Dail Eireann

  • The Dail has passed a motion calling for some of the licence fee revenue to be invested in independent radio stations.

    Fianna Fail says a portion of revenue from the TV licence fee should be used for a Public Service Broadcast Fund to support independent local radio stations, who have to ensure that 20% of their output is news and current affairs programming.

    The Fianna Fail motion was passed this afternoon.

    During the debate, former Communications Minister Denis Naughten highlighted the important role played by local radio.

    The Roscommon-Galway TD referred to the severe weather events last year, and said independent radio stations provided a vital public service in times of weather emergencies, which should be reflected in funding for public service broadcasting.

    However, the Communications Minister Richard Bruton says he's concerned giving money to private radio stations would breach state aid rules.

  • Ambulance personnel who are members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association will protest outside Leinster House this afternoon, as part of their campaign to be represented by the union of their choice.

    PNA ambulance personnel have already staged strikes at a number of ambulance bases in Co Mayo in recent weeks in their dispute with the HSE over union recognition.

    The NASRA branch of the PNA represents upto 500 ambulance staff, but the HSE has refused to recognise the union for negotiating purposes.

    This afternoon's protest outside the Dáil will mark a new campaign of escalating industrial action, with two 24-hour strikes scheduled to take place in the coming weeks - once in the week beginning 27th May, and the second the following week.