Monday 22 January 2018

From our archives

Two in battle for local radio licence

May 1989

The two contenders for the local radio franchise for County Wexford went head-to-head last week when they squared up in front of Mr Justice Seamus Henchy and the members of his commission in The Tower Hotel, Waterford.

In the ring were the brash newcomers, Corrmuda Ltd., trading as Slaney Side Radio, and the reformed 'pirates', Community Radio Wexford.

Corrmuda were first into the ring and they quickly gained some bonus points with the announcement that they had secured the services of national broadcaster, Noel Andrews, as the station's head of programmes.

Led by Eamonn Buttle, businessman and chief executive of The Echo newspaper, and Joe Casey, Director of Wexford Mental Health Association, they gave a high-powered display, promising proven business expertise, sound financial planning and a wide-based representative share-holding, professional broadcasting standards, purpose-built studios, and much more besides.

A slick and polished performance left them looking decidedly good at the end of the submission.

But it turned out that was the easy part. The tough part came with the courteous but relentless questioning of Mr Justice Henchy, a gentleman who, one feels, would not be unduly impressed by a smooth presentation.

In measured tones, the Commission Chairman probed the finances of Slaney Side Radio, the composition of its Board of Directors, and its relationship with The Echo Newspaper, and in the course of a rigorous and probing examination, raised several questions over its planned operations.

Next into the foray were Community Radio Wexford, with a track record of seven years in the broadcasting business, and an established base in Wexford. They based their application on the experience in community broadcasting.

Unlike their opponents, they had no big names to offer, and in their formal submission, they cited news, entertainment, comfort, challenge, culture, language, debate and relevance as the eight important components for the radio service they were offering.

One of the strong points of the submission was the spread of the shareholding over a number of community groups, which they claimed represented all aspects of the social fabric of County Wexford.

Alderman Dominic Kiernan, as the leader of the team, was then also subjected to a searching examination by Mr Justice Henchy, and again, interesting points were raised.

Overall, submissions for radio licences are a bit like election manifestos: they promise great things.

And if those promises come true in County Wexford, then listeners are in for a radio service that will operate for up to 126 hours per week and really put the frighteners on RTE.

Ten publicans fined for overcharging

May 1979

Ten Wexford publicans were severely dealt with by District Justice Dermot Dunleavy at Wexford Court on Wednesday, when they were convicted of contravening the Retail Prices (Intoxicating Liquour) Act of 1977.

Fines totalling £750 were imposed, and all defendants were also ordered to pay £3 expenses. Five of the defendants were fined £100 each while the other five were fined £50.

The offences were proven by Inspectors from the Department of Industry, Commerce, and Energy. Mr John McEvoy, State Solicitor, prosecuted on behalf of the Minister.

Mr Ed S. Doyle, solicitor, appeared for all defendants.

Most of the offences related to overcharging for Irish whiskey, while others were prosecuted for overcharging for both Irish whiskey and draught stout.

Five publicans were in court after they charged 39p for a pint of draught stout (maximum price allowed 37p) and 34p for a half glass of Irish whiskey (maximum 33p). They were fined £100 each: £50 for each offence.

Four others were were fined £50 for overcharging for whiskey as they charged 34p instead of 33p. The remaining defendant was fined £50 for charing 38p for a pint of draught stout instead of the maximum 37p permitted.

At the request of Mr Doyle, recognisances were fixed in the event of an appeal against each penalty.

Hotel to become a centre for refugees

May 2000

The Department of Justice and the Office of Public Works have publicly announced plans to change the existing use of the Devereux Hotel in Rosslare Harbour to an assessment centre for asylum seekers.

A public notice has appeared in national daily newspapers, more than a year after the hotel was bought for £2 million by the Office of Public Works for use as a reception centre for refugees arriving into the port, and six months after the ending of a lengthy protest by local residents opposed to the plan.

The public notices outline that the hotel will be used as an assessment centre, with the additional provision of support and information services, along with a medical screening facility. The change of use will not require any change to the existing fabric of the building.

It is also expected that the hotel will provide support and information services for refugees already living in County Wexford as well as services for new arrivals.

The riddle of the Wexford sands

May 1987

A mystery surrounds the sand at Wexford Quay, which in the past number of weeks has turned an odd shade of red.

In an effort to find the cause of the colouring, Wexford County Council, in conjunction with the Regional Laboratory at Kilkenny, will survey the harbour this week.

According to Assistant County Manager, Jimmy O'Leary, the red sand was first brought to the Council's notice three weeks ago.

Since then, he says, the Department of the Marine and the Eastern and Central Fisheries Boards have all been informed. Tests have been carried out, but to date, no firm conclusions have been arrived at.

Claims that RTE are battling the British

May 1979

A well-known Wexford television engineer claimed this week that reception of British television signals is being deliberately interfered with by RTE1 and RTE2 transmissionson the UHF frequency.

Mr Hamit Mustafa, of Wexford TV Centre, says that despite reassurances by the RTE authorities that new tranmissions would not interfere with existing reception of British stations, many parts of Wexford are now suffering and RTE are showing no intention of doing anything different.

The main interference, he says, is on BBC2 and HTV, with BBC1 being all right on channel 46.

Mr Mustafa says that in one particular area, just on the outskirts of Wexford town, interference is so bad that people living there cannot get BBC2 at all. Instead, they get RTE when they tune in to channel 40.

The interference, he adds, is worse in poor signal strength areas. Since the RTE1 and 2 transmissions are on channels 40 and 43, the same as BBC2 and HTV, the receiving aerial cannot distinguish between the wanted and unwanted signals.

He advises people with problems to have their aerials tested. If the problem persists, they should contact RTE.

Buy a new Lada!

May 1989

'Don't get taken for a ride. Forget used cars - buy brand new!' screamed a half-page ad in May 1989 that encouraged people to buy a Lada Riva 1200L for £5,495. Features highlighted in the advert included a two-year warranty, an AM/FM radio, and the ability to run on unleaded petrol.

Wexford People

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