Ireland

BBC in London urged to include Republic of Ireland cities on weather map

BBC in London have have been accused of treating the Republic of Ireland as "some kind of North Korea" for refusing to name key cities on its weather map
BBC in London have have been accused of treating the Republic of Ireland as "some kind of North Korea" for refusing to name key cities on its weather map

THE BBC in London has been accused of treating the Republic of Ireland as "some kind of North Korea" for refusing to name key cities on its weather map.

East Derry SDLP assembly member John Dallat wrote to the corporation to suggest it follow the example set by ITV, which he says now regularly show cities across Ireland on its weather maps.

Ros Smith, acting head of BBC Weather replied that it is regularly included in BBC Northern Ireland bulletins where it is "editorially relevant".

She said its network forecasts are "to serve a wider UK audience" and "forecasts for the Republic are included in the Europe forecasts on BBC World TV and on our website".

Mr Dallat said he was not satisfied with the reply.

"It breaks my heart to see a map of Ireland on the screen showing Belfast only as if the rest of the island didn’t exist or was some kind of North Korea behind an iron curtain," he said.

"Surely this sends out the wrong message that we are so badly divided we can't share a common weather map. Do they not realise that 30,000 vehicles cross this border daily and weather conditions do not respect boundaries?

"Are these really weather maps or are they political maps reinforcing partition and division at a time when there has been so many assurances that there will be no hard or soft borders on the island of Ireland.

"My request to include cities other than Belfast on the national weather forecast was to help people start thinking about Ireland in a wider context and give them a bit more information on the geography of the country. It was also to facilitate many thousands of people who travel between the two islands frequently, many on a daily basis using airports and ferry ports."