Televised inter-county GAA games should be available on free-to-air TV – Buttimer

Friday, March 28th 2014

  • Jerry Buttimer, a GAA member, former club chairman and former member of the GAA marketing committee, has called on the GAA to ensure that any televised inter-county championship fixtures are available free-to-air on the island of Ireland.

I am concerned at reports that the GAA is at an advanced state of negotiations with Sky Sports on a deal regarding the television broadcasting of some inter-county championship matches. Given the social and cultural importance of GAA inter-county championship fixtures I am of the view that all televised inter-county fixtures should be available free-to-air on the island of Ireland.

I have written to the GAA outlining my concerns and asking that it reconsider any arrangement that would result in inter-county championship games not being available on free-to-air TV on the island of Ireland.  I have also asked the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications to consider looking into this issue.

The GAA is part of the fabric of Irish society. For generations free-to-air broadcasting of inter-county games has been a focus of Sunday afternoons for many families.  It is these same people who enjoy watching championship matches that give freely of their own time to help run their local club.  If the GAA enter a contract with a subscription only television channel, many of these same people will not get to watch and enjoy the fixtures which are to be televised.

The GAA is a volunteer-led, community-based organisation which relies on the efforts of amateur players.  One of its core fundamental principles is the importance of community and every decision taken should reflect this ethos.  The broadcasting of inter-county championship fixtures on a subscription-only basis risks undermining this principle.  Given the significance of the GAA in Irish society, the organisation should make every effort to ensure that all inter-county championship games shown on TV are available free-to-air on the island of Ireland.

Copy of Letter to GAA available here.

Posted under Communications, National Work, Sport

Saorview re-scan must be completed by April 2 – Buttimer

13 March 2014

  • Saorview television viewers to complete the re-scan process by April 2, 2014 to ensure that they continue receive RTE One.

Saorview logoAll TV viewers who use the Saorview service must ensure that they re-scan their televisions before April 2 so that they continue to receive RTÉ One.  Last December Saorview launched RTÉ One in HD format, following this launch the broadcast of the standard format of the station will cease.  For viewers to continue to receive RTÉ One they must ensure that they have completed the re-scan process, full details of which are available on www.saorview.ie.

Preparations for the launch of RTÉ One HD began last October, since then over 60% of households have already completed the re-scan process.  For all of those who have already re-scanned their televisions and are now receiving RTÉ One HD there is no need to do it again.  Only those households who have not re-scanned their televisions must do so before April 2.

On screen messaging will appear from Tuesday March 25 as a further reminder of the need to complete this process.  Over the next three weeks I would encourage everybody to check with friends and neighbours who may need help in completing this process to ensure that they can continue to access RTÉ One television.

Since the switch of analogue television signals in October 2012 Saorview has enabled TV viewers to access high quality digital TV.  Over the coming months and years the Saorview service will continue to be developed, it is expected that later this year a HD version of TG4 will be launched.  Each of these developments will require a re-scan so that viewers can continue to receive the latest high quality free-to-air television.  Over the next three weeks I hope we can all work together to ensure that everyone can continue to view RTÉ One beyond April 2 without interruption.

Posted under Communications, Cork, National Work

Parliamentary Question: International Energy Research Centre

Question to the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Mr Pat Rabbitte, TD)

To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will provide an update on the Government supported International Energy Research Centre and the involvement of University College Cork and Cork Institute of Technology; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  – Jerry Buttimer.

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 16th July, 2013.

REPLY

The International Energy Research Centre (IERC) is a joint initiative between industry, Government Departments and Agencies.  Established in 2010-11, it is supported by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation working with a coordinated agency project team drawn from IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.

It is hosted by the Tyndall National Institute, based in Cork and part of University College Cork.  To date, six major industrial partners are formally signed up and actively engaged: Alcatel-Lucent, Bord Gáis Éireann, GM, HSG Zander, IBM and United Technologies Research Centre (UTRC).  The IERC strategy is to position Ireland as a leading edge location for developing integrated energy solutions where knowledge-intensive international and Irish companies along with leading research partners will develop innovative energy solutions for global markets.  Its focus is thus on turning research ideas into businesses and jobs.

Within this initiative over €5 million of research activity is underway across a number of research establishments in Ireland’s Higher Education Institutions – in NUI Galway, University College Cork, Cork Institute of Technology, University College Dublin, Dublin Institute of Technology and Limerick Institute of Technology.  These activities include development of new technology solutions, such as wireless sensors for commercial buildings, home area networks and smart factories, and are linked to international research expertise in the USA, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

Apart from its host role through the Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork is part of the research team on two projects, investigating wireless sensor technology, energy diagnostic tools for buildings and thermal storage materials.  Cork Institute of Technology is part of the research team on two projects, investigating wireless sensor technology and energy diagnostic tools for buildings.

Posted under Communications, Energy, National Work, Parliamentary Questions