The BCI have been called before the Dáil Committee on Communications, Marine and Natural Resources where they will be asked to explain the process by which they took away Radio Kilkenny’s licence, and gave it to a newcomer. Noel Flynn, the chairman of the committee, has said that the issue is of great concern and that a legislature change may be needed to prevent other small local stations from also being disenfranchised.
Radio Kilkenny is a community-run radio station with a vast listenership in their present franchise area. However, earlier this year, the BCI announced that the boundaries of their franchise were to be realigned to include Carlow as well as Kilkenny, and applications for the franchise were invited. The station’s staff and shareholders were shocked recently when it was announced that the licence for the new franchise would be granted to KCLR – The Heart of the Two Counties, whose largest shareholder is a former CEO for Radio Kilkenny.