3 December 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
New Minister Appointed for Broadcasting
17 Jun 2002 :
Single Department of Communications re-established

An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern last Thursday announced the appointment of Dermot Ahern (no relation) as Minister for Communications and Natural Resources.

The new department encompasses both broadcasting and telecommunications policy, which were previously the preserve of two seperate department, Heritige (Sile DeValera) and Public Enterprise (Mary O'Rourke, who has lost her seat). The two departments concerned have been broken up to make way for the new Department of Transport. The new department is a very large one, encompassing not just broadcasting and telecommunications policy but also fisheries, the ESB, Eirgrid, Bord Gais, and mining.

Hopefully broadcasting and telecommunications will take a high priority in the new department. It will have to deal with the report of the Forum on Broadcasting later this summer. It will also have to implement the new Communications Act 2002 which was rushed through in a matter of hours just before the dissolution. The Act, when it is commenced, will abolish the ODTR and put in its place a three-person Commission for Communications Regulation. It is not known whether Etain Doyle will remain on as chairperson.

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