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Irish TV Closure leads to job losses in Northern Ireland
28 Nov 2016 :
It's understood around 30 jobs have been lost as a result of the closure. It's believed around nine full-time staff were employed at the office with around two dozen others working for the firm. The Irish TV (NI) Limited office is based at the Torrent Complex at Hillview Avenue in Donaghmore, Co Tyrone.

Irish TV entered interim examinership in the Republic of Ireland  earlier this month and It's understood staff were told on Friday 18th November that the office in Co Tyrone was shutting and their jobs would be lost.   A meeting of creditors is due to be held at the offices of Grant Thornton in Belfast later this month.

In a report by the Belfast Telegraph, the Co Tyrone musician and presenter, Malachi Cush who was one of the station's best-known faces said: "It's disappointing for all the people who were employed by the company. But unfortunately, it's a difficult landscape, and leaves a lot of people in difficulty coming up to Christmas."

Mr Cush helped launch the station and also produced and hosted the Country Music Awards show, as well as being involved in other flagship programmes, such as Eamonn Mallie Meets.

"It's sad. I put my whole heart and soul into it and thought it was a good project, and thought there was room to go further.

"But there are a lot of people who have walked away who are much more employable now, and learned skills."

The broadcaster, which was launched in 2014, has been struggling after John Griffin, the millionaire backer of Irish TV, quit as a director last month.

The firm's operation in Co Mayo obtained High Court protection earlier this month after an unexpected funding shortfall and liabilities over assets of €8.7m (£7.42m).

Irish TV operates from Westport Industrial Park in Co Mayo and broadcasts a 24-hour channel on Sky, Eir and free-to-air services as well as an online video on demand service.

It also has offices in New York, London, Dublin and Kerry.

An independent report suggested the closure of the offices - including Co Tyrone - along with the implementation of a redundancy programme for certain employees, and reduced travel costs and expenses across all departments, could help assist in ensuring the station's survival.

A spokesman for Irish TV would not comment about the closure of the Co Tyrone office, but in a statement said its application to the High Court in the Republic for the company to be placed into interim examinership was "necessary and unavoidable.”

It said it will continue to broadcast, and will be "looking at all options to revitalise the business."

"A report presented to the court by KPMG outlined that there is a good prospect of Irish TV becoming a profitable business if a restructuring process can be undertaken and if new investors can be sourced," it said.

"All staff members at the company have been briefed on the examinership application and process."

It is still broadcasting 24 hours a day, including programmes such as The Foster & Allen Show and Ireland's Country, presented by Malachi Cush and Susan McCann.

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