Northern Ireland news

Former Armagh All-Ireland winner calls for meeting with RTÉ over GAA block

How The Irish News reported on Sky's apology for blocking RTÉ's The Sunday Game
Brendan Hughes

AN MLA and former All-Ireland winner has called for a meeting with the head of RTÉ to discuss concerns over GAA coverage being blocked to viewers in Northern Ireland.

It comes after Sky viewers in the north vented their fury last weekend after being unable to watch RTÉ's championship highlights show The Sunday Game.

Sky issued an apology, saying it has been in contact with RTÉ and has "taken steps to ensure this will not happen again".

Former All-Ireland winner Justin McNulty

SDLP MLA Justin McNulty, who was part of Armagh's All-Ireland winning team in 2002, said he has sought an urgent meeting RTÉ director general Dee Forbes.

He said the issue that occurred on Sunday is "not a new phenomenon" for northern viewers, saying that many also experience problems with RTÉ Player access.

"I have sought an urgent meeting with the director general of RTÉ to discuss access for us northern viewers to our national sports and hope we will be able to make progress," the Newry and Armagh MLA said.

"For me it's very simple – RTÉ is our national broadcaster and it doesn't matter if you're in Dundalk or Dorsey, the service should be the same."

RTÉ headquarters in Dublin

Sinn Féin senator Niall Ó Donnghaile welcomed the apology from Sky.

"Viewers rightly aired their frustration due to being met with a blank screen on Sunday night. This only added to growing frustration among people in the north due to the constant blocking of RTÉ programmes, mainly sporting events, via satellite," he said.

"RTÉ and Sky must now move to put processes in place to ensure that the blocking of the Sunday Game and other programmes never happens again."

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