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Written Answers. - Religious Television Station.

Wednesday, 8 May 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 465 No. 1

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 34. Kathleen Lynch Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  asked the Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht Information on Michael D. Higgins Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  if his attention has been drawn to proposals by a group entitled UNITAS 2000 to establish a religious television station; if his attention has further been drawn to the fact that the group hopes to use Teilifís na Gaeilge's frequency when it is off-air; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9186/96]

Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht (Mr. Carey): Information on Donal Carey Zoom on Donal Carey Under current legislation the provision of broadcasting services is a matter for RTÉ and the Independent Radio and Television Commission through its broadcasting contractors. Deputies will be aware that when details of the Government's decision of 20 January 1995 on costs and funding of Teilifís na Gaeilge were conveyed to members of the RTÉ Authority and Comhairle Theilifís na Gaeilge. It was indicated that an chomhairle in conjunction with the RTÉ Authority was free to bring forward proposals for consideration regarding the possible use of the network being constructed for Teilifís na Gaeilge when not required for this purpose that would generate non-Exchequer funding for Teilifís na Gaeilge.

Pending the establishment of Teilifís na Gaeilge as a separate legal entity, any proposal for the use of the network in this manner would have to be in conformity with the provisions of the Broadcasting Authority Acts, 1960 to 1993, and be under the overall editorial control of the RTÉ Authority. No such proposals have been received to date.

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