JLNR figures

Newstalk continued to add listeners in the first few months of 2014, a new snapshot of the Irish radio market shows. The station, owned by Denis O’Brien’s Communicorp, is one of the main winners in the latest Joint National Listenership Research (JNLR) survey.

Some RTÉ presenters led by Marian Finucane have also increased in popularity, but there were losses for Seán O’Rourke, Liveline and theNews at One. Ray D’Arcy was the main casualty on Today FM, which saw listeners drift away from its daytime schedule.

As the listenership figures are averaged out over a 12-month period from April 2013 to the end of March 2014, they do not give a true indication of the full listenership of The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk and Today with Seán O’Rourke, which both began last September.

However, the figures suggest Pat Kenny is playing his part in boosting Newstalk, with his mid-morning slot listened to by 114,000 over the period. This is up by 18,000 since the last survey was published in January.

Newstalk Breakfast, hosted by Ivan Yates and Chris Donoghue, has increased its audience to 137,000, up 11,000 since the last survey, though the station’s other big show, The Right Hook, slipped by 9,000 listeners since the last survey, to 121,000.

Today with Seán O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio 1 now has 312,000 listeners, down 15,000 since the last survey.

Despite the upheaval prompted by Kenny’s move to Newstalk, Radio 1 has maintained its market share over the past year. However, there were mixed fortunes across the schedule.

Morning Ireland remains the most listened-to radio programme in Ireland with an audience of 444,000, down 5,000 on the last survey but up slightly over the year. But Liveline, presented by Joe Duffy, fell for the fourth consecutive survey. It now has 390,000 listeners, down 9,000 since the last survey, and 34,000 annually.

RTÉ’s News at One has also suffered following O’Rourke’s move to Kenny’s old mid-morning slot, with the bulletin shedding 13,000 listeners since the last survey, to 336,000.

On 2fm, Ryan Tubridy continued to decline, recording a listenership of 148,000, down 4,000 since the last survey and 11,000 over the year. It is too soon to calculate the performance of Breakfast RepublicNicky Byrne and other recent additions to the 2fm schedule.

On Communicorp-owned Today FM, the Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show was one of the few gainers, with the presenter holding onto all of his 189,000 listeners since the last survey and adding 14,000 over the past year. Ray D’Arcy now has an audience of 218,000, down 11,000 since the last survey and 25,000 annually.

The Dempsey and D’Arcy shows are the only two of the top 20 most listened-to programmes that are not broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1, which dominates the radio landscape with a 23.1 per cent market share.

Today FM is the next biggest with a 9 per cent share, ahead of its rival 2fm, with 7.1 per cent. Newstalk’s market share is still just 5.6 per cent, though it has made gains both nationally and in Dublin. Local and regional stations have a combined 52.8 per cent share of the market.

A total of 16,600 people were interviewed during the year-long survey period by the research firm Ipsos MRBI on behalf of radio stations, advertising bodies and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. Some 83 per cent of all adults listen to the radio on a typical day, tuning in for an average of almost four hours.

Power Lines and Grids – Up to date

Synopsis of Info on Pylons/Powerlines and Wind Energy from Department of Communication, Energy and Natural Resources



  • Rebuilding the economy, attracting and retaining foreign investment, creating jobs and growth all depend on safe and secure energy supply
  • Grid25 will develop and upgrade the electricity transmission network, taking several years to complete at an investment of €3.2 billion.
  • This involves building 800km of new power lines and upgrading 2,000 km of existing lines – double the size of today’s grid.
  • Putting infrastructure in place to enable us to use our own natural resources, helps us reduce our dependency on imported fossil fuels, create less carbon waste and reach renewable energy our targets
  • The Government will retain the electricity networks in State ownership as strategic infrastructure, to ensure they are developed and maintained.
  • Public acceptance and understanding of the need for new infrastructure is critical. This requires confidence that the highest international standards of health, safety, environmental and visual impact and technology are adhered to.
  • The planning process will ensure necessary standards are met and that comprehensive statutory and non-statutory consultation is built into the process.
  • The Government underlines its commitment to early, transparent engagement and consultation with local communities and stakeholders.
  • The Government does not direct EirGrid to particular sites, or routes, or technologies. The Government does expect EirGrid, to take account of international best practice, ensure value for money, and be informed by detailed consultation at local level.
  • The Government fully supports a “community gain” approach in the delivery of energy infrastructure

Health and safety

  • Both EirGrid and ESB are very aware of the potential health effects of electromagnetic fields, including those emitted by mobile phones and masts, wireless broadband, and radio and television transmitters
  • EirGrid designs and operates its network to the highest safety standards and complies with up-to-date national and international guidelines.
  • There has been more than 30 years of international research into electromagnetic fields (EMF). No research has ever concluded that exposure to EMF from overhead power lines are a cause of long-term adverse effects on human, plant or animal health. This includes WHO research (2007) on the biological effects of exposure to Extremely Low Frequency fields – which concluded that there are no substantive health issues related to ELF electric fields at levels generally encountered by the public[1].
  • This position was re-stated by the Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser in a report into possible health effects of exposure to electric and magnetic fields (2010):‘It is simply not possible for the level of energies associated with power lines to cause cancer’.[2]
  • All scientific, peer reviewed studies the Government is aware of conclude that EMFs have no detectable effects on animal health, milk production, fertility, animal behaviour or carcass quality.


Undergrounding” vs. overhead power lines


  • A review into the cost and case for “undergrounding” all or part of the Meath-Tyrone 400 kV power link concluded that there is no single “right” solution, but it did recommend against wholly undergrounding an alternating current cable.
  • The review estimated that the cost of implementing a high voltage direct current underground cable would be three times the cost of the traditional overhead line option

Wind energy export framework

  • The EU Renewable Energy Directive set targets for renewable energy for each member state, also offering a co-operation mechanism to allow one country to contribute to another country’s targets.
  • Ireland can achieve renewable electricity targets with capacity to spare, offering potential for export. Our offshore wind resource could be developed as an export opportunity.
  • This opportunity to harness renewable energy for the export market is being pursued with the UK Government.
  • The amount of energy to be bought by the UK is under discussion; however, a figure of at least 3 GW has been referenced by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change. Employment from a 3 GW project would be 3,000 to 6,000 in the construction phase, €1 billion of spending on civil engineering works over 2 to 3 years, and additional jobs in on-going maintenance of turbines over a 20-year operating life.
  • There are also significant interconnection benefits that would enhance security of supply, allow for increased intermittent wind generation and facilitate a single European energy market.
  • The Renewable Energy Export Policy and Development Framework will be prepared over the next year. It allows all stakeholders, including local authorities, potential project developers and local communities, to be consulted and to have an input.
  • This will be underpinned by an Environmental Report integrating relevant EU requirements for Strategic Environmental Assessment and Appropriate Assessment. The initial phase of public consultation began on the 23rd October.
  • The public and interested parties are invited to make written submissions, including on relevant environmental issues to be addressed in the Environmental Report and Natural Impact Statement to accompany the draft framework. The initial consultation will close on Friday 22nd November at 17:30.
  • Separately the Department of the Environment, the Department of Energy and SEAI are working on a review of the Wind Energy Guidelines published under the Planning Acts. These apply to all wind farm development in Ireland.
  • This review will examine the manner in which the guidelines address key issues such as noise (including separation distance) and “shadow flicker”, and draft guidelines are expected shortly for public consultation, with finalised guidelines expected by mid-2014.

Nuclear fusion now a viable energy source, claims scientist

Prospect of cheap, emission-free energy within sight, says UK atomic energy chief


Much of the world’s investment in nuclear fusion is concentrated in the ITER project in Provence, in which Ireland is a partner.

Read more

Issues of concerns notified by the Data Protection Commissioner to the HSE

Data Protection


Issues of concerns notified by the Data Protection Commissioner to the HSE

August 2013



The Data Protection Commissioner has recently corresponded with the HSE in relation to issues of concern which has come to his attention through reporting of Data Protection Breaches.

Read more

Basic Computer Training in Finglas and Cabra

Tolka Area Partnership basic computer training is completely free and
is aimed at people that have no experience of computers. It provides
an introduction to the following:

How to use the internet
How to send emails
How to save and attach a document
How to conduct an on-line transaction

Read more

Making Dublin digital. Lord Mayor Naoise O’Muiri is a hugely talented guy.

Making Dublin Digital – Plug in and have your say

What do digital technologies and online services mean to quality of
life in the capital?  The latest Your Dublin, Your Voice online survey
asks respondents to report on how and why they use the internet,
including the barriers, their use of digital technologies in the form
of smartphones, tablet devices and Apps, the importance of social
media in their daily lives and their views on connecting with national
and local government via online and smart services. The survey seeks suggestions as to how technology can improve the quality of life in cities and how we can continue to develop Dublin as one of the smartest and most digitally connected cities in the world.  The results of the survey will feed directly into improving the delivery and accessibility of e-Government services so that they can be delivered in a more cost effective and inclusive manner in the future.

Read more