`Irish Catholic' Commercials

 

Sir, - The decision by the Independent Radio and Television Commission to ban the Irish Catholic newspaper from advertising on local radio (The Irish Times, February 20th) is nothing short of astonishing. It seems that this ban has been imposed under Section 10 (3) of the Radio and Television Act, 1988 which states: "No advertisement shall be broadcast which is directed towards any religious or political end or which has relation to an industrial dispute."

It seems quite incredible to me that a reputable newspaper merely seeking to expand its circulation should be prevented from doing so by the IRTC's wide interpretation of this sub-section of the Act. Quite a number of secular publications have political views and agendas and they are not prevented from advertising. The Irish Catholic treats important issues of morality and public concern in an intelligent, unsensational manner and it provides a forum for a lively exchange of views. The philosophy of the newspaper is decidedly ecumenical.

It is vital that this sub-section of the Radio and Television Act should be amended and fully clarified by the Oireachtas as soon as possible. The present situation is utterly absurd and this kind of rigid censorship is absolutely nonsensical. - Yours, etc., Anthony Redmond,

North Great George's Street, Dublin 1.