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For Oral Answer on : 15/02/2024
Question Number(s): 60 Question Reference(s): 6714/24
Department: Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.


To ask the Minister for Tourism; Culture; Arts; Gaeltacht; Sport and Media if she will provide details of the local community radio stations being supported by her Department; her views on the further expansion of the community radio station network in the State; and if she will make a statement on the matter.


Firstly, I wish to acknowledge the important role that the community radio sector plays within the overall media landscape, and I commend these stations as they fulfill a vital role in community engagement, cohesion, and in the promotion of social inclusion in our communities large and small.

Funding for the sector is not administered by my Department but rather by Coimisiún na Meán, through the Sound and Vision Scheme, which provides dedicated funding rounds for the sector. A major innovation in the current scheme has been the establishment of Social Benefit rounds for community broadcasters.

In 2020, a total of €670,000 was awarded to 22 community radio projects focused on social benefit, through a round exclusively dedicated to Community Radio projects. The following year, in 2021, a total of €516,300 was awarded to 19 community radio station projects, and last year funding of €710,000 was provided to 20 community radio projects. The most recent round of community radio funding recently closed for applications and up to €750,000 will be made available.

In addition to these dedicated funding rounds, community radio stations may also apply for open rounds of Sound and Vision, from which community radio has benefits from funding amounting to €1.14m in the period from 2020 to 2022.

I wish to assure the Deputy that I, as Minister, and our media regulator Coimisiún na Meán, are both fully committed to the continuing development and support of the wider media sector, and in particular regional, local and community media outlets, which fulfill a unique role in our media environment. However, it has to be noted that as the independent statutory regulator with responsibility for media development, the question of awarded contracts and licences for commercial, community and local radio stations rests with Coimisiún na Meán.