First Previous (PART I Preliminary) Next (PART III Sound Broadcasting Services)

20 1988



The Independent Radio and Television Commission

Establishment of Commission.

3. —(1) There shall stand established, on such day as the Minister by order appoints, a body to be known as An Coimisiún Um Raidio agus Telefís Neamhspleách—The Independent Radio and Television Commission.

(2) The Commission shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and power to sue and be sued in its corporate name and to acquire, hold and dispose of land.

(3) The provisions of the Schedule to this Act shall apply to the Commission.

Functions of Commission.

4. —(1) It shall be the function of the Commission to arrange, in accordance with the provisions of this Act, for the provision of sound broadcasting services (including a national sound broadcasting service) and one television programme service additional to any broadcasting services provided by Radio Telefís Éireann pursuant to the Broadcasting Authority Acts, 1960 to 1979.

(2) (a) The Commision shall enter into contracts (in this Act referred to as “sound broadcasting contracts”) with persons (in this Act referred to as “sound broadcasting contractors”) under which the sound broadcasting contractors have, subject to the provisions of this Act, the right and duty to establish, maintain and operate sound broadcasting transmitters serving the areas specified in the sound broadcasting contract and to provide, as the sound broadcasting contract may specify, a sound broadcasting service.

(b) The Commission shall also enter into a contract (in this Act referred to as a “television programme service contract”) with a person or persons (in this Act referred to as a “television programme service contractor”) who shall have the right and duty to provide a television programme service.

(3) The Commission shall not authorise a sound broadcasting contractor to operate a sound broadcasting transmitter and provide a sound broadcasting service pursuant to a sound broadcasting contract unless and until the Minister has issued pursuant to this subsection to the Commission a licence in respect of the sound broadcasting transmitter to which the contract relates.

(4) Any licence issued under subsection (3) shall be valid only for such period of time as a sound broadcasting contract between the Commission and a sound broadcasting contractor is extant.

(5) Every sound broadcasting contract shall contain a condition requiring the sound broadcasting contractor concerned to establish, maintain and operate the sound broadcasting transmitter concerned in accordance with such terms and conditions as the Minister sees fit to attach to the licence referred to in subsection (3), (including any variations made thereto in accordance with the provisions of section 7 of this Act) and so long as the terms and conditions are complied with, the contract shall have the effect of conveying the benefits of the licence to the sound broadcasting contractor and any such transmitter so established, maintained and operated shall be deemed to be licensed for the purposes of section 3 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1926 .

(6) Every licence issued by the Minister to the Commission under subsection (3) shall be open to inspection by members of the public at the Commission's registered offices.

(7) It shall be the duty of the Commission to ensure that every sound broadcasting contractor and the television programme service contractor complies with the provisions of this Act.

(8) The Commission shall have all such powers as are necessary for or incidental to the performance of its functions under this Act including, in particular, the power to require sound broadcasting contractors and the television programme service contractor to enter into financial bonds with the Commission and to direct a contractor to record any or all of the programmes broadcast by him in the case of a sound broadcasting contract or provided by him in the case of a television programme service contract and to retain such recordings for a period of 30 days after the recording is made and to submit the recordings to the Commission, if the Commission so requires.

(9) The making of a recording by a contractor pursuant to a direction of the Commission pursuant to subsection (8) and the use by the Commission of any such recording exclusively for the purposes of its functions under this Act shall not constitute—

(a) an infringement of the copyright in any work, sound recording or cinematograph film, or

(b) an offence under any of the provisions of the Performers Protection Act, 1968 .

(10) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (8), the Commission shall have power—

(a) to make such contracts, agreements and arrangements and do all such other things as are incidental or conducive to the objects of the Commission;

(b) to acquire and make use of copyrights, patents, licences, privileges and concessions;

(c) to compile, prepare, publish and distribute, with or without charge, such magazines, books and other printed material and such aural and visual material as may seem to the Commission to be incidental or conducive to its objectives;

(d) subject to the consent of the Minister, to arrange for the provision of services with or without charge for and on behalf of any Minister of the Government by a sound broadcasting contractor or the television programme service contractor;

(e) to require sound broadcasting contractors and the television programme service contractor to co-operate with the Garda Síochána, local authorities and health boards in the dissemination of relevant information to the public in the event of major emergencies.

(11) During the continuance of any emergency declared under section 10 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1926 , the Minister may suspend any licence issued under subsection (3) and, while any such suspension continues, the Minister may operate any service which was provided under the suspended licence or require such service to be operated as he directs.