RTÉ has stated that the financial challenges it faces are “a serious threat to the future of public media” (‘Minister warned that RTÉ’s finances “not sustainable” as broadcaster reveals 122 staff are paid more than €100,000”, Irish Independent, August 8).
RTÉ is no longer sustainable. It has long since gone beyond its public service remit and represents a drain on public finances and a tax on citizens through the demand of the licence fee. RTÉ reported a €20m loss in 2017 and was allowed to sell State land for €107.5m to fund current expenditure whilst still receiving support through licence fees, advertising by State bodies, semi-state bodies and government departments together with commercial income and programme sponsorship.
Despite its funding RTÉ remains a bloated, mediocre and barely relevant broadcaster, with mediocre presenters, imported programmes and broadcasts.
It is less of a public media service and more of service to its highly paid employees and frequently employed and excessively remunerated contractors and ‘stars’.
The reforms in RTÉ have not been made and successive ministers have avoided dealing with this insolvent organisation which continues to see its financial challenges solved by “reforms to fix the broken TV licence system”, or in other words hanker after the “more than €50m a year lost through TV licence evasion and avoidance”. In this the irrelevance of RTÉ is identified and as more of the population tunes into other networks it is becoming more and more irrelevant and should not be supported by a mandatory licence fee.
It is true that parts of RTÉ provide a public service and those should be identified and retained. The rest could be sold off as it is a drain on public finances and citizen resources which could be better utilised.
Just as we don’t have public service print media – our present print media does a fine job for us – we don’t need public service broadcast media.
I wish Media Minister Catherine Martin well in her dealings with RTÉ and can only hope she will convince the Government to remove this financial burden.
Dromahair, Co Leitrim
Freezing but fabulous swim in summery Donegal
I was swimming in the sea in lovely Narin and Portnoo beach here in Donegal on Saturday morning before 8am.
The water was freezing but I stuck with it. As the saying goes, no pain, no gain. The feeling afterwards was pure heaven. Believe it or not, summer has arrived in Donegal.
Glenties, Co Donegal
Covid regulations bring the day our pub music died
Ian O'Doherty paints a very stark picture on the future of rural pubs (Irish Independent, August 8), stating that he “wouldn’t be surprised if they’re not allowed to open until January – at which point it will be too late for most of them”.
The sad reality is that his musings on this topic may not be far off the mark. Even if pubs were allowed to open today I wouldn’t be frequenting them anyway.
I have always preferred pubs that have live music. In Galway we have – or should I say had – a varied selection of them. I could go to Tigh Cóili in the city centre on a sunny afternoon, buy a pint of Bulmers, sit outside and strike up a conversation with a tourist.
On a weekend night I could visit the Crane bar, listen to a trad music session and strike up a conversation with another tourist as well.
Irish pubs the world over are known for the freedom and ease in which tourists and locals mingle. It’s what gives an Irish pub its special appeal. Tourists love to come to Galway and we welcome them with open arms. At least that was the way until very recently. Now we see strangers as a threat to us.
While some pubs are open in a fashion now, they are far removed from the image of a traditional Irish pub
If only for the fact that these pubs can serve food they wouldn’t be allowed to open at all. If the wet pubs were allowed open they would more than likely be operating on strict conditions similar to the restaurant pubs such as limiting your time on the premises and staying within your own “bubble”.
Sadly the traditional pub is dead in this country right now, irrespective of whether all pubs are allowed open or not. To quote WB Yeats: “All changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born.”
Lower Salthill, Galway
Arise, Midlands, you have nothing to lose but chains
First they came for Brian Cowen; then they took our turf and our jobs; next they came for Barry Cowen.
Now they have locked us down. Free the Midlands!
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