I want to congratulate our local independent commercial radio stations on their allocations under a €2.5 million initiaitive by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.
The fund is aimed at commercial radio stations supporting information and understanding of COVID-19.
Galway Bay FM has been awarded €85,000, while Mid-West Radio and Clare FM have been allocated €95,000 each.
Local radio stations are a vital source of information and provide an essential service and support for communities.
My department, the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, asked the BAI to consider the initiative, which is being implemented under the Sound and Vision Fund.
Like most businesses, local radio is facing financial challenges as a consequence of the economic downturn during the COVID-19 crisis.
These allocations recognise the important role of local radio in our daily lives.
I am pleased that the BAI will also operate a funding round for community radio stations in the summer and a separate round later in the year for commercial and community television broadcasters and public service broadcasters, including RTÉ radio services.
The BAI has also agreed to waive the broadcasting levy for the first six months of 2020 at the request of my ministerial colleague, Richard Bruton.
A financial assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on the independent radio sector is due to be delivered to the Department at the end of the process.