Analysis of RTÉ Longwave Radio in Britain

This research poroject carried out by the Social Policy Research Centre in partnership with the organisation Irish in Britain, investigated Irish radio listenership among the Irish community in Britain. The RTÉ Radio 1 Longwave service has significant reach into the island of Britain. In September 2014, RTÉ announced the closure of its longwave service.

Following a public response from the Irish community in Britain, RTÉ postponed plans to shut down the longwave service. After further consultation, a decision was taken by RTÉ in December 2014 to defer the longwave shutdown until 2017. In the interim, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland and the Minister for Diaspora Affairs identified that the Irish Government would be funding research into the current level of listenership amongst the Irish community in Britain.

This study is the first of its kind and the findings from the research are intended to inform a decision on the future of the RTÉ Longwave service.


Focusing on listeners in Britain who tune to RTÉ Radio 1 via Longwave 252kHz radio, the current study aimed to gain insight into:

  • Frequency and timing of listening to the service;
  • Attitudes to the service and its content;
  • Benefits and/or perceived weaknesses of the service;
  • Potential alternative platforms for listening to the service;
  • Preferred methods of communication in respect of the service