Saturday 23 September 2017

New Bill calls for Irish music quota on radio stations

In September Labour TD Willie Penrose brought some of Ireland’s best-known musicians to Leinster House to discuss proposed legislation to guarantee more airtime for music of Irish origin on the airwaves. Joining a session outside Leinster House were John Sheahan, trad group Moxie, Phil Coulter, Tony Allen and Johnny Duhan. Photo: Tom Burke
In September Labour TD Willie Penrose brought some of Ireland’s best-known musicians to Leinster House to discuss proposed legislation to guarantee more airtime for music of Irish origin on the airwaves. Joining a session outside Leinster House were John Sheahan, trad group Moxie, Phil Coulter, Tony Allen and Johnny Duhan. Photo: Tom Burke

A new Bill calling for a 40 per cent minimum quota for the amount of music produced by Irish artists to be played on radio stations will be debated in the Dail this evening.

The Bill is being pushed by Labour Westmeath TD Willie Penrose who has called on TDs from across the board to "support Irish music".

Musicians Union of Ireland (MUI) has voiced its support in a statement released today.

MUI Organiser, Graham Macken, said: “The Bill proposed by Labour TD Willie Penrose seeks to amend the Broadcasting Act 2009, so that a minimum quota of airtime is allotted by stations for the broadcast of Irish music of all genres.

It's believed that without this quota, a new generation of Irish musicians will struggle to make a living and there is a risk that the indigenous Irish music scene will be diminished without the necessary support.

“Other countries, including France, Canada and South Africa, have successfully introduced national music quotas on their broadcasters and our members believe there is no reason that Ireland, with its rich musical tradition, cannot do likewise.”

He added: “The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has introduced a recommendation that a percentage of Irish music has to be played on Irish radio but that edict has been ignored and it is clear a legal basis for such a quota is needed. Members of MUI, which is an affiliate of SIPTU, will work with all parties and politicians who wish to assist in making this proposal a reality.”

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