Dáil Éireann - Volume 463 - 14 March, 1996
Written Answers. - Teilifís na Gaeilge.
Miss Harney Miss Harney
27. Miss Harney asked the Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht the discussions, if any, he has had with the authorities in Northern Ireland regarding the possibility of broadcasting Teilifís na gaeilge in Northern Ireland; and the outcome of these discussions. [3225/96]
Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht (Mr. M. Higgins) Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht (Mr. M. Higgins)
Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht (Mr. M. Higgins): I refer the Deputy to replies to earlier questions on this topic, in particular to my reply to Questions Nos. 54 and 56 on 26 October 1995. Columns 1686 and 1687 of the Official Report for that day refer.
As outlined in that reply, efforts, under the auspices of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference, to bring about a significant improvement in the reception of RTE television services in Northern Ireland have been ongoing for some time. Any improvements in RTE reception brought about by this process will apply also to Teilifís na Gaeilge transmissions.
A group established by the conference, comprising officials from my Department, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Transport, Energy and Communications and their opposite numbers in the British Administration reported to the conference that the removal of the power restrictions towards Northern Ireland of the RTE transmitter at Clermont Carn offered the best prospects of a significant improvement in RTE reception in Northern Ireland in the short-term.
Detailed discussions and technical analysis have been ongoing at official level between the Department of Transport, Energy and Communications and the Radiocommunications Agency in  London, with a view to identifying technical solutions to the concerns expressed by the British side about the effects that changes to the characteristics of the Clermont Carn transmitter could have on the reception of Northern Ireland television services within Northern Ireland. I am confident of an early successful outcome of these discussions.
When an agreed engineering position, identifying solutions to foreseen technical issues can be adopted, I am confident that political agreement to increasing the power from the Clermont Carn transmitter will be secured.
Dáil Éireann 463 Written Answers. Teilifís na Gaeilge.