revised strategy, and plans”.

According to Senator Byrne the seemingly disregard for staff based at Lyric FM’s Limerick studio is a major concern and certainly highlights where their priorities lie.

“In a statement issued to myself and my fellow Members of the Houses of the Oireachtas colleagues last night, RTE seemed more concerned about how information with regards to its revised strategy and plans was leaked to the media rather than expressing any concerns for the 20-strong workforce currently employed at the Lyric FM Limerick studios at Cornmarket Square,” said Senator Byrne.

“It is concerning and disappointing that RTE have failed to contemplate the livelihoods of the hard working and talented staff based in Limerick city.

“While I am aware of the many challenges facing RTE such as changing audiences and declining commercial income it is of great concern that hard working staff at the bottom of the chain are the ones who are set to suffer the most.

“Up to 20 full-time staff, many part-time staff and contributors to Lyric FM’s base in Limerick now face an uncertain future.

“I will do my upmost to continue to fight for the staff and also for our national broadcaster to have a base and presence in the Mid-West, so issues in the region can continue to be covered and tackled by RTE. This is vital if we are serious about strong communities and balanced regional development.

“RTE most show that they have a commitment to regional development outside of Dublin. The licence fee is paid throughout the entire country, not just Dublin, and we deserve not to be left behind,” added Ms Byrne.


Photo Caption: Senator Maria Byrne (FG) visits RTE Lyric FM’s Limerick studio to discuss future of the future of Irish classical-music and arts radio station. From left to right; Lyric FM presenter, Lorcan Murray, Senator Maria Byrne,Lyric FM presenter, Liz Nolan and Eoin O’Kelly, Lyric FM producer

Contact Maria Byrne: 086-8300951

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