Broadcasting Act 2009

Number 18 of 2009

BROADCASTING ACT 2009

REVISED

Updated to 17 February 2024

This revised Act is an administrative consolidation of the Broadcasting Act 2009. It is prepared by the Law Reform Commission in accordance with its function under the Law Reform Commission Act 1975 (3/1975) to keep the law under review and to undertake revision and consolidation of statute law.

All Acts up to and including the Coroners (Amendment) Act 2024 (4/2024), enacted 16 February 2024, and all statutory instruments up to and including the Digital Services Act 2024 (Commencement) Order 2024 (S.I. No. 53 of 2024), made 16 February 2024, were considered in the preparation of this Revised Act.

Disclaimer: While every care has been taken in the preparation of this Revised Act, the Law Reform Commission can assume no responsibility for and give no guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up to date nature of the information provided and does not accept any liability whatsoever arising from any errors or omissions. Please notify any errors, omissions and comments by email to

revisedacts@lawreform.ie.


Number 18 of 2009


BROADCASTING ACT 2009

REVISED

Updated to 17 February 2024


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART 1

Preliminary and General matters

Section

1. Short title.

2. Definitions.

2A. Meaning of “under the jurisdiction of the State”: media service providers.

2B. Meaning of “under the jurisdiction of the State”: providers of video-sharing platform services.

2C. Meaning of “under the jurisdiction of the State”: providers of other services that may be relevant online services.

2D. Procedure for giving notices.

3. Repeals.

4. Expenses.

PART 2

Coimisiún na Meán

5. Establishment day.

6. Establishment of Commission.

7. Powers and functions of Commission.

8. Delegation of functions.

9. Conferral of additional functions.

10. Independence of Commission.

11. Membership of Commission.

12. Conditions of office of Commissioner.

13. Appointment of Acting Commissioner.

14. Chairperson of Commission.

15. Eligibility for appointment as Commissioner or member of staff.

16. Meetings of Commission.

17. Staff of Commission.

18. Superannuation.

19. Committees.

20. Consultants and advisers.

21. Power to impose levies.

22. Levies under section 21: enforcement and procedure.

23. Grant to Commission.

24. Power to borrow.

25. Deposits and charges for services.

26. Estimates and accounts.

27. Accountability of chairperson to Public Accounts Committee.

28. Accountability of Commissioner to Oireachtas committees.

29. Strategy statement and work programme.

30. Observations on legislative proposals and review of enactments.

31. Reporting by Commission.

32. Co-operation with other bodies.

33. Disclosure of personal data.

34. Co-operation with self-regulatory systems.

35. Policy communications.

36. Confidential information.

36A. Professional secrecy under Digital Services Regulation

37. Disclosure of interests.

38. Judicial review.

PART 3

Broadcasters — Duties, Codes and Rules

39. Duties of broadcasters. (Repealed)

40. Recording of broadcasts. (Repealed)

41. Advertising. (Repealed)

42. Broadcasting codes. (Repealed)

43. Broadcasting rules. (Repealed)

44. Inspection of draft broadcasting codes and rules. (Repealed)

45. Presentation of broadcasting codes and rules to Minister. (Repealed)

46. Co-operation with other parties — standards and self-regulation. (Repealed)

PART 3A

register of providers of audiovisual on-demand media services

46A. Register of providers of audiovisual on-demand media services.

46B. Duty of media service providers to notify Commission.

46C. Duty of registered media service providers to notify changes.

46D. Procedure where Commission notified under section 46B or 46C.

46E. Review and correction of register.

46F. Failure to notify or to provide further information.

46G. Removal of provider or service from register.

46H. Rules and guidelines.

PART 3B

Duties, codes, and rules applying to media service providers and sound broadcasters

Chapter 1

Interpretation

46I. Interpretation.

Chapter 2

Duties

46J. Harm, offence, incitement, and authority of State.

46K. Privacy.

46L. News and current affairs.

46M. Advertising.

Chapter 3

Media service codes and media service rules

46N. Media service codes.

46O. Media service rules.

Chapter 4

Retention of copies of programme material

46P. Retention of copies of programme material.

Chapter 5

Procedures in relation to media service codes and media service rules

46Q. Consultation.

46R. Laying of codes and rules.

PART 4

Redress

47. Code of practice — complaints handling.

48. Complaints process.

49. Right of reply.

PART 5

Enforcement

Chapter 1

Compliance with terms of contract

50. Investigation into affairs of contractor.

51. Termination or suspension of contract under Part 6 or 8.

Chapter 2

Financial Sanctions

52. Definitions (Chapter 2). (Repealed)

53. Investigation into affairs of broadcaster. (Repealed)

54. Report, findings, recommendations and procedures relating to outcome of investigation. (Repealed)

55. Financial sanctions. (Repealed)

56. Matters to be considered in determining the amount of financial sanction. (Repealed)

Chapter 3

Notifications

57. Notifications.

PART 6

Broadcasting Contracts and Content Provision Contracts — Commercial and Community Broadcasters

58. Interpretation (Part 6).

59. Broadcasting licence.

60. Variation of broadcasting licence.

61. Emergencies.

62. Restriction on award of sound broadcasting contract.

63. Sound broadcasting contracts.

64. Community sound broadcasting contracts.

65. Applications for sound broadcasting contracts.

66. Determination of applications for award of sound broadcasting contracts and television programme service contract.

67. Fast-track application process for award of sound broadcasting contracts.

68. Sound broadcasting contracts for temporary or institutional sound broadcasting services.

69. Terms and conditions of broadcasting contract.

70. Television programme service contract.

71. Content provision contracts.

72. Community content provision contracts.

73. Assessment of community needs in respect of broadcasting.

74. Electronic programme guides. (Repealed)

75. Rules with respect to programme guide contracts. (Repealed)

76. Transmission of broadcasting services by MMD system. (Repealed)

77. Must-carry and must-offer obligations. (Repealed in part)

78. Offences (Part 6).

PART 7

Public Service Broadcasting

Chapter 1

Public Service Broadcasting Corporations — Common Provisions

79. Bodies corporate.

80. Seals of corporations.

81. Appointment of board.

82. Criteria for board membership.

83. Appointment of staff member.

84. Terms and removal.

85. Chairperson.

86. Exclusions from board membership.

87. Duties of board members.

88. Meetings.

89. Director general.

90. Staff.

91. Superannuation.

92. Accountability of director general and chairperson to Oireachtas Committees.

93. Disclosure by members of corporation of certain interests.

94. Disclosure by staff and contractors for services of certain interests.

95. Code of conduct.

96. Audience council.

97. Advisory committees.

98. Independence.

99. Statement of strategy.

100. Sectoral impact assessments by Authority.

101. Public service statement.

102. Annual statement of performance commitments.

103. Ministerial consent for new services and variations in channels.

104. Establishment of subsidiaries and joint ventures.

105. Duty of corporation with respect to its revenue.

106. Advertisements.

107. Borrowings.

108. Transactions between public service and commercial opportunities.

109. Accounts and audit.

110. Reports and information.

111. Access to archives.

112. Code of fair trading practice.

Chapter 2

Provisions specific to RTÉ

113. Raidió Teilifís Éireann.

114. Principal objects and associated powers of RTÉ.

115. Broadcasting infrastructure.

116. Independent programme account.

Chapter 3

Provisions specific to TG4

117. Continuance of Teilifís na Gaeilge.

118. Principal objects and associated powers of TG4.

119. Accountability of director general of TG4 to Committee of Public Accounts.

Chapter 4

Exchange of Programme Material and Spectrum Licencing

120. Duty to supply programme material.

121. Public service broadcasting licence.

122. Emergencies.

Chapter 5

Allocation of Public Funding to RTÉ and TG4

123. Allocation of public funding.

124. Recommendations as to changes to public funding.

Chapter 6

Bealach Thithe an Oireachtais and Bealach Scannán na hÉireann

125. Bealach Thithe an Oireachtais (Houses of the Oireachtas Channel).

126. Amendment of Schedule to Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Act 2003.

127. Bealach Scannán na hÉireann (Irish Film Channel).

128. Oversight of public funding of Houses of the Oireachtas Channel and Irish Film Channel.

Chapter 7

Availability and prominence of public service programmes and services

128A. Interpretation.

128B. Must-carry and must-offer obligations for platforms.

128C. Prominence on interactive guides.

128D. Designation of public service audiovisual broadcasting or on-demand media services.

128E. Consultation and laying.

PART 8

Digital Broadcasting and Analogue Switch-Off

129. Definitions (Part 8).

130. Additional functions of RTÉ.

131. Additional functions of Authority.

132. Duty of Communications Regulator in respect of digital terrestrial television multiplexes.

133. Duty of Communications Regulator in respect of digital terrestrial sound broadcasting multiplexes.

134. Amendment of sound broadcasting contracts for listed simulcast services.

135. Regulations prescribing fees.

136. Applications for multiplex contracts.

137. Determination of applications for award of multiplex contracts.

138. Terms and conditions of multiplex contracts.

139. Analogue switch-off.

PART 8A

Online safety

Chapter 1

Interpretation: harmful online content and age-inappropriate online content

139A. Harmful online content.

139B. Power to specify other harmful online content.

139C. Procedure for proposals and orders under section 139B.

139D. Age-inappropriate online content.

Chapter 2

Designated online services

139E. Designation of online services.

139F. Power to require information relevant to designation.

139G. Requirement to designate video-sharing platform services.

139H. Procedure for designation of online services.

139I. Revocation of designation.

139J. Register of designated online services.

Chapter 3

Online safety codes

139K. Online safety codes.

139L. Application of online safety codes.

139M. Online safety codes: matters to be considered.

139N. Online safety codes: procedure.

139O. Compliance with online safety codes: information notices.

139P. Audit of complaints and complaint handling.

139Q. Enforcement of online safety codes.

Chapter 4

Complaints to Commission about harmful online content

139R. Complaints to Commission about harmful online content.

139S. Complaints which may be considered by Commission.

139T. Resolution of complaints.

139U. Principles for resolution of complaints.

139V. Complaint scheme: content.

139W. Complaint scheme: procedure.

139X. Implementation of schemes.

139Y. Review of operation of scheme.

Chapter 5

Online safety guidance materials and advisory notices

139Z. Guidance materials and advisory notices.

139ZA. Guidance materials and advisory notices: matters to be considered.

139ZB. Guidance materials and advisory notices: procedure.

Chapter 6

Ancillary matters

139ZC. Scheme for notifications by nominated bodies.

139ZD. Duty of Commission to encourage use of mediation.

139ZE. Voluntary arrangements with providers in third countries.

139ZF. e-Commerce compliance strategy.

PART 8B

Investigations and sanctions

Chapter 1

Interpretation

139ZG. Interpretation.

Chapter 2

Authorised officers and investigations

139ZH. Appointment of authorised officers.

139ZI. Commencement and terms of investigation.

139ZJ. Notice of commencement of investigation.

139ZJA. Notice of communication under Article 58(5).

139ZK. Powers of authorised officer.

139ZKA. Use of powers for other purposes of Digital Services Regulation.

139ZL. Search warrant.

139ZLA. Enforcement of investigatory powers by daily payment penalty.

139ZLB. Power to require intermediary service provider to take interim measures.

139ZM. Report of authorised officer.

139ZMA. Information about decision process following joint investigation to which Article 60 applies.

139ZN. Rules.

139ZO. Guidelines.

139ZP. Conduct of investigations.

Chapter 3

Decision of Commission

139ZQ. Division of Commission.

139ZR. Action by Commission after receiving report.

139ZS. Decision by Commission.

139ZSA. Decision following joint investigation to which Article 60 applies.

139ZT. Notice and publication of decision of Commission.

Chapter 4

Administrative financial sanctions

139ZU. Submissions and requests for information.

139ZV. Determination of amount of administrative financial sanction.

139ZW. Limitations on amount of administrative financial sanction.

139ZX. Appeal against decision.

139ZY. Circuit Court confirmation of decision.

139ZZ. Treatment of amounts paid in respect of administrative financial sanctions.

139ZZA. Reference on point of law to High Court.

Chapter 4A

Daily payment penalty under section 139ZLA: appeal and confirmation

139ZZAA. Daily payment penalty under section 139ZLA: appeal and confirmation.

Chapter 5

Notice to end contravention

139ZZB. Notice to end contravention.

139ZZBA. Daily payment for failure to comply with notice to end contravention.

139ZZBB. Daily payment penalty under section 139ZZBA: appeal and confirmation.

Chapter 6

Access blocking order

139ZZC. Access blocking order.

Chapter 6A

Access blocking order where Digital Services Regulation infringed

139ZZCA. Further notice to end infringement of Digital Services Regulation.

139ZZCB. Access blocking order in case of infringement of Digital Services Regulation.

Chapter 7

Content limitation notice

139ZZD. Content limitation notice.

139ZZE. Procedure in relation to content limitation notice.

139ZZF. Appeal.

139ZZG. Publication of content limitation notice.

Chapter 7A

Other enforcement measures

139ZZGA. Compliance notice.

139ZZGB. Power to enter into commitment agreement with intermediary service provider.

Chapter 8

Offences

139ZZH. Categories of offences.

139ZZI. Summary prosecution and costs.

PART 9

Television Licence

140. Definitions (Part 9) — order —“specified place”.

141. Laying regulations and orders —Part 9.

142. Restrictions on possession of television set.

143. Grant of television licences.

144. Regulations in regard to television licences.

145. Issue of television licences by agent.

146. Request to show television licence.

147. Statutory declaration.

148. Offences for not having television licence.

149. Reminder notification and fixed payment notice.

150. Reminder notification — effective date of television licence and recovery of licence fees.

151. Prosecution of offences.

152. Miscellaneous amendments.

PART 10

Broadcasting Fund

153. Definitions (Part 10).

154. Broadcasting funding scheme.

155. Objectives of scheme.

155A. Scheme for professional journalistic practices in local sound broadcasting and community broadcasting.

156. Amounts to be paid by Minister to scheme.

157. Broadcasting fund.

158. Reviews of scheme.

159. Winding-up and dissolution of scheme.

PART 10A

European Works

159A. Interpretation of European works.

159B. Share of European works.

159C. Prominence of European works.

159D. Reporting.

159E. European works levy.

159F. European works scheme.

159G. Procedure for making schemes under section 159F.

159H. Designation of Fís Éireann for the purpose of making a European works scheme.

159I. Exemptions for particular services.

159J. Laying of rules, orders and schemes.

PART 11

Major Events Television Coverage

160. Definitions (Part 11).

161. Application.

162. Designation of major events.

163. Consultation.

164. Broadcasters’ duties with respect to designated events.

165. Broadcasters’ duties with respect to Member State events.

166. Civil remedies.

167. Reasonable market rates.

168. Qualifying broadcaster may apply to High Court to obtain rights from event organiser to provide coverage of designated event on free television services in State, etc.

169. Arbitration in respect of reasonable market rates where event organiser is willing to sell broadcasting rights to designated event to qualifying broadcaster.

170. Criteria for determining reasonable market rates.

171. Obligation to give copy of agreement or arrangement to broadcasting rights to Minister.

172. Service of directions and notification.

173. Review of designated events.

PART 12

Transitional Provisions

174. Dissolution of BCI and saver. (Repealed)

175. Dissolution of BCC and saver. (Repealed)

176. Transitional provisions — BCI. (Repealed)

177. Transitional provisions — BCC. (Repealed)

178. Final accounts of BCI. (Repealed)

179. Continuance of Ministerial consents given in respect of public service broadcasters. (Repealed)

PART 13

Wireless Telegraphy

180. Collective citations — Wireless Telegraphy Acts.

181. Amendment of Broadcasting and Wireless Telegraphy Acts (increase of fines, etc.).

182. Matters relating to wireless telegraphy.

PART 14

Miscellaneous

183. Amendment to definitions in Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000.

184. Minister’s functions in relation to electronic communications networks and electronic communications services.

185. Amendment of section 5 of Act of 1998 (advertisement, etc., by Referendum Commission).

PART 15

Digital Services

Chapter 1

Interpretation

186. Interpretation (Part 15).

Chapter 2

Vetted researchers, trusted flaggers and out-of-court settlement bodies

187. Designation of vetted researchers.

188. Termination of data access.

189. Review of refusal of designation or revocation of designation.

190. Award of trusted flagger status.

191. Revocation of status as trusted flagger.

192. Review of refusal of designation or revocation of designation.

193. Certification of out-of-court dispute settlement bodies.

194. Revocation of certification as out-of-court dispute settlement body.

195. Review of refusal of certification or revocation of certification.

196. Representations.

197. Investigation of trusted flagger, vetted researcher or out-of-court dispute settlement body.

Chapter 3

Miscellaneous

198. Orders to act against illegal content.

199. Orders to provide information.

200. Fees.

201. Complaints to Commission concerning Digital Services Regulation.

202. Offences.

SCHEDULE 1

Enactments Repealed

SCHEDULE 2

Sections 5 to 9 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1926

SCHEDULE 3

Harmful Online Content: Offence-Specific Categories

SCHEDULE 4

Oral hearings


Acts Referred to

British-Irish Agreement Act 1999

1999, No. 1

Broadcasting (Amendment) Act 2007

2007,No. 15

Broadcasting (Funding) Act 2003

2003,No. 43

Broadcasting (Major Events Television Coverage) (Amendment) Act 2003

2003,No. 13

Broadcasting (Major Events Television Coverage) Act 1999

1999,No. 28

Broadcasting (Offences) Act 1968

1968,No. 35

Broadcasting (Offences) Acts 1968 and 1988

Broadcasting Act 1990

1990,No. 24

Broadcasting Act 2001

2001,No. 4

Broadcasting and Wireless Telegraphy Act 1988

1988,No. 19

Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Act 1964

1964,No. 4

Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Act 1966

1966,No. 7

Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Act 1971

1971,No. 2

Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Act 1973

1973,No. 1

Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Act 1974

1974,No. 33

Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Act 1976

1976,No. 37

Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Act 1979

1979,No. 36

Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Act 1993

1993,No. 15

Broadcasting Authority Act 1960

1960,No. 10

Communications Regulation Act 2002

2002,No. 20

Communications Regulation (Amendment) Act 2007

2007,No. 22

Companies Act 1963

1963,No. 33

Companies Act 1990

1990,No. 33

Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Act 1993

1993,No. 8

Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000

2000,No. 28

Disability Act 2005

2005,No. 14

Ethics in Public Office Act 1995

1995,No. 22

European Communities (Amendment) Act 1993

1993,No. 25

European Parliament Elections Act 1997

1997,No. 2

Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Act 2003

2003,No. 28

Intoxicating Liquor Act 2003

2003,No. 31

Local Government Act 2001

2001,No. 37

Maritime Safety Act 2005

2005,No. 11

Mercantile Marine Act 1955

1955,No. 29

Police (Property) Act 1897

60 & 61 Vic. c. 30.

Postal and Telecommunications Services Act 1983

1983,No. 24

Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989

1989,No. 19

Radio and Television Act 1988

1988,No. 20

Referendum Act 1998

1998,No. 1

Registration of Clubs (Ireland) Act 1904

4 Edw. 7, c. 9

Road Traffic Act 1961

1961,No. 24

Wireless Telegraphy Act 1926

1926,No. 45

Wireless Telegraphy Act 1972

1972,No. 5

Wireless Telegraphy Acts 1926 to 1988

Wireless Telegraph Act 1956

1956,No. 4


Number 18 of 2009


BROADCASTING ACT 2009

REVISED

Updated to 17 February 2024


AN ACT TO REVISE THE LAW RELATING TO BROADCASTING SERVICES AND CONTENT AND FOR THAT PURPOSE TO ESTABLISH AN AUTHORITY TO BE KNOWN AS, IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, THE BROADCASTING AUTHORITY OF IRELAND OR, IN THE IRISH LANGUAGE, ÚDARÁS CRAOLACHÁIN NA hÉIREANN, TO DISSOLVE THE BROADCASTING COMMISSION OF IRELAND AND THE BROADCASTING COMPLAINTS COMMISSION, TO AMEND AND REPEAL CERTAIN ENACTMENTS RELATING TO BROADCASTING, TO PROVIDE FOR MATTERS RELATING TO TELEVISION LICENCES, TO PROVIDE FOR THE REGULATION AND PROVISION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES AND TO PROVIDE FOR CONNECTED MATTERS.

[12th July, 2009]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

Annotations

Modifications (not altering text):

C1

Functions transferred and references to Broadcasting Authority of Ireland ("Authority") construed as Coimisiún na Meán ("Commission") (15.03.2023, establishment day) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 60, S.I. Nos. 71, 72 of 2023.

Transfer of functions

60. (1) On the establishment day all functions that immediately before the establishment day were vested in the Authority or the statutory committees are transferred to the Commission.

(2) Unless otherwise provided, references to the Authority, or to the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland, in any Act of the Oireachtas passed before the establishment day, other than this Act, or in any instrument made before that day under an Act of the Oireachtas shall, on and after that day, be construed as references to the Commission.

(3) Unless otherwise provided, references to the Contract Awards Committee or the Compliance Committee in any Act of the Oireachtas passed before the establishment day, other than this Act, or in an instrument made before that day under an Act of the Oireachtas shall, on and after that day, be construed as references to the Commission.

C2

Name of Department and title of Minister changed from Communications, Energy and Natural Resources to Communications, Climate Action and Environment (23.07.2016) by Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Alteration of Name of Department and Title of Minister) Order 2016 (S.I. No. 421 of 2016). Functions transferred and references to Department of and Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment construed (23.09.2020) by Broadcasting (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2020 (S.I. No. 372 of 2020), arts. 2 and 3 and sch. part 1, in effect as per art. 1(2), subject to transitional provisions in arts. 4-8. Note change of Department's name and Minister's title from Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (30.09.2020) by Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Alteration of Name of Department and Title of Minister) Order 2020 (S.I. No. 403 of 2020), in effect as per art. 1(2)..

2. (1) The administration and business in connection with the exercise, performance or execution of any functions transferred by Article 3 are transferred to the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

(2) References to the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment contained in any Act or any instrument made under an Act and relating to the administration and business transferred by paragraph (1) shall, from the commencement of this Order, be construed as references to the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

3. (1) The functions vested in the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment -

(a) by or under any of the Acts specified in Part 1 of the Schedule, and

(b) under the instruments specified in Part 2 of the Schedule,

are transferred to the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

(2) References to the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment contained in any Act or instrument made under an Act and relating to any functions transferred by this Article shall, from the commencement of this Order, be construed as references to the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

SCHEDULE

Part 1

Article 3(1)(a)

...

Broadcasting Act 2009 (No. 18 of 2009), other than section 184

...

C3

Application of collectively cited Wireless Telegraphy Acts restricted (6.06.2016) by European Union (Radio Equipment) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 248 of 2017), reg. 46(2).

Application of the Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1926

46. (1) Notwithstanding section 3 (1) of the Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1926, a person shall not be required to hold a licence under that Act to keep or have in his or her possession any apparatus for wireless telegraphy solely for the purpose of placing that apparatus on the market, within the meaning of the Directive.

(2) Nothing in the Wireless Telegraphy Acts, 1926 to 1988, shall operate to restrict or prevent any person from working or using an apparatus for wireless telegraphy, which is lawfully in their possession, or which is otherwise in compliance with the licensing requirements of those Acts for its intended purpose where it complies with the provisions of the Directive, save where such restriction or prevention is related to the effective and appropriate use of the radio frequency spectrum, avoidance of harmful interference or matters relating to public health.

C4

Functions transferred and references to “Department of Finance” and “Minister for Finance” construed (29.07.2011) by Finance (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2011 (S.I. No. 418 of 2011), arts. 2, 3, 5 and sch. 1 part 2, in effect as per art. 1(2), subject to transitional provisions.

2. (1) The administration and business in connection with the performance of any functions transferred by this Order are transferred to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

(2) References to the Department of Finance contained in any Act or instrument made thereunder and relating to the administration and business transferred by paragraph (1) shall, on and after the commencement of this Order, be construed as references to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

3. The functions conferred on the Minister for Finance by or under the provisions of —

(a) the enactments specified in Schedule 1, and

(b) the statutory instruments specified in Schedule 2,

are transferred to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

...

5. References to the Minister for Finance contained in any Act or instrument under an Act and relating to any functions transferred by this Order shall, from the commencement of this Order, be construed as references to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

...

Schedule 1

Enactments

...

Part 2

1922 to 2011 Enactments

Number and Year

Short Title

Provision

...

No. 18 of 2009

...

...

Broadcasting Act 2009

...

...

Sections 10, 17(2), 34, 36(3), 37, 55(7), 61(4), 67(10), 69(13), 97, 104, 122(3), 123, 144(3), 149(5), 156 and 159

...

C5

Functions transferred and references to “Minister” and “Department of Finance” construed (6.07.2011) by Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Act 2011 (10/2011), ss. 7, 9, 11, 15, 20 and sch. 2 part 1, commenced as per s. 1(2).

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

7.— (1) There shall stand established on the appointed day a Department of State to be known, in the Irish language, as an Roinn Caiteachais Phoiblí agus Athchóirithe or, in the English language, as the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

(2) The member of the Government who is in charge of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform—

(a) shall be known, in the Irish language, as an tAire Caiteachais Phoiblí agus Athchóirithe or, in the English language, as the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, and

(b) is, in this Act, referred to as the “Minister”.

...

Transfer of certain other functions to Minister.

9.— ...

(2) The functions conferred on the Minister for Finance by or under any of the provisions specified in Part 1 of Schedule 2 are transferred to the Minister.

...

Transfer of administration and business of Department of Finance.

11.— (1) The administration and business in connection with the performance of the functions transferred by sections 8 and 9 are hereby transferred to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

(2) References to the Department of Finance contained in any statute or instrument under a statute in so far as they relate to the administration and business transferred by subsection (1) shall, from the appointed day, be construed as references to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

...

Construction of references

15.— (1) References to the Minister for Finance contained in any statute or instrument under a statute in so far as they relate to any function transferred by this Act shall, from the appointed day, be construed as references to the Minister.

...

Performance of certain functions transferred to Minister by section 9.

20.— (1) The Minister shall not perform a function transferred by subsection (2) of section 9 without the consent of the Minister for Finance.

...

SCHEDULE 2

Functions Transferred To Minister

...

PART 1

Functions performable with consent of Minister for Finance

STATUTES

Number and Year

Short Title

Provision

(1)

(2)

(3)

...

...

...

No. 18 of 2009

Broadcasting Act 2009

Sections 35 and 107

...

...

...

PART 1

Preliminary and General matters

Section 1
1

Short title.

1.— This Act may be cited as the Broadcasting Act 2009.

Section 2
2

Definitions.

2.— F1[(1)] In this Act—

“Act of 1926” means Wireless Telegraphy Act 1926;

“Act of 1972” means Wireless Telegraphy Act 1972;

“Act of 1988” means Broadcasting and Wireless Telegraphy Act 1988;

“Act of 1998” means Referendum Act 1998;

“Act of 2001” means Broadcasting Act 2001;

F2[advertisement includes a commercial communication;

audiovisual broadcasting service means an audiovisual media service provided for simultaneous or near-simultaneous viewing of audiovisual programmes on the basis of a programme schedule;

audiovisual commercial communication means a commercial communication consisting of images with or without sound;

audiovisual media service means a service, within the meaning of Articles 56 and 57 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, where—

(a) the principal purpose of the service is devoted to, or

(b) the principal purpose of a dissociable section of the service is devoted to,

providing audiovisual programmes, by electronic communications networks, to the general public, under the editorial responsibility of the provider of the service, in order to inform, entertain or educate;

audiovisual on-demand media service means an audiovisual media service provided for the viewing of programmes at the moment chosen by the user and at the user’s request on the basis of a catalogue of programmes selected by the provider of the service;

audiovisual programme means a set of moving images with or without sound which, in the case of an audiovisual media service, constitutes an individual item, irrespective of its length, within a programme schedule or a catalogue;]

“Authority” means Broadcasting Authority of Ireland;

F3[]

“BCI” means Broadcasting Commission of Ireland;

“broadcast” means the transmission, relaying or distribution by electronic communications network of communications, sounds, signs, visual images or signals, intended for direct reception by the general public whether such communications, sounds, signs, visual images or signals are actually received or not;

“broadcaster” means a person who supplies a compilation of programme material for the purpose of its being transmitted, relayed or distributed as a broadcasting service (whether that person transmits, relays or distributes that material as such a service or not);

F3[]

“broadcasting contract” means a contract entered into under section 63, 64 , 68 or 70 ;

“broadcasting contractor” means a person holding a broadcasting contract;

F3[]

broadcasting service” means a service which comprises a compilation of programme material of any description and which is transmitted, relayed or distributed by means of an electronic communications network, directly or indirectly for simultaneous or near-simultaneous reception by the general public, whether that material is actually received or not, and where the programmes are provided in a pre-scheduled and linear order, but does not include:

(a) a service provided in a non-linear manner where each user of the service chooses a programme from a catalogue of programmes, or

F4[(b) any other service which is provided by way of the internet, if the service does not provide audiovisual programmes;]

F2[category 1 offence means an offence the penalties for which are specified in section 139ZZH(1);

category 2 offence means an offence the penalties for which are specified in section 139ZZH(2);

category 3 offence means an offence the penalties for which are specified in section 139ZZH(3);

Charter means the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union;]

“children” means persons under the age of 18 years;

F2[commercial communication means images or sound or both—

(a) designed to promote, directly or indirectly, the goods, services or image of a person pursuing an economic activity, and

(b) included in or accompanying a programme or user-generated content in return for payment or for similar consideration or for self-promotional purposes;

Commissioner has the meaning given by section 11(2);]

“Communications Regulator” means Commission for Communications Regulation;

F4[communications media means

(a) broadcasting services,

(b) audiovisual on-demand media services,

(c) designated online services, or

(d) newspapers or periodicals consisting substantially of news and comment on current affairs;]

“community broadcaster” means a person holding a contract under sections 64, 68(1)(b) or 72;

“community of interest” means a group of persons with a shared interest, association or bond;

F3[]

“content provision contract” has the meaning assigned to it in section 71;

F3[]

“corporation” means RTÉ or TG4 or both, as the case may be;

“Council Directive” means Council Directive 89/552/EEC of 3 October 19891 on the co-ordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the pursuit of television broadcasting activities as amended by Directive 97/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 June 19972 and by Directive 2007/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 20073;

F2[Data Protection Regulation means Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 20163 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation);

designated online service means a service designated under section 139E;

F5[Digital Services Regulation means Regulation (EU) 2022/2065 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 October 20222 on a Single Market For Digital Services and amending Directive 2000/31/EC (Digital Services Act);]

Directive means Directive 2010/13/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 20104 on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual media services, as amended by Directive (EU) 2018/1808 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 November 20185;]

“director general” means a person appointed as the director general of a corporation under section 89 (1);

F2[E-Commerce Directive means Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 20006 on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce, in the Internal Market;

editorial responsibility, in relation to providing programmes, means effective control—

(a) over the selection of the programmes, and

(b) over their organisation in a programme schedule or in a catalogue;]

“electronic communications network” means transmission systems including, where applicable—

(a) switching equipment,

(b) routing equipment, or

(c) other resources,

which permit the conveyance of signals by wire, by radio, by optical or by other electromagnetic means, and such conveyance includes the use of—

(i) satellite networks,

(ii) electricity cable systems, to the extent that they are used for the purposes of transmitting signals,

(iii) fixed terrestrial networks (both circuit-switched and packet-switched, including the Internet),

(iv) mobile terrestrial networks,

(v) networks used for either or both sound and television broadcasting, and

(vi) cable television and internet protocol television networks,

irrespective of the type of information conveyed;

“EEA Agreement” has the meaning assigned to it in the European Communities (Amendment) Act 1993;

F3[]

F3[]

F4[employment includes

(a) full-time paid employment,

(b) part-time paid employment,

(c) temporary paid employment for a period of 16 weeks or more in the period of a year, or

(d) being retained under contract, directly or indirectly, in any capacity as an adviser, consultant or lobbyist, or for the provision of services;]

F4[establishment day means the day appointed by the Minister under section 5 to be the establishment day for the purposes of this Act;]

F3[]

“exploitation of commercial opportunities object” means an activity undertaken by a corporation in pursuance of paragraph (j) of section 114(1) or paragraph (i) of section 118(1);

“free-to-air service” means a broadcasting service for the reception of which no charge is made by the person providing the service;

F2[harmful online content has the meaning given by section 139A(1);]

“holder” means—

(a) in relation to a contract entered into under this Act, the person with whom the Authority has entered into the contract,

(b) in relation to a licence granted under this Act or any other enactment, the person to whom the licence has been granted;

“holding company” has the same meaning as in the F4[Companies Act 2014];

F3[]

F5[intermediary service provider means a provider of intermediary services;]

“Joint Oireachtas Committee” means a Joint Committee of the Houses of the Oireachtas to which those Houses have assigned the role of examining matters F4[to which this Act relates];

“local community” means the community of a town or other urban or rural area;

F4[media literacy means public understanding of material published in print, broadcast, online or other media, including understanding of

(a) the nature and characteristics of published material,

(b) how material is selected, or made available, for publication,

(c) how individuals and communities can create and publish material, and

(d) how access to published material is or can be regulated;]

F2[media service codemeans a code made under section 46N;

media service providermeans a person who provides an audiovisual media service;

media service rules means rules made under section 46O;]

“Member State” includes a state that is a contracting state to the EEA Agreement;

F5[Member State competent authority means an authority that is designated by a Member State (other than the State) as a competent authority for the purposes of Article 49(1) of the Digital Service Regulation;]

F5[Member State Digital Services Coordinator means an authority that is designated by a Member State (other than the State) as a Digital Services Coordinator for the purposes of Article 49(2) of the Digital Service Regulation;]

“Minister” means Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources;

F3[]

“multiplex” has the meaning assigned to it by section 129;

“multiplex contractor” means the holder of a contract entered into under section 131;

“multiplex licence” has the meaning assigned to it by section 129;

“national emergency” means an emergency declared under section 10 of the Act of 1926;

F2[online safety code means a code made under section 139K;

Online Safety Commissioner means a Commissioner designated under section 11(7) as an Online Safety Commissioner;]

F3[]

F2[personal data has the same meaning as it has in the Data Protection Regulation;

programmemeans a sound programme or audiovisual programme;]

“programme material” F2[(subject to section 153)] means audio-visual material or audio material and includes advertisements F3[];

F2[programme schedule means a chronological schedule of audiovisual or sound programmes;]

“provide a broadcasting service” means to supply a compilation of programme material for the purpose of its being transmitted, relayed or distributed as a broadcasting service;

F2[provider of communications media means

(a) in the case of a broadcasting service, the broadcaster of the service,

(b) in the case of an audiovisual on-demand media service, the media service provider who provides the service,

(c) in the case of a designated online service, the person who controls the service, and

(d) in the case of newspapers or periodicals consisting substantially of news and comment on current affairs, the person who controls the newspaper or periodical;]

“public service broadcaster” means RTÉ, TG4, the Houses of the Oireachtas Channel and the Irish Film Channel;

“public service broadcasting licence” means a licence issued under section 121;

“public service objects” shall mean an activity undertaken by a corporation in pursuance of paragraphs (a) to (i) of section 114 (1) or paragraphs (a) to (h) of section 118 (1);

“Raidió Teilifís Éireann” means the authority established under section 3 of the Broadcasting Authority Act 1960;

F2[relevant online service means

(a) a video-sharing platform service the provider of which is under the jurisdiction of the State, or

(b) any other information society service, within the meaning of Article 1(1)(b) of Directive (EU) 2015/1535 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 September 20157

(i) the provider of which is under the jurisdiction of the State, and

(ii) on which user-generated content is made available (directly or through providing access to another service),

but does not include an audiovisual on-demand media service;]

“RTÉ” means Raidió Teilifís Éireann;

“sectoral” means pertaining to the provision of broadcasting and broadcasting related services;

F4[sound broadcasting service means a service, within the meaning of Articles 56 and 57 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, where

(a) the principal purpose of the service is devoted to providing sound programmes, by electronic communications networks, to the general public, under the editorial responsibility of the provider of the service, in order to inform, entertain or educate, and

(b) the service is provided for simultaneous or near-simultaneous listening to sound programmes on the basis of a programme schedule;]

“statutory committee” means the Contract Awards Committee or the Compliance Committee or both, as the case may be;

“subscription or pay-per-view basis”, in relation to the making available of a broadcasting service, means any basis for making a charge on a person in respect of the reception by him or her of a broadcasting service, and includes the basis of making such a charge by reference to the number of items of programme material viewed by him or her;

“subsidiary” has the same meaning as in the F4[Companies Act 2014];

“superannuation benefits” means pensions, gratuities or other allowances payable on resignation, retirement or death;

“Teilifís na Gaeilge” means the body established by section 44 of the Act of 2001;

“TG4” means Teilifís na Gaeilge;

“television programme service” means a service which comprises a compilation of audio-visual programme material of any description and is transmitted, distributed or relayed by means of wireless telegraphy directly or indirectly for reception by the general public;

“television programme service contract” and “television programme service contractor” have the same meaning as they have in section 70;

“television licence fees” means a fee paid on a licence granted under section 143 in respect of a television set (within the meaning of section 140);

“terrestrial means”, in relation to the transmission of a broadcasting service, means any means of transmitting such a service by wireless telegraphy, other than by means of F3[] a satellite device and “digital terrestrial means” shall be read accordingly;

F3[]

F2[user-generated content, in relation to a relevant online service, means content created by a user of the service and uploaded to the service by that or another user;

user-generated video means user-generated content consisting of a set of moving images with or without sound;

video-sharing platform service has the meaning given by subsections (2) and (3);]

F3[]

“wireless telegraphy” has the same meaning as in the Act of 1926.

F2[(2) In this Act, video-sharing platform service means, subject to subsection (3), a service, within the meaning of Articles 56 and 57 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, where

(a) the principal purpose of the service is devoted to,

(b) the principal purpose of a dissociable section of the service is devoted to, or

(c) an essential functionality of the service is devoted to,

providing audiovisual programmes or user-generated videos, or both, by electronic communications networks, to the general public, in order to inform, entertain or educate.

(3) A service is a video-sharing platform service within subsection (2) only if the provider of the service

(a) does not have effective control over the selection of the programmes and videos referred to in that subsection, but

(b) determines their organisation, by automatic means or algorithms (including displaying, tagging and sequencing) or otherwise.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F1

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 3(1), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F2

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 3(2)(a), (c), (d), (f), (g), (j), (n), (o), (p), (q)(i), (r), (s), (t), (x), (3), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F3

Deleted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 3(2)(q)(ii), (w), (y), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F4

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 3(2)(b), (e), (h), (i), (k), (l), (m), (u), (v), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F5

Inserted (17.02.2024) by Digital Services Act 2024 (2/2024), s. 7, S.I. No. 53 of 2024.

Modifications (not altering text):

C6

Functions transferred and references to Broadcasting Authority of Ireland ("Authority") construed as Coimisiún na Meán ("Commission") (15.03.2023, establishment day) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 60, S.I. Nos. 71, 72 of 2023.

Transfer of functions

60. (1) On the establishment day all functions that immediately before the establishment day were vested in the Authority or the statutory committees are transferred to the Commission.

(2) Unless otherwise provided, references to the Authority, or to the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland, in any Act of the Oireachtas passed before the establishment day, other than this Act, or in any instrument made before that day under an Act of the Oireachtas shall, on and after that day, be construed as references to the Commission.

(3) Unless otherwise provided, references to the Contract Awards Committee or the Compliance Committee in any Act of the Oireachtas passed before the establishment day, other than this Act, or in an instrument made before that day under an Act of the Oireachtas shall, on and after that day, be construed as references to the Commission.

C7

Name of Department and title of Minister changed from Communications, Energy and Natural Resources to Communications, Climate Action and Environment (23.07.2016) by Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Alteration of Name of Department and Title of Minister) Order 2016 (S.I. No. 421 of 2016). Functions transferred and references to Department of and Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment construed (23.09.2020) by Broadcasting (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2020 (S.I. No. 372 of 2020), arts. 2 and 3 and sch. part 1, in effect as per art. 1(2), subject to transitional provisions in arts. 4-8. Note change of Department's name and Minister's title to Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (30.09.2020) by Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Alteration of Name of Department and Title of Minister) Order 2020 (S.I. No. 403 of 2020), in effect as per art. 1(2).

2. (1) The administration and business in connection with the exercise, performance or execution of any functions transferred by Article 3 are transferred to the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

(2) References to the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment contained in any Act or any instrument made under an Act and relating to the administration and business transferred by paragraph (1) shall, from the commencement of this Order, be construed as references to the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

3. (1) The functions vested in the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment -

(a) by or under any of the Acts specified in Part 1 of the Schedule, and

(b) under the instruments specified in Part 2 of the Schedule,

are transferred to the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

(2) References to the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment contained in any Act or instrument made under an Act and relating to any functions transferred by this Article shall, from the commencement of this Order, be construed as references to the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

SCHEDULE

Part 1

Article 3(1)(a)

...

Broadcasting Act 2009 (No. 18 of 2009), other than section 184

...

1 OJ No. L. 298/23, 17.10.1989

2 OJ No. L. 202/60, 30.07.1997

2 OJ L277, 27.10.2022, p. 1

3 OJ No. L. 332, 18.12.2007

4 OJ No. L. 95, 15.4.2010, p. 1

5 OJ No. L. 303, 28.11.2018, p. 69

6 OJ No. L. 178, 17.7.2000, p. 1

7 OJ No. L. 241, 17.9.2015, p. 1

Section 2A
2A

F6[Meaning of “under the jurisdiction of the State”: media service providers.

2A. (1) For the purposes of this Act, the question whether a media service provider is under the jurisdiction of the State (or another Member State) is to be determined in accordance with this section.

(2) A media service provider is under the jurisdiction of a Member State if under subsection (5) it is established in that state.

(3) If a media service provider is not, under subsection (5), established in a Member State, then the provider is under the jurisdiction of a Member State if

(a)  it uses a satellite up-link situated in that state, or

(b) it uses satellite capacity appertaining to that state.

(4) If subsections (2) and (3) do not determine the question in relation to a media service provider, then the provider is under the jurisdiction of the Member State in which it is established within the meaning of Articles 49 to 55 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

(5) The following provisions apply to a media service provider for the purposes of subsections (2) and (3):

(a) if the provider has its head office in a Member State, and the relevant editorial decisions are taken in the same Member State, the provider is established in that Member State;

(b) if the provider has its head office in a Member State, and the relevant editorial decisions are taken in another Member State, then

(i) if a significant part of the workforce involved in the pursuit of the programme-related audiovisual media service activity operates in the Member State where the provider has its head office, the provider is established in that Member State,

(ii) if subparagraph (i) does not apply but a significant part of the workforce involved in the pursuit of the programme-related audiovisual media service activity operates in the Member State where relevant editorial decisions are taken, the provider is established in that Member State, and

(iii) if neither subparagraph (i) nor subparagraph (ii) applies, the provider is established in the Member State where it first began its activity in accordance with the law of that Member State, provided that it maintains a stable and effective link with the economy of that Member State;

(c) if the place where the provider has its head office and the place where the relevant editorial decisions are taken are different, and only one of them is in a Member State, the provider is established in that Member State, provided that a significant part of the workforce involved in the pursuit of the audiovisual media service activity operates in that Member State.

(6) In this section

audiovisual media service activity means activity relating to the audiovisual media service concerned;

relevant editorial decisions means editorial decisions about the audiovisual media service concerned.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F6

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 4, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Editorial Notes:

E1

The section heading is taken from the amending section in the absence of one included in the amendment.

Section 2B
2B

F7[Meaning of “under the jurisdiction of the State”: providers of video-sharing platform services.

2B. (1) For the purposes of this Act, the question whether the provider of a video-sharing platform service is under the jurisdiction of the State (or another Member State) is to be determined in accordance with this section.

(2) The provider of a video-sharing platform service is under the jurisdiction of a Member State if the provider is established in the territory of that state.

(3) If the provider of a video-sharing platform service is not established in a Member State, then the provider is under the jurisdiction of a Member State if

(a) it has a parent undertaking or a subsidiary undertaking that is established in the territory of that state, or

(b) it is part of a group, and another undertaking of that group is established in the territory of that state.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (3), if in the provider’s case there are different undertakings (parent undertaking, subsidiary undertakings, or other undertakings in the same group) that are established in different Member States, the provider shall be deemed to be established

(a) if it has a parent undertaking that is established in a Member State, in that Member State,

(b) if paragraph (a) does not apply but it has a subsidiary undertaking established in a Member State, in that Member State, and

(c) if paragraphs (a) and (b) do not apply but another undertaking in the group is established in a Member State, in that Member State.

(5) If subsection (4)(b) applies but there are different subsidiary undertakings established in different Member States, the provider shall be deemed to be established in the Member State where one of the subsidiary undertakings first began its activity, provided that it maintains a stable and effective link with the economy of that Member State.

(6) If subsection (4)(c) applies but there are different undertakings in the group established in different Member States, the provider shall be deemed to be established in the Member State where one of the undertakings first began its activity, provided that it maintains a stable and effective link with the economy of that Member State.

(7) In this section

(a) established has the same meaning as in Article 3(1) of the E‑Commerce Directive;

(b) parent undertaking means an undertaking that controls one or more subsidiary undertakings;

(c) subsidiary undertaking means an undertaking controlled by a parent undertaking, including any subsidiary undertaking of an ultimate parent undertaking;

(d) group means a parent undertaking, all its subsidiary undertakings and all other undertakings having economic and legal organisational links to them.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F7

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 5, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Editorial Notes:

E2

The section heading is taken from the amending section in the absence of one included in the amendment.

Section 2C
2C

F8[Meaning of “under the jurisdiction of the State”: providers of other services that may be relevant online services.

2C. (1) For the purposes of this Act, the provider of an information society service, other than a provider to whom section 2A or 2B applies, is under the jurisdiction of the State if the provider of the service is established in the State within the meaning of Article 3(1) of the E‑Commerce Directive.

(2) In this section information society service has the same meaning as in Article 1(1)(b) of Directive (EU) 2015/1535 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 September 20159.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F8

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 6, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Editorial Notes:

E3

The section heading is taken from the amending section in the absence of one included in the amendment.

9 OJ No. L. 241, 17.9.2015

Section 2D
2D

F9[Procedure for giving notices.

2D. (1) Where a provision of this Act provides for a notice to be given to a person, the notice shall be given in one of the following ways:

(a) by delivering it to the person (where the person is an individual);

(b) by leaving it addressed to the person at a relevant address;

(c) by sending it, addressed to the person, to a relevant address by pre‑paid registered post or other pre-paid recorded delivery service;

(d) by sending it to the person by electronic means in accordance with subsection (5).

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a notice under section 147, a reminder notification or fixed payment notice under section 149, or a notification under Part 11.

(3) In subsection (1)(b) and (c), relevant address means any of the following:

(a) the address at which the person ordinarily resides;

(b) an address at which the person carries on business;

(c) a postal address at which the person has agreed in writing to receive notices under this Act.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (3)(a), a company registered under the Companies Act 2014, or an existing company within the meaning of that Act, is deemed to be ordinarily resident at its registered office, and every other body corporate and every unincorporated body is deemed to be ordinarily resident at its principal office or place of business.

(5) For the purposes of subsection (1)(d), a notice is sent to a person by electronic means in accordance with this subsection if

(a) it is sent to an email address, fax number, or other electronic contact point, at which the person has agreed in writing to receive notices under this Act, and

(b) a record that the email, fax, or other electronic message has been sent is made for the sender by the email system, fax machine, or other electronic system used.

(6) A notice to which subsection (1) applies

(a) if given in accordance with subsection (1)(a), is given at the time when it is delivered,

(b) if given in accordance with subsection (1)(b), is given at the time when it is left at the relevant address,

(c) if given in accordance with subsection (1)(c), is deemed, unless the contrary is proved, to be given at the time when it would be delivered in the ordinary course of the post or other service used, and

(d)  if given in accordance with subsection (1)(d), is deemed, unless the contrary is proved, to be given at the time stated in the record referred to in subsection (5)(b).

(7) In this section, notice includes notification.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F9

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 7, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Editorial Notes:

E4

The section heading is taken from the amending section in the absence of one included in the amendment.

Section 3
3

Repeals.

3.— The enactments mentioned in Schedule 1 are repealed to the extent specified in the third column of Schedule 1.

Section 4
4

Expenses.

4.— The expenses incurred by the Minister in the administration of this Act shall, to such extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister for Finance, be paid out of monies provided by the Oireachtas.

F10[PART 2

Coimisiún na Meán

Section 5
5

Establishment day.

5. The Minister shall, by order, appoint a day to be the establishment day for the purposes of this Act.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F10

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Editorial Notes:

E5

Power pursuant to section exercised (15.03.2023) by Broadcasting Act 2009 (Establishment Day) Order 2023 (S.I. No. 72 of 2023).

2. The 15th day of March 2023 is appointed to be the establishment day for the purposes of the Broadcasting Act 2009 (No. 18 of 2009).

E6

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.10.2009) by Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (Establishment Day) Order 2009 (S.I. No. 389 of 2009); section substituted as per F-note above.

Section 6
6

F11[Establishment of Commission.

6. (1) There shall stand established on the establishment day a body which shall be known as Coimisiún na Meán (in this Act referred to as the Commission).

(2) The Commission

(a) is a body corporate with perpetual succession and a seal,

(b) may sue and be sued in its corporate name,

(c) may, with the approval of the Minister, given with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, acquire, hold and dispose of land or an interest in land, and

(d) may acquire, hold and dispose of any other property.

(3) The seal of the Commission must be authenticated by the signature of

(a) a Commissioner, or

(b) a member of the staff of the Commission, authorised by the Commission to act in that behalf.

(4) Any contract or instrument which, if entered into or executed by an individual, would not require to be under seal may be entered into or executed on behalf of the Commission by any person generally or specially authorised by the Commission in that behalf.

(5) Judicial notice shall be taken of the seal of the Commission and any document purporting to be an instrument made by, and to be sealed with the seal of, the Commission shall, unless the contrary is shown, be received in evidence and be deemed to be such an instrument without further proof.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F11

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 7
7

F12[ Powers and functions of Commission.

7. (1) The Commission shall have all such powers as are necessary or expedient for the performance of its functions and shall ensure that its functions are performed effectively and efficiently.

(2) In performing its functions the Commission shall endeavour to ensure

(a) that the democratic values enshrined in the Constitution, especially those relating to rightful liberty of expression, are upheld,

(b) that the interests of the public, including the interests of children, are protected, with particular commitment to the safety of children,

(c) that the broadcasting services and audiovisual on-demand media services available in the State are open, inclusive and pluralistic, and that the Commission’s policies in relation to those services best serve the needs of the people of the island of Ireland, bearing in mind

(i) their languages and traditions,

(ii) their experiences, and the experiences of people of Irish ancestry living abroad,

(iii) their diversity, including religious, ethical, cultural, linguistic, socio-economic, and gender diversity,

(iv) their levels of participation in those services and their levels of representation in programmes on those services, and

(v) as regards people with disabilities, their requirements for accessibility to those services,

and

(d) that regulatory arrangements

(i) address programme material, user-generated content, and other content, which are harmful or illegal,

(ii) take account of technological and societal change, and

(iii) operate proportionately, consistently and fairly.

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), the Commission shall

(a) stimulate the provision of high quality, diverse, and innovative programmes by providers of broadcasting services and audiovisual on-demand media services,

(b) endeavour to ensure diversity and transparency in the control of communications media operating in the State,

(c) promote and encourage the use of the Irish language by communications media operating in the State,

(d) provide a regulatory environment that will sustain independent and impartial journalism,

(e) promote and stimulate the development of

(i) programmes in the Irish language, and

(ii) programmes relating to climate change and environmental sustainability,

(f) promote and encourage environmental sustainability in the policies and practices of providers of broadcasting services, audiovisual on‑demand media services, and relevant online services,

(g) encourage research, promote or endorse educational and training initiatives and activities, including in media literacy, and co-operate for that purpose with educational and training bodies, sporting bodies and community, local and representative bodies, and otherwise promote public awareness, knowledge and understanding, in relation to matters connected to its functions,

(h) engage in evidence-based decision-making in the exercise of its functions, and promote evidence-based decision-making by those with which it consults, and

(i) encourage compliance with the provisions of this Act, and the provisions of any code, rule or other statutory instrument made under it, in any manner the Commission considers appropriate, including by the publication of guidance as to how those provisions may be complied with.

(4) In performing its functions the Commission shall have regard to

(a) the safety of children, and published policies of the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth in respect of that matter,

(b) the regulation of gambling, and published policies of the Minister for Justice in respect of that matter,

(c) climate change and environmental sustainability, and published policies of the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications in respect of that matter, and

(d) published policies of the Government in respect of any matter referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (c).

(5) The Commission shall, in so far as consistent with its other functions and its available resources

(a) provide advice on matters to which its functions relate, if requested to do so by a Minister of the Government, educational or training institution, or public body whose activities are concerned with those matters,

(b) give effect to any arrangements entered into with the Minister to stimulate the provision of high quality, diverse and innovative news and comment on current affairs

(i) by publishers of newspapers or periodicals consisting substantially of news and comment on current affairs,

(ii) by broadcasters,

(iii) by providers of programme material consisting substantially of news and comment on current affairs to a broadcaster, and

(iv) by providers of services otherwise made available on an electronic communications network and providing content, consisting substantially of news and comment on current affairs, that is under the provider’s editorial control,

(c) conduct or commission research on matters relating to its functions, including on any development outside the State, and publish, in the form and manner that it thinks fit, the findings of such research, as it considers appropriate,

(d) undertake strategic reviews of the broadcasting services sector, audiovisual on-demand media services sector, and relevant online services sector in respect of the following areas:

(i) funding of those sectors;

(ii) technological and societal change;

(iii) the protection of children;

(iv) other areas relevant to its functions, that the Minister may direct,

and

(e) co-operate, in relation to the regulation of gambling, with any public body concerned with that matter.]

F13[(6) The Commission is designated, for the purposes of Article 49(1) of the Digital Services Regulation, as

(a) the competent authority (other than in respect of Articles 30, 31 and 32 of that Regulation), and

(b) the Digital Services Coordinator.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F12

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F13

Inserted (17.02.2024) by Digital Services Act 2024 (2/2024), s. 8, S.I. No. 53 of 2024.

Section 8
8

F14[Delegation of functions.

8. (1) Subject to subsection (3), the Commission may delegate the performance of any of its functions to a Commissioner, or to a member of the staff of the Commission, on such terms and conditions as it may determine, and the Commissioner or member of the staff of the Commission shall be accountable to the Commission for the performance of that function.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), a function may be delegated under that subsection so as to be capable of being performed by any Online Safety Commissioner for the time being.

(3) The Commission may not delegate the performance of its functions under

(a) section 17, 24, 29, or 31,

(b) subsection (3), (4) or (5) of section 48,

(c) section 50 or 51,

(d) Part 6 or 8,

(e) subsection (6) or (8) of section 139ZE,

(f) Part 8B, or

(g) Part 3A of the Competition Act 2002.

(4) A function delegated by the Commission under subsection (1) continues to be vested in the Commission and is capable of being performed concurrently by either the Commission or the delegate.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F14

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 9
9

F15[Conferral of additional functions.

9. (1) The Minister may, after consulting with the Commission and any other Minister of the Government who, in the Minister’s opinion, is concerned, by order confer on the Commission additional functions, connected with its existing functions and relating to the regulation of broadcasting services, audiovisual on-demand media services and designated online services, including as regards the protection of children, subject to such conditions as may be specified in the order.

(2) An order under this section may contain such incidental, supplemental and consequential provisions as the Minister considers necessary or expedient to give full effect to the conferral of additional functions on the Commission.

(3) An order made under this section shall be laid by the Minister before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the order is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which the House sits after that order is laid before it, the order shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under it.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F15

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 10
10

F16[ Independence of Commission.

10. The Commission shall be independent in the performance of its functions.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F16

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 11
11

F17[Membership of Commission.

11. (1) The membership of the Commission shall consist of a chairperson and such number of other whole-time members, not being less than 3 nor greater than 6, as the Minister determines.

(2) Each member of the Commission, including the chairperson, shall be known as a Commissioner.

(3) The chairperson and each of the other Commissioners shall be appointed by the Minister on the recommendation of the Public Appointments Service.

(4) A Commissioner shall hold office for such term, not exceeding 5 years from the date of his or her appointment, as the Minister determines.

(5) A Commissioner whose term of office expires or is due to expire shall be eligible for reappointment to the Commission.

(6) A Commissioner who has served 2 terms of office shall not be eligible for reappointment to the Commission.

(7) One or more of the Commissioners shall be designated in writing by the Minister on the recommendation of the Public Appointments Service as an Online Safety Commissioner.

(8) Notwithstanding subsection (3), a person who immediately before the establishment day was the chief executive officer of the Authority may be appointed by the Minister to be a Commissioner for such period as the Minister determines (which period shall be no longer than one year from the establishment day).

(9) A person who becomes a Commissioner under subsection (8) shall be eligible for appointment as a Commissioner under subsection (3) at any time during or after the period referred to in subsection (8).

(10) The period referred to in subsection (8) shall not be considered a term of office for the purposes of subsection (6).]

Annotations

Amendments:

F17

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 12
12

F18[Conditions of office of Commissioner.

12. (1) A Commissioner shall hold office on such terms and conditions as may be fixed by the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

(2) A Commissioner shall be paid such remuneration as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, determines.

(3) A Commissioner holds office until his or her term of office expires, unless he or she ceases to be a Commissioner under any other provision of this section.

(4) A Commissioner may resign from the Commission by letter addressed to the Minister and the resignation shall take effect on the date specified in the letter, or on the date on which the Minister receives the letter, whichever is the later.

(5) The Government may at any time remove a Commissioner from office if it is satisfied that

(a) the Commissioner has become incapable through ill-health or otherwise of performing the functions of the office,

(b) the Commissioner has engaged in serious misconduct,

(c) the Commissioner has a conflict of interest of such significance that the Commissioner should cease to hold office, or

(d) the Commissioner has failed without reasonable cause to perform his or her functions for a continuous period of at least 3 months.

(6) Where the Government proposes to remove a Commissioner from office under subsection (5), the Government shall give notice in writing to the Commissioner of that proposal.

(7) A notice under subsection (6) shall contain a statement

(a) of the reasons for the proposed removal,

(b) that the Commissioner may make representations to the Government in such form and manner as may be specified by the Government,

(c) that any such representations must be made within a period of 20 working days from the date of the giving of the notice, or such longer period as the Government may, having regard to the requirements of natural justice, specify in the notice, and

(d) that at the end of the period referred to in paragraph (c) or the period specified in the notice, whether or not any representations are made, the Government shall decide whether to remove the Commissioner from office.

(8) In considering whether to remove a Commissioner from office under subsection (5), the Government shall take into account

(a) any representations made by the Commissioner in accordance with paragraphs (b) and (c) of subsection (7), and

(b) any other matter the Government considers relevant.

(9) Where, after giving notice under subsection (6), the Government decides not to remove the Commissioner from office, the Government shall notify the Commissioner in writing of the decision.

(10) Where, after giving notice under subsection (6), the Government decides to remove a Commissioner from office, the Government shall

(a) notify the Commissioner in writing of the decision, the reasons for it and the date from which it shall take effect (which shall be a date not earlier than the date of the notice under this paragraph),

(b) shall lay before each House of the Oireachtas a statement in writing of the decision and the reasons for it, and

(c) shall provide a copy of that statement to the Commissioner.

(11) A person shall cease to hold office as a Commissioner if he or she

(a) is adjudicated bankrupt,

(b) makes a composition or arrangement with his or her creditors,

(c) is convicted of an indictable offence in relation to a company, a body corporate or a trust,

(d) is convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty,

(e) is nominated as a member of Seanad Éireann,

(f) is elected to be a member of either House of the Oireachtas or to be a member of the European Parliament,

(g) is regarded pursuant to Part XIII of the Second Schedule to the European Parliament Elections Act 1997 as having been elected to the European Parliament,

(h) is elected or co-opted as a member of a local authority,

(i) becomes, or acquires a relevant interest in, a provider of communications media, or

(j) enters into employment with a provider of communications media, or with an organisation representative of providers of communications media.

(12) References to a relevant interest in a provider of communications media in subsection (11)(i) are to be read in accordance with subsections (13) and (14).

(13) A person has a relevant interest in a provider of communications media if the person, or a connected person

(a) holds shares or any other proprietary interest in the provider, where the value of the interest exceeds €5,000,

(b) holds bonds, debentures, or other like investments in the provider, where their aggregate value exceeds €13,000,

(c) holds a directorship or shadow directorship (within the meaning of the Companies Act 2014) in the provider, or

(d) receives gifts or other benefits from the provider, where their aggregate value exceeds €650.

(14) A person also has a relevant interest in a provider of communications media if the person or a connected relative of the person is a party to an arrangement or agreement concerning land (whether or not enforceable) with the provider.

(15) In this section

civil partner means a civil partner within the meaning of the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010;

connected person, in relation to a person, means

(a) a connected relative of the person,

(b) a person acting on behalf of the person or of a connected relative of the person,

(c) a company or other body of which the person or a connected relative of the person, or a nominee of either of them, is a member,

(d) a partnership in which the person or a connected relative of the person is a partner, or

(e) an employer of the person, or of a connected relative of the person;

connected relative, in relation to a person, means a spouse, partner, civil partner, parent, brother, sister, or child of the person, or a spouse, partner or civil partner of a child of the person (and "child" in this definition includes an adult child).]

Annotations

Amendments:

F18

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 13
13

F19[Appointment of Acting Commissioner.

13. (1) If a vacancy occurs in the office of a Commissioner, or if a Commissioner is absent from the State or is, for any other reason, unable to perform the functions of a Commissioner, the Minister may appoint a member of the staff of the Commission to perform the functions of the Commissioner (referred to in this section and in section 14 as an Acting Commissioner, and the term Commissioner shall be construed as including an Acting Commissioner).

(2) An appointment under subsection (1)

(a) shall be made for a period of not more than 6 months, and

(b) subject to paragraph (a), may be made for all or part of the period of vacancy, absence or inability.

(3) If, in a case of vacancy, the Minister is satisfied that it is not reasonably practicable for an appointment under section 11 to be made before the end of the period referred to in subsection (2), the Minister may extend the appointment by such further period, not exceeding 6 months, as he or she is satisfied is necessary for an appointment to be made under that section.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F19

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 14
14

F20[Chairperson of Commission

14. (1) The chairperson shall carry on, manage, and control generally the staff, administration and business of the Commission.

(2) If a vacancy occurs in the office of the chairperson, or if the chairperson is absent from the State or is, for any other reason, unable to perform the functions of the chairperson, the Minister may appoint a Commissioner, other than an Acting Commissioner or a Commissioner appointed under section 11(8), to perform the functions of the chairperson, for all or part of that period of vacancy, absence or inability, and references in this Act to the chairperson of the Commission shall, unless the context otherwise requires, be construed as including references to that Commissioner.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F20

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 15
15

F21[Eligibility for appointment as Commissioner or member of staff.

15. (1) A person shall be ineligible for appointment as a Commissioner, or as a member of the staff of the Commission, while he or she

(a) is a member of either House of the Oireachtas,

(b) is a member of the European Parliament,

(c) is a member of a local authority, or

(d) is, or has a relevant interest in, a provider of communications media.

(2) The reference to a relevant interest in subsection (1)(d) shall be construed in accordance with section 12(13) and (14).]

Annotations

Amendments:

F21

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 16
16

F22[Meetings of Commission.

16. (1) The Commission shall hold such and so many meetings as it considers necessary for the performance of its functions.

(2) At a meeting of the Commission

(a) the chairperson shall, if present, be the chairperson of the meeting, or

(b) if the chairperson is not present, the Commissioners present shall choose one of their number to be the chairperson of the meeting.

(3) Every question at a meeting on which a vote is required shall be determined by a majority of the votes of the Commissioners present and voting on the question and, in the case of an equal division of votes, the chairperson of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.

(4) Subject to subsection (5), the Commission may act notwithstanding one or more vacancies among the Commissioners.

(5) The quorum for a meeting of the Commission shall, unless the Minister otherwise directs, be 3.

(6) A meeting of the Commission may take place by any means of communication by which all of the Commissioners participating can hear and be heard at the same time.

(7) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Commission shall regulate its procedures in such manner as it determines.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F22

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Editorial Notes:

E7

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (16.06.2017) by Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (Superannuation) Scheme 2017 (S.I. No. 269 of 2017), in effect as per art. 1(2); section substituted as per F-note above.

Section 17
17

F23[Staff of Commission.

17. (1) The Commission may, with the approval of the Minister given with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, appoint such and so many persons to be members of the staff of the Commission as it may determine.

(2) The terms and conditions of service of a member of the staff of the Commission shall, with the approval of the Minister given with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, be determined by the Commission.

(3) There shall be paid by the Commission to the members of its staff such remuneration and allowances as the Commission may, with the approval of the Minister given with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, determine.

(4) A member of the staff of the Commission shall, unless otherwise provided for under subsection (2), stand seconded from employment by the Commission and shall not be paid by, nor entitled to receive from, the Commission any remuneration or allowances for the period of that secondment, if he or she is

(a) nominated as a member of Seanad Éireann,

(b) elected as a member of either House of the Oireachtas or to be a member of the European Parliament,

(c) regarded pursuant to Part XIII of the Second Schedule to the European Parliament Elections Act 1997 as having been elected to the European Parliament, or

(d) elected or co-opted as a member of a local authority.

(5) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (4), a period of secondment referred to in subsection (4) shall not be considered as service with the Commission for the purposes of any superannuation benefits.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F23

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 18
18

F24[Superannuation.

18. (1) The Commission may, with the approval of the Minister given with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, make a scheme granting superannuation benefits to or in respect of

(a) a Commissioner, or

(b) a member of the staff of the Commission.

(2) A scheme made under this section shall not provide for the granting of superannuation benefits to or in respect of any person where the Single Public Service Pension Scheme applies to or in respect of that person by virtue of Chapter 2 of Part 2 of the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012.

(3) A scheme made under this section shall fix the time and conditions of retirement of all persons to or in respect of whom superannuation benefits are payable under the scheme and different times and conditions may be fixed in respect of different classes of persons.

(4) The Commission may, with the approval of the Minister given with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, amend or revoke a scheme.

(5) A scheme shall be carried out by the Commission in accordance with its terms.

(6) A scheme shall include provision for appeals from a decision relating to a superannuation benefit under the scheme.

(7) No superannuation benefits shall be granted by the Commission to or in respect of a person who is a member of a scheme under this section on ceasing to be a Commissioner or a member of the staff of the Commission otherwise than

(a) in accordance with a scheme or schemes under this section, or

(b) with the approval of the Minister, given with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

(8) A scheme shall be laid by the Commission before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as practicable after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the scheme is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which that House sits after the scheme is laid before it, the scheme shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under it.

(9) Subsection (8) shall, with all necessary modifications, apply to an amendment to a scheme or a revocation of a scheme as it applies to a scheme.

(10) A scheme shall not provide for less favourable conditions in respect of people who immediately before the establishment day were members of the staff of the Authority than those conditions to which they were entitled immediately before the establishment day.

(11) Disbursement of superannuation benefits which may be granted to or in respect of persons who, immediately before the establishment day, were members of the staff of the Authority shall not be on less favourable conditions than would apply if the benefits had continued to be paid out of moneys provided by the Authority.

(12) In this section, scheme means a scheme made under subsection (1).]

Annotations

Amendments:

F24

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 19
19

F25[Committees.

19. (1) The Commission may establish committees to assist and advise the Commission on matters relating to its functions or on such other matters as the Commission may determine.

(2) A committee may include such number of members as the Commission considers appropriate, and may include Commissioners, members of the staff of the Commission or other persons.

(3) The Commission shall specify in writing the purpose and terms of reference of each committee.

(4) The acts of a committee are subject to confirmation in writing by the Commission unless the Commission dispenses with the necessity for confirmation.

(5) The Commission may, at any time, dissolve a committee, or for any reason remove any members of a committee.

(6) The Commission may regulate the procedures of a committee but, subject to any such regulation, a committee may regulate its own procedures.

(7) Any expenses of a committee shall be considered to be expenses of the Commission.

(8) There may be paid by the Commission to members of a committee such allowances for expenses (if any) incurred by them as the Commission may, with the approval of the Minister, given with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, determine.

(9) Without prejudice to the generality of this section, the Commission shall, within one year after the establishment day, establish a committee under this section to be known as the Youth Advisory Committee.

(10) The Youth Advisory Committee shall assist and advise the Commission

(a) in the exercise of its functions under Part 8A in so far as those functions relate to the interests of children and people not more than 25 years of age, and

(b) on such other matters as the Commission may determine.

(11) The Youth Advisory Committee shall include such representatives as may be nominated at the invitation of the Commission by organisations representing children or people of not more than 25 years of age.

(12) At least half of the members of the Youth Advisory Committee shall be not more than 25 years of age.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F25

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 20
20

F26[Consultants and advisers.

20. (1) The Commission may engage such consultants or advisers as it considers necessary for the performance of its functions.

(2) Any fees due to a consultant or adviser engaged under this section shall be paid by the Commission out of moneys at its disposal.

(3) The Commission shall have regard to the advice of any consultant or adviser engaged under this section.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F26

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 21
21

F27[Power to impose levies.

21. (1) The Commission may make an order (a levy order) imposing a levy on any of the following:

(a) providers of audiovisual media services;

(b) providers of sound broadcasting services;

(c) providers of designated online services.

(2) A levy order shall specify the period in respect of which a levy is imposed (the levy period).

(3) Levy periods shall run successively, and shall be the same for all levies imposed.

(4) The Commission shall seek to ensure that the amount of all levies imposed under subsection (1) in respect of a levy period is sufficient to meet the Commission’s expenses properly incurred in that period and its working capital requirements in that period, in so far as those expenses and requirements are not met in any other way.

(5) In calculating the amount of a levy under any paragraph of subsection (1) in respect of a levy period, the Commission

(a) shall consider the Commission’s expenses in that period in performing functions in relation to services mentioned in that paragraph, as a proportion of its expenses in that period in performing functions in relation to all services mentioned in subsection (1), and

(b) shall seek to ensure that the total amount imposed by way of levy under that paragraph in respect of that period, represents a corresponding proportion of the total amount imposed by way of levy under this section in respect of that period.

(6) A levy order shall provide for the collection, payment and administration of a levy, including

(a) the method of calculation of the levy,

(b) the times at which payment is to be made and the form of payment,

(c) requirements for providers subject to the levy to keep relevant records, and to make them available to the Commission,

(d) any provision for exemptions, deferrals or refunds, and

(e) the consideration of applications by providers for the review of decisions under the order.

(7) A levy order

(a) shall not impose a levy on a provider providing only a community broadcasting service, and

(b) shall exempt any such service from the calculation of a levy imposed on a provider also providing other services.

(8) In subsection (7), community broadcasting service means a service provided under a contract under section 64, 68(1)(b), or 72.

(9) In making provision by levy order for the method of calculation of a levy and for any exemption or deferral, the Commission shall consider the relevance of the following factors:

(a) the financing of a provider, including any public funding;

(b) the desirability of promoting new or innovative services;

(c) the nature and scale of services provided by a provider;

(d) any other factor that may affect the exercise by the Commission of functions in relation to a provider, including, in the case of designated online services, matters referred to in section 139E(3)(d), (e) and (f).

(10) Levy orders may (subject to subsection (3)):

(a) make different provision for different providers, including providers within the same paragraph of subsection (1);

(b) in the case of providers who fall within more than one of those paragraphs, make different provision under different paragraphs.

(11) Any surplus of income, from levies imposed in respect of a levy period, over the expenses properly incurred by the Commission in that period and its working capital requirements in that period shall either

(a) be retained by the Commission to be offset proportionately against subsequent levy obligations of the providers on whom the levy was imposed, or

(b) be refunded proportionately to those providers.

(12) In this section and section 22

levy order has the meaning given in subsection (1);

levy period has the meaning given in subsection (2).]

Annotations

Amendments:

F27

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Editorial Notes:

E8

Power pursuant to section exercised (1.01.2024) by Broadcasting Act 2009 (Section 21) Levy Order 2023 (S.I. No. 657 of 2023), in effect as per art. 1(2).

Section 22
22

F28[Levies under section 21: enforcement and procedure.

22. (1) A levy payable under a levy order by any person may be recovered by the Commission from that person as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction.

(2) A person shall be guilty of a category 2 offence if in purported compliance with a requirement imposed by or under a levy order, he or she provides information to the Commission which is to his or her knowledge false or misleading.

(3) A levy order shall be laid by the Commission before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the order is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which that House sits after the order is laid before it, the order shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under it.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F28

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 23
23

F29[Grant to Commission.

23. In each financial year of the Commission, the Minister may advance to the Commission out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas such sums as the Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, determine.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F29

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 24
24

F30[Power to borrow.

24. The Commission may borrow money (including money in a currency other than the currency of the State) for the purpose of performing any of its functions, subject to the approval of the Minister, given with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform and the Minister for Finance, and any conditions they may determine.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F30

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 25
25

F31[Deposits and charges for services.

25. (1) The Commission may require a person to pay a deposit of such amount as the Commission considers reasonable in respect of an application made by the person to the Commission for a broadcasting contract.

(2) The Commission may charge for services or facilities provided by it.

(3) Any surplus of income under subsection (2) over the expenses incurred by the Commission in respect of the provision of the services or facilities concerned in a particular financial year shall be applied in such manner as the Minister, after consultation with the Commission and with the consent of the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, may direct and any such direction may require that all or part of such excess be paid into the Exchequer.

(4) The Commission may recover any amount due and owing to it under this section from any person as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F31

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 26
26

F32[Estimates and accounts.

26. (1) The Commission shall submit estimates of income and expenditure to the Minister in such form, in respect of such periods and at such times as may be required by the Minister and shall furnish to the Minister any information which the Minister may require in relation to those estimates, including proposals and future plans relating to the performance by the Commission of its functions over a specified period of years.

(2) The Commission shall keep, in such form as may be approved by the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, all proper and usual books or other records of account of

(a) all moneys received or expended by the Commission,

(b) the sources of all moneys received and the reasons for all expenses, and

(c) all property, assets and liabilities of the Commission.

(3) The books and records referred to in subsection (2) shall include an income and expenditure account and a balance sheet and such special accounts, if any, as the Minister may from time to time direct.

(4) The Commission shall, whenever so requested by the Minister, permit any person appointed by the Minister to examine the books or other records of account of the Commission in respect of any financial year, or other period, and shall facilitate any such examination, and the Commission shall pay such fee for the examination as may be required by the Minister.

(5) Accounts kept under this section, signed by the chairperson and one other Commissioner or, in the absence of the chairperson, by 2 Commissioners, shall be submitted by the Commission to the Comptroller and Auditor General for audit as soon as practicable after the end of the financial year to which the accounts relate, but not later than 3 months thereafter.

(6) When so audited, a copy of the accounts together with a copy of the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon shall be presented by the Commission to the Minister who shall, as soon as practicable but not later than 3 months thereafter, cause copies of them to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

(7) The Commission shall, with the approval of the Minister, given with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, publish on a website maintained by the Commission

(a) such estimates of income and expenditure as are required to be submitted under subsection (1), and

(b) the audited accounts, or a summary of them, and the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General, presented to the Minister under subsection (6).

(8) The financial year of the Commission shall be the period of 12 months ending on the 31st day of December in any year, except that the period commencing on the establishment day and ending on the following 31st day of December shall be the first financial year of the Commission.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F32

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Editorial Notes:

E9

Broadcasting Authority of Ireland designated as competent authority for purposes of Directive 2010/13/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 201019 on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual media services (Audiovisual Media Services Directive) (Articles 9, 10, 11 and Articles 19 to 26) (17.01.2020) by European Union (Cooperation Between National Authorities Responsible for the Enforcement of Consumer Protection Laws) Regulations 2020 (S.I. No. 14 of 2020), reg. 4 and sch. ref. no. 17, in effect as per reg. 1(2).

E10

Power pursuant to subs. (5) exercised (10.02.2011) by Broadcasting Act 2009 (Section 26(5)) (Conferral of Additional Functions - Broadcasting Services) Order 2011 (S.I. No. 67 of 2011).

E11

Previous affecting provision: Broadcasting Authority of Ireland designated as competent authority for purposes of Directive 2010/13/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 201019 on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual media services (Audiovisual Media Services Directive) (Articles 9, 10, 11 and Articles 19 to 26) (17.01.2020) by European Union (Cooperation Between National Authorities Responsible for the Enforcement of Consumer Protection Laws) Regulations 2019 (S.I. No. 691 of 2019), reg. 4 and sch. ref. no. 17, in effect as per reg. 1(2); revoked (17.01.2020) by European Union (Cooperation Between National Authorities Responsible for the Enforcement of Consumer Protection Laws) Regulations 2020 (S.I. No. 14 of 2020), reg. 11(f), in effect as per reg. 1(2).

19 OJ No. L 95, 15.4.2010, p. 1.

Section 27
27

F33[Accountability of chairperson to Public Accounts Committee.

27. (1) The chairperson shall, whenever required in writing to do so by the Committee of Dáil Éireann established under the Standing Orders of Dáil Éireann to examine and report to Dáil Éireann on the appropriation accounts and reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General, give evidence to the Committee in relation to

(a) the regularity and propriety of the transactions recorded or required to be recorded in any book or other record of account subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General that the Commission is required by or under any enactment to prepare,

(b) the economy and efficiency of the Commission in the use of its resources,

(c) the systems, procedures and practices employed by the Commission for the purpose of evaluating the effectiveness of its operations, and

(d) any matter affecting the Commission referred to in a special report of the Comptroller and Auditor General under section 11(2) of the Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Act 1993, or in any other report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (in so far as it relates to a matter specified in paragraph (a), (b) or (c)) that is laid before Dáil Éireann.

(2) In the performance of his or her duties under this section, the chairperson shall not question or express an opinion on the merits of

(a) any policy of the Government or of a Minister of the Government, or

(b) the objectives of such a policy.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F33

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 28
28

F34[Accountability of Commissioner to Oireachtas committees.

28. (1) The chairperson, if required in writing to do so by a committee, shall attend before it to give account for the general administration of the Commission.

(2) Any Commissioner, if required in writing to do so by a committee, shall attend before it to give account for the performance of any functions of the Commission delegated to him or her.

(3) Subsections (1) and (2) do not require a Commissioner to give account before a committee for any matter which is or has been, or which may in the future be, the subject of proceedings before a court or tribunal.

(4) Where a Commissioner is of the opinion that a matter in respect of which he or she is requested to give an account before a committee is a matter to which subsection (3) applies, he or she shall inform the committee of that opinion and the reasons for the opinion and, unless the information is conveyed to the committee at a time when the Commissioner is before it, the information shall be so conveyed in writing.

(5) Where the Commissioner has informed a committee of his or her opinion in accordance with subsection (4) and the committee does not withdraw the requirement referred to in subsection (1) or (2) in so far as it relates to a matter the subject of that opinion

(a) the Commissioner may, not later than 21 days after being informed by the committee of its decision not to do so, apply to the High Court in a summary manner for determination of the question whether the matter is one to which subsection (3) applies, or

(b) the chairperson of the committee may, on behalf of the committee, make such an application,

and the High Court shall determine the matter.

(6) Pending the determination of an application under subsection (5), the Commissioner shall not attend before the committee to give account for the matter the subject of the application.

(7) If the High Court determines that subsection (3) applies to the matter concerned, the committee shall withdraw the requirement referred to in subsection (1) or (2), but if the High Court determines that subsection (3) does not apply, the Commissioner shall attend before the committee and give account for the matter.

(8) In this section, committee means a committee appointed by either House of the Oireachtas or jointly by both Houses of the Oireachtas (other than the committee referred to in section 27 or the Committee on Members’ Interests of Dáil Éireann or the Committee on Members’ Interests of Seanad Éireann) or a subcommittee of such a committee.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F34

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 29
29

F35[Strategy statement and work programme.

29. (1) As soon as practicable after the establishment day, and thereafter not earlier than 6 months before and not later than 3 months before each third anniversary of the establishment day, the Commission shall prepare and submit to the Minister a strategy statement for the 3 year period immediately following the year in which the statement is submitted.

(2) A strategy statement shall

(a) specify the Commission’s objectives and intended outputs for the 3 year period referred to in subsection (1), and its strategies for achieving them, including its strategies for the economic and efficient use of resources,

(b) specify the manner in which the Commission proposes to assess its performance in respect of the objectives referred to in paragraph (a), taking account of its proposed financial and non-financial performance indicators,

(c) except for the first strategy statement, include an assessment of the outcomes and effectiveness of the preceding strategy statement, based on the manner of assessment and the proposed performance indicators specified in the preceding strategy statement, and

(d) include any other matter that the Minister may direct.

(3) A strategy statement shall be prepared in the form and manner that the Minister directs.

(4) When preparing a strategy statement, the Commission may consult such persons as it considers appropriate.

(5) Prior to the adoption of a strategy statement and its submission to the Minister, the Commission shall undertake, for such reasonable period as the Commission may determine, a public consultation process on a draft of the strategy statement.

(6) As soon as practicable after a strategy statement has been submitted to the Minister under subsection (1), the Minister shall cause a copy of the strategy statement to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas and the Commission shall publish the strategy statement on a website maintained by the Commission.

(7) The Commission shall prepare and submit to the Minister, at least 2 months before the commencement of each financial year, a work programme relating to the discharge of its functions, including

(a) having regard to the strategy statement, the objectives and intended outputs of the Commission for that year and its strategy for achieving those objectives and outputs,

(b)  the Commission’s priorities for its work to achieve those objectives and outputs, and

(c) any other matter that the Minister may direct.

(8) The Commission shall, in preparing each strategy statement and each work programme, have regard to the need to ensure the most effective, efficient, and economical use of its resources.

(9) The Commission shall give a copy of the strategy statement to such committees of either or both Houses of the Oireachtas as the Minister may direct.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F35

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 30
30

F36[ Observations on legislative proposals and review of enactments.

30. (1) The Minister may direct the Commission to

(a) provide observations in relation to proposals for legislative measures, or

(b) undertake a review of the operation or intended operation of an enactment,

where the functions of the Commission relate to or impact on the proposals or enactment.

(2) The Commission may, on receipt of a direction under subsection (1) or of its own volition, make a proposal to the Minister or any other Minister of the Government it considers appropriate, for a legislative measure on a matter to which the functions of the Commission relate or upon which the functions of the Commission impact.

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), a proposal under that subsection may include a proposal to make, amend or repeal any enactment.

(4) The Commission shall, in complying with a direction under subsection (1) or in making a proposal under subsection (2), consult any person who it appears to the Commission it is appropriate to consult, or whom the Minister concerned directs is to be consulted.

(5) In this section

Act means

(a) an Act of the Oireachtas, and

(b) a statute which was in force in Saorstát Éireann immediately before the date of the coming into operation of the Constitution and which continued in force by virtue of Article 50 of the Constitution;

enactment means an Act or a statutory instrument, including this Act or any statutory instrument made under it, or any provision of an Act or statutory instrument;

make in subsection (3), in respect of an Act, includes enact or commence;

proposal for a legislative measure means a proposal for an Act or statutory instrument;

repeal includes revoke, rescind, abrogate or cancel;

statutory instrument means an order, regulation, rule, bye-law, warrant, licence, certificate, notice, direction, code, scheme, guideline or other like document made, issued, granted or otherwise created by or under an Act.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F36

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 31
31

F37[Reporting by Commission.

31. (1) The Commission shall not later than the 30th day of June in each year prepare and submit to the Minister a report on its activities in the immediately preceding year (in this section referred to as the annual report), and the Minister shall, as soon as may be after receiving the annual report, cause copies of the annual report to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

(2) An annual report shall include information in such form and regarding such matters as the Minister may direct but nothing in this subsection shall be construed as requiring the Commission to include information the inclusion of which would, in the opinion of the Commission, be likely to prejudice the performance of its functions.

(3) An annual report shall include details of any scheme approved under Part 10 or 10A of this Act.

(4) An annual report shall include a report to the Minister on progress made towards increasing the accessibility of audiovisual media services to people with disabilities, and in particular, on progress made to achieve the intended outcomes relating to such accessibility set out in any media service rules.

(5) The Commission may furnish to the Minister such information or reports, in addition to the annual report, about the performance of its functions as it considers appropriate.

(6) In addition to information provided by the Commission in its annual report and in any reports made under subsection (5) the Commission shall supply to the Minister such information as the Minister may require regarding the performance of its functions.

(7) The Commission shall arrange for an annual report that has been laid before each House of the Oireachtas in accordance with subsection (1) to be published, on a website maintained by the Commission, as soon as practicable after copies of the report are so laid.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F37

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Modifications (not altering text):

C8

Section applied with modifications (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 66, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Final accounts and final annual report of Authority

66. (1) Final accounts of the Authority shall be drawn up by the Commission as soon as may be after the establishment day but not later than 6 months thereafter and shall be in such form as may be approved by the Minister, in respect of the financial year or part of the financial year of the Authority.

(2) Accounts prepared pursuant to this section shall be submitted as soon as may be by the Commission to the Comptroller and Auditor General for audit, and, immediately after the audit, a copy of the income and expenditure account and of the balance sheet and of such other (if any) of the accounts as the Minister may direct and a copy of the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report on the accounts shall be presented to the Minister who shall cause copies of them to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

(3) The Commission shall prepare the final annual report for the Authority and submit the report to the Minister not later than 6 months after the establishment day.

(4) Subject to subsection (3) and to the modifications referred to in subsection (5), section 31 of the Principal Act as substituted by section 8 shall apply in relation to an annual report prepared under this section.

(5) The modifications referred to in subsection (4) are that—

(a) the reference to Part 10A of the Principal Act in section 31(3) of the Principal Act shall be deleted, and

(b)  the reference in section 31(4) of the Principal Act to media service rules shall be construed as a reference to broadcasting rules made under section 43(1)(c) of the Principal Act as it existed before the coming into operation of section 73(a).

Section 32
32

F38[Co-operation with other bodies.

32. (1) The Commission may, in the interests of the effective discharge of its functions, co-operate and enter into co-operation agreements with a body established in the State.

(2) The Commission may, in the interests of the effective discharge of its functions, co-operate, and enter into co-operation agreements, with a body not established in the State, if that body performs similar functions to the Commission.

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), a body which is a member of the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services established by Article 30b(1) of the Directive shall be considered to be a body which performs similar functions to the Commission.

(4) If the Commission enters into an agreement under this section

(a) it shall provide the Minister and the Joint Oireachtas Committee with a copy of the agreement, and

(b) it may publish the agreement on a website maintained by it, with the consent of all parties to the agreement, and subject to such redaction as may be agreed between them.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F38

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 33
33

F39[Disclosure of personal data.

33. (1) The Commission may, in the circumstances referred to in subsection (2), disclose personal data to any of the following:

(a) the Data Protection Commission;

(b) a national regulatory authority or body designated by another Member State under Article 30 of the Directive;

F40[(ba) the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission;]

(c) the Garda Síochána;

(d) a broadcaster or a provider of an audiovisual on-demand media service;

F40[(da) an intermediary service provider;]

(e) a body prescribed in regulations made by the Minister.

(2) The circumstances referred to in subsection (1) are:

(a) in the case of subsection (1)(a), where the Commission considers that a complaint, or part of a complaint, made under section 48 is not relevant to the performance by the Commission of its functions, but may be relevant to the performance by the Data Protection Commission of its functions, and the Commission considers that the disclosure is necessary and proportionate for the purposes of transferring the complaint or part to the Data Protection Commission;

(b) in the case of subsection (1)(b), where the Commission considers that a complaint, or part of a complaint, made under section 48 is made in relation to a broadcaster, or a provider of an audiovisual on-demand media service, which is under the jurisdiction of another Member State, and the Commission considers that the disclosure is necessary and proportionate for the purposes of transferring the complaint or part to the national regulatory authority or body designated by that Member State;

F40[(ba) In the case of subsection (1)(ba), where the Commission considers that the disclosure is necessary and proportionate

(i) for the effective implementation of the Digital Services Regulation, or

(ii) for the purposes of transferring a complaint or part of a complaint to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, where a complaint, or part of a complaint made under section 201 relates to a failure to comply with the Digital Services Regulation;]

(c) in the case of subsection (1)(c), where the Commission considers that the disclosure may be necessary and proportionate for the prevention or investigation of a criminal offence;

(d) in the case of subsection (1)(d), where the Commission considers that a complaint, or part of a complaint, made under section 48 is made in relation to the broadcaster or provider of an audiovisual on-demand media service, and the Commission considers that the disclosure is necessary and proportionate for the purposes of transferring the complaint or part to the broadcaster or provider under section 48(3);

F40[(da) in the case of subsection (1)(da),where the Commission considers that a complaint, or part of a complaint, made under section 201 is made in relation to an intermediary service provider, and the Commission considers that the disclosure is necessary and proportionate for the purposes of considering a complaint or part of a complaint made under that section;]

(e) in the case of any paragraph of subsection (1), where the Commission considers that the disclosure is necessary and proportionate in such other circumstances as may be prescribed in regulations made by the Minister.

(3) Where the Commission discloses a person’s personal data under this section the Commission shall notify the person of the disclosure in so far as it is practicable to do so.

F40[(3A) Where the Commission processes or discloses special categories of personal data in accordance with this section, it shall only do so where the Commission considers that the disclosure is necessary and proportionate in accordance with the Data Protection Regulation and the Act of 2018.

(3B) The Minister may make regulations prescribing suitable and specific measures for the processing of special categories of personal data under this section.

(3C) Where personal data processed by the Commission is required for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of a criminal offence, the data

(a) may be processed for as long as it is required for such prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution, and

(b) shall be permanently deleted after it is no longer required for such prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution.]

(4) The matters that section 19 (1) of the Data Sharing and Governance Act 2019 requires to be specified or included in a data-sharing agreement shall be specified or included in any agreement entered into by the Commission for the disclosure to another body of personal data in accordance with subsection (1), subject to the following modifications to the description of those matters in section 19 (1) of that Act:

(a) references to the data-sharing shall be construed as references to any disclosure under the agreement;

(b) the reference in paragraph (d) to the public body concerned shall be construed as a reference to the body with whom the agreement is entered into;

(c) the reference in paragraph (f) to a public body shall be construed as a reference to a party to the agreement;

(d) the following paragraph shall be substituted for paragraph (r):

(r) include in a schedule to the agreement a statement summarising the grounds on which the Commission considers the disclosure of the information to be necessary and proportionate as described in any paragraph of section 33 (2) of the Broadcasting Act 2009..

(5) The Minister shall make regulations under subsection (1)(e) only where he or she is satisfied that disclosure by the Commission of personal data to a body prescribed under the regulations, in the circumstances referred to in subsection (2), is necessary for the performance by the Commission or the body prescribed of functions in the public interest.

(6) The Minister shall make regulations under subsection (2)(e) only where he or she is satisfied that disclosure by the Commission of personal data to a body referred to in subsection (1), in the circumstances prescribed under the regulations, is necessary for the performance by the Commission or such a body of functions in the public interest.

(7) The Minister shall consider whether it is necessary to carry out an assessment of the impact of regulations made under subsection (1)(e) or (2)(e) on the processing of personal data before making the regulations and, where he or she considers it necessary to do so, shall carry out the assessment.

(8) Regulations made under this section shall be laid by the Minister before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after they are made and, if a resolution annulling the regulations is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which the House sits after the regulations are laid before it, the regulations shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under them.

(9) The Commission shall give a copy of any agreement referred to in subsection (4) to the Minister.]

F40[(10) In this section

Act of 2018 means the Data Protection Act 2018;

special categories of personal data has the same meaning as it has in the Act of 2018;

suitable and specific measures means measures to be taken to safeguard the fundamental rights and freedoms of data subjects in processing the personal data of those data subjects and may include measures specified in section 36(1) of the Act of 2018.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F39

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F40

Inserted (17.02.2024) by Digital Services Act 2024 (2/2024), s. 9(a)-(d), S.I. No. 53 of 2024.

Editorial Notes:

E12

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (1.01.2021) by Broadcasting Act 2009 (Section 33) Levy (Amendment) Order 2020 (S.I. No. 521 of 2020), in effect as per art. 1(2); section substituted (15.03.2023) as per F-note above, SI revoked (1.01.2024) by Broadcasting Act 2009 (Section 21) Levy Order 2023 (S.I. No. 657 of 2023), art. 1(3), in effect as per reg. 1(2).

E13

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (17.01.2010) by Broadcasting Act 2009 (Section 33) Levy Order 2010 (S.I. No. 7 of 2010), in effect as per art. 1(2); section substituted (15.03.2023) as per F-note above, SI revoked (1.01.2024) by Broadcasting Act 2009 (Section 21) Levy Order 2023 (S.I. No. 657 of 2023), art. 1(3), in effect as per reg. 1(2)..

Section 34
34

F41[Co-operation with self-regulatory systems.

34. (1) The Commission may co-operate with, or give assistance to, a person or group of persons, whether established in the State or elsewhere

(a) in the preparation by that person or group of standards, or

(b) in the establishment and administration by that person or group of a self-regulatory system,

relating to the regulation of programme material, user-generated video or other content.

(2) In this section, self-regulatory system means a system whereby the members of a group of persons with a shared interest voluntarily adhere to rules or codes of conduct established by that group, and may include a system which provides for the resolution of disputes.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F41

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 35
35

F42[Policy communications.

35. (1) The Commission may consider any communication issued to it by the Minister in accordance with this section (a policy communication), if the Commission is satisfied that doing so is consistent with its independence in the performance of its functions.

(2) The Minister may issue a policy communication if

(a) the Minister thinks the Commission should consider the matters referred to in the communication in formulating policy relating to the performance of its functions, and

(b) the Minister is satisfied that issuing the communication is consistent with the Commission’s independence in the performance of its functions.

(3) Before issuing a policy communication, the Minister

(a) shall give the Commission a draft of the proposed communication and the reasons for it, and

(b) shall publish the draft and the reasons with a notice specifying the period within which representations relating to the communication may be made by any person.

(4) The period specified must not be less than 21 days from the date of publication of the notice.

(5) After considering any representations made under subsection (3), the Minister may issue the policy communication with or without amendment.

(6) Before issuing a policy communication that relates to the functions of another Minister of the Government, the Minister shall consult that other Minister.

(7) The Minister shall not issue a policy communication that relates to the Commission’s performance of its functions in relation to a particular person.

(8) The Minister shall not issue a policy communication that relates to the Commission’s performance of its functions under Part 5, 6, 8 or 8B of this Act.

(9) A policy communication shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas by the Minister as soon as may be after it is issued.

(10) The Commission shall publish a policy communication on a website maintained by it.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F42

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 36
36

F43[Confidential information.

36. (1) A person shall not disclose confidential information obtained by him or her in the course of performing, or as a result of having performed, functions as a relevant person under this Act unless he or she is required or permitted by law, or duly authorised by the Commission, to do so.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply where

(a) the disclosure is made to the Commission,

(b) the disclosure is made to a Minister of the Government,

F44[(ba) the disclosure is made to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission for the purposes of the Digital Services Regulation including where, in the opinion of the person making the disclosure, the information may relate to the commission of an offence under this Act,]

(c) the disclosure is made to a public body, whether in the State or otherwise, for the purposes of facilitating co-operation between the Commission and such body in the performance of their respective functions, or

(d) the disclosure is made to a member of the Garda Síochána and, in the opinion of the person making the disclosure, the information may relate to the commission of an offence (whether an offence under this Act or not).

(3) A person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of a category 3 offence.

F44[(3A) Notwithstanding any other enactment or rule of law, if information, in the opinion of any body or person referred to in paragraphs (b) to (d) of subsection (2), may relate to the commission of an offence under this Act, then the information may be disclosed by that person or body to

(a) a Commissioner,

(b) a member of the staff of the Commission, or

(c) an authorised officer.]

(4) In this section

confidential information means

(a) information that is expressed by the Commission to be confidential, either as regards particular information or as regards information of a particular class or description, or

(b) information of a commercially sensitive nature submitted to the Commission for the purposes of the performance of its functions;

relevant person means

(a) a Commissioner,

(b) a member of the staff of the Commission,

(c) an authorised officer,

(d) any other person engaged under a contract for services by the Commission, or a member of the staff of such a person, including a consultant or adviser engaged under section 20, or

(e) a person who has previously acted in a capacity referred to in any of paragraphs (a) to (d).]

Annotations

Amendments:

F43

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F44

Inserted (17.02.2024) by Digital Services Act 2024 (2/2024), s. 10(a), (b), S.I. No. 53 of 2024.

Section 36A
36A

F45[Professional secrecy under Digital Services Regulation

36A. (1) Notwithstanding section 36 and without prejudice to the exchange and the use of information referred to in Chapter IV of the Digital Services Regulation, a Commissioner, a member of the staff of the Commission, a person working under the supervision of the Commission or any other person involved shall not contravene Article 84 of the Regulation.

(2) A person who, without reasonable excuse, contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of a category 3 offence.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F45

Inserted (17.02.2024) by Digital Services Act 2024 (2/2024), s. 11, S.I. No. 53 of 2024.

Section 37
37

F46[Disclosure of interests.

37. (1) Where a relevant person or a connected relative of a relevant person is likely to derive a benefit from any matter to be considered by the Commission, or where a relevant person has a relevant interest in any business or organisation representative of any business, which is likely to derive a benefit from such a matter, the relevant person

(a) shall, in advance of any consideration of the matter, disclose that fact to the Commission,

(b) shall take no part in the deliberation by the Commissioners or members of the staff of the Commission in relation to the matter,

(c) shall withdraw from a meeting at which the matter is being considered for so long as it is being so considered, and shall not be counted towards a quorum during any such consideration,

(d) shall not influence or seek to influence a decision to be made in relation to the matter, and

(e) shall not make any recommendation to the Commission in relation to the matter.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person as regards

(a) a contract or proposed contract of employment of that person as a member of the staff of the Commission, or

(b) a contract or proposed contract for services in respect of that person, provided that person is not a Commissioner or a member of staff.

(3) Where a Commissioner fails to comply with this section, and that failure has not resulted in the Government issuing a notice under section 12(6), the Minister shall decide the appropriate action to be taken.

(4) Where a person other than a Commissioner fails to comply with this section, the Commission shall decide the appropriate action to be taken, which may include termination of the person’s contract of employment or contract for services.

(5) For the purposes of this section

connected relative shall be construed in accordance with section 12(15);

relevant interest shall be construed in accordance with section 12(13) and (14), subject to the modifications that

(a) references to a provider of communications media or the provider in those subsections shall be construed as references to the business or organisation representative of any business referred to in subsection (1), and

(b) references to a person shall be construed as references to the relevant person referred to in subsection (1);

relevant person means a Commissioner, a member of the staff of the Commission, or a consultant or adviser engaged under section 20.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F46

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 38
38

F47[ Judicial review.

38. (1) F48[]

(2) Leave shall not be granted for judicial review of F49[any decision] made or act done by the Commission under this Act unless

(a) the application for leave is made to the High Court within the period of 28 days beginning on the date of the decision or the date of the doing of the act, or

(b) the High Court is satisfied that it may extend the period provided for in paragraph (a) because

(i) there is good and sufficient reason for doing so, and

(ii) the circumstances that resulted in the failure to make the application for leave within the period in paragraph (a) were outside the control of the applicant for the extension.

(3) The Commission may, at any time after the bringing of an application for leave to apply for judicial review which relates to a matter for the time being before the Commission, apply to the High Court to stay the judicial review proceedings pending the making of a decision by the Commission in relation to the matter.

(4) On the making of an application referred to in subsection (3), the High Court may, where it considers that the matter is within the jurisdiction of the Commission, stay the proceedings on such terms as it thinks fit.

(5) Subject to subsection (6), no appeal shall lie to the Court of Appeal from a decision of the High Court on:

(a) an application for leave for judicial review made in accordance with F49[subsection (2)];

(b) an application to extend the period for the making of such an application in accordance with subsection (2);

(c) an application for judicial review following leave granted under subsection (2);

(d) any other application made in proceedings referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (c).

(6) The High Court may grant leave to appeal from a decision referred to in subsection (5), where it certifies that its decision involves a point of law of exceptional public importance and that it is desirable in the public interest that an appeal should be taken to the Court of Appeal.

(7) On an appeal referred to in subsection (6), the Court of Appeal shall have jurisdiction to determine only the point of law certified by the High Court under subsection (6), and to make only such order as necessarily follows from that determination.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F47

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 8, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F48

Deleted (17.02.2024) by Digital Services Act 2024 (2/2024), s. 12(a), S.I. No. 53 of 2024.

F49

Substituted (17.02.2024) by Digital Services Act 2024 (2/2024), s. 12(b), (c), S.I. No. 53 of 2024.

PART 3

Broadcasters — Duties, Codes and Rules

Section 58
58

Duties of broadcasters.

39.— F50[]

Annotations

Amendments:

F50

Repealed (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 73(a), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 58
58

Recording of broadcasts.

40.— F51[]

Annotations

Amendments:

F51

Repealed (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 73(a), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 58
58

Advertising.

41.—F52[]

Annotations

Amendments:

F52

Repealed (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 73(a), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Editorial Notes:

E14

Previous affecting provision: application of subs. (3) restricted (9.02.2023) by Electoral Reform Act 2022 (30/2022), s. 32(1), S.I. No. 32 of 2023; section repealed (15.03.2023) as per F-note above.

E15

Previous affecting provision: subs. (6) amended (9.02.2023) by Electoral Reform Act 2022 (30/2022), s. 70(a), S.I. No. 32 of 2023; section repealed (15.03.2023) as per F-note above.

Section 58
58

Broadcasting codes.

42. — F53[]

Annotations

Amendments:

F53

Repealed (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 73(a), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 58
58

Broadcasting rules.

43. — F54[]

Annotations

Amendments:

F54

Repealed (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 73(a), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 58
58

Inspection of draft broadcasting codes and rules.

44.— F55[]

Annotations

Amendments:

F55

Repealed (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 73(a), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 58
58

Presentation of broadcasting codes and rules to Minister.

45. — F56[]

Annotations

Amendments:

F56

Repealed (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 73(a), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 58
58

Co-operation with other parties — standards and self-regulation.

46. — F57[]

Annotations

Amendments:

F57

Repealed (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 73(a), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

PART 3A

Register of providers of audiovisual on-demand media services

Section 46A
46A

Register of providers of audiovisual on-demand media services.

46A. (1) The Commission shall establish and maintain a register of media service providers subject to registration.

(2) For the purposes of this Part a media service provider is subject to registration if

(a) it is under the jurisdiction of the State, and

(b) it provides an audiovisual on-demand media service.

(3) The register shall include at least the following information for each media service provider:

(a) the name of the media service provider;

(b) the name of each audiovisual on-demand media service provided by the media service provider;

(c) the criteria under section 2A on the basis of which the media service provider is under the jurisdiction of the State.

(4) The register shall be in such form as the Commission considers appropriate.

(5) The Commission shall provide a copy of the register to the Minister annually, or otherwise on the request of the Minister.

(6) The Commission shall publish the register on a website maintained by it, but may omit such information, other than the information mentioned in subsection (3)(a) and (b), as the Commission considers appropriate.

(7) In this Part, the register means the register established and maintained by the Commission under this section.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F58

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 9, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 46B
46B

F59[Duty of media service providers to notify Commission.

46B. (1) A media service provider that is subject to registration at the date of coming into operation of this Part shall give the Commission a notification under this section not later than the end of the transitional period.

(2) A media service provider that becomes subject to registration during the transitional period shall give the Commission a notification under this section not later than

(a) the end of the transitional period, or

(b) if later, the end of 10 working days from the date on which the provider becomes subject to registration.

(3) A media service provider that becomes subject to registration after the transitional period shall give the Commission a notification under this section not later than 10 working days from the date on which the provider becomes subject to registration.

(4) The transitional period is the period of 3 months from the date of coming into operation of this Part.

(5) A notification under this section shall contain

(a)  the name of the media service provider,

(b) contact details of the media service provider,

(c) the name of each audiovisual on-demand media service provided by the provider,

(d)  in each case, a description of the nature of the service and the nature of the content provided by the service,

(e) a statement of the basis on which the media service provider considers that it is under the jurisdiction of the State, and

(f) such other matters as the Commission may prescribe by rules under section 46H.

(6) A notification shall be given in compliance with any rules made under section 46H.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F59

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 9, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 46C
46C

F60[Duty of registered media service providers to notify changes.

46C. (1) A media service provider registered on the register shall give the Commission a notification under this section of any change in the matters referred to in section 46B(5) (including any matters prescribed by rules under section 46H) relating to the provider or the services provided by the provider.

(2) A notification under this section shall be given not later than 10 working days from the date on which the change occurs.

(3) A notification shall be given in compliance with any rules made under section 46H.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F60

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 9, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 46D
46D

F61[Procedure where Commission notified under section 46B or 46C.

46D. (1) This section applies if the Commission receives a notification under section 46B or 46C.

(2) The Commission may request further information from the media service provider for the purposes of deciding what action to take under subsection (3) or (4).

(3) In the case of a notification under section 46B, the Commission shall as soon as practicable

(a)  decide whether the media service provider is subject to registration, and

(b)  if it decides that the media service provider is subject to registration, make the appropriate entry in the register.

(4) In the case of a notification under section 46C, the Commission shall as soon as practicable make any appropriate amendment to the register.

(5) The Commission shall give the media service provider

(a)  a statement in writing of any decision under subsection (3)(a),

(b)  if that decision is that the provider is not subject to registration, a statement in writing of the reasons for the decision,

(c)  a copy of any entry under subsection (3)(b), and

(d) a statement in writing of any amendment under subsection (4).]

Annotations

Amendments:

F61

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 9, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 46E
46E

F62[Review and correction of register.

46E. (1) The Commission shall, from time to time as it considers appropriate, review each entry in the register.

(2) The Commission shall amend the register if it is satisfied, following a review under subsection (1) or otherwise, that

(a)  the provider to which an entry relates is not subject to registration, or

(b)  information included in the register is incorrect.

(3) Before making an amendment under subsection (2) the Commission shall consult the provider concerned if it is practicable to do so.

(4) The Commission may request further information from the provider for the purposes of deciding whether to make an amendment under subsection (2).

(5) The Commission shall give the provider concerned a statement in writing of any amendment it makes under subsection (2).]

Annotations

Amendments:

F62

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 9, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 46F
46F

F63[Failure to notify or to provide further information.

46F. (1) Where it appears to the Commission that a media service provider has failed to comply with section 46B, or 46C, or a request under section 46D(2) or section 46E(4), the Commission may by notice in writing direct the provider to take any action stated in the notice to comply with that section or that request.

(2) The Commission shall not give a direction under subsection (1) unless it has given the provider an opportunity to make representations about the apparent failure.

(3) A direction shall state

(a)  the reasons for it, and

(b)  the period within which the provider must comply with it.

(4) Where a direction states that the provider has failed to comply with section 46B or 46C, the provider may appeal the direction to the Circuit Court within 28 days of receipt of the direction.

(5) On hearing an appeal under subsection (4), the Circuit Court may either

(a) affirm the direction, or 

(b) where it is satisfied that the Commission in giving the direction was irrational or erroneous in its reasoning, or committed a failure to comply with fair procedures, or any other clear error of law, order that the direction be withdrawn.

(6) A person who fails without reasonable excuse to comply with a direction under subsection (1) shall be guilty of a category 2 offence.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F63

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 9, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 46G
46G

F64[Removal of provider or service from register.

46G. (1) If under section 46D(4) or 46E(2) the Commission

(a) removes from the register the entry relating to a media service provider, or 

(b) removes from the entry relating to a media service provider reference to an audiovisual on-demand media service,

the Commission shall enter in the register a statement to that effect and a statement of the reasons for that removal. 

(2) The Commission shall give the provider concerned a copy of any statement included in the register under subsection (1).]

Annotations

Amendments:

F64

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 9, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 46H
46H

F65[Rules and guidelines.

46H. (1) The Commission may, having regard to the efficiency of the registration process and the need to maintain an up-to-date register, make rules prescribing:

(a) subject to section 46A(3), the information to be included in the register;

(b) the form and manner of a notification under section 46B or 46C, including the information which must be provided under section 46B(5)(f);

(c) the procedures which the Commission shall follow in making requests for further information under sections 46D(2) and 46E(4).

(2) The Commission may issue guidelines in relation to the operation of this Part or of any rules made under subsection (1) and such guidelines shall be published on a website maintained by the Commission.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F65

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 9, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F66[PART 3B

Duties, codes, and rules applying to media service providers and sound broadcasters

Chapter 1

Interpretation

Section 46I
46I

Interpretation.

46I. (1) In this Part

party political programme means a programme broadcast, or made available in a catalogue of an audiovisual on-demand media service, by or on behalf of a political party for the purpose of promoting the political party;

political party means a political party registered in the Register of Political Parties;

relevant media service provider means a provider of an audiovisual on-demand media service who is

(a) a corporation, or a subsidiary of a corporation,

(b) a broadcasting contractor, or

(c) a person who meets one or more of the conditions in subsection (2) and whose annual sales derived from activities referred to in that subsection are greater than €2 million;

relevant service in relation to a relevant media service provider means an audiovisual on-demand media service provided by that provider.

(2) The conditions referred to in paragraph (c) of the definition of relevant media service provider in subsection (1) are:

(a) that the person or a related person publishes a newspaper or periodical consisting substantially of news and comment on current affairs;

(b) that the person or a related person is a broadcaster;

(c) that the person or a related person provides programme material consisting substantially of news and comment on current affairs to a broadcaster; or

(d) that the person or a related person otherwise makes available on an electronic communications network any written, audio, audiovisual or photographic material, consisting substantially of news and comment on current affairs, that is under his or her editorial control.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2), a person is a related person if the person is part of the same group of companies (within the meaning given to that term by section 8 of the Companies Act 2014) as the person referred to in paragraph (c) of the definition of relevant media service provider in subsection (1).]

Annotations

Amendments:

F66

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 10, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F67[Chapter 2

Duties

Section 46J
46J

Harm, offence, incitement, and authority of State.

46J. (1) A broadcaster shall not broadcast, and a provider of an audiovisual on‑demand media service shall not make available in a catalogue of the service

(a) anything which may reasonably be regarded as causing harm or undue offence,

(b) anything which may reasonably be regarded as likely to promote, or incite to, crime,

(c) anything which may reasonably be regarded as conduct falling within Article 5 of Directive (EU) 2017/541 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 201710 on combating terrorism and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA and amending Council Decision 2005/671/JHA,

(d) anything which may reasonably be regarded as likely to incite to violence or hatred directed against a group of persons, or a member of a group, based on any of the grounds referred to in Article 21 of the Charter, or

(e) anything which may reasonably be regarded as tending to undermine the authority of the State.

(2) A failure to comply with subsection (1) shall be a contravention for the purposes of Part 8B.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F67

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 10, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

10 OJ No. L. 88, 31.3.2017

Section 46K
46K

F68[Privacy.

46K. (1) A broadcaster shall ensure that, in programmes broadcast by the broadcaster, and in the means employed to make such programmes, the privacy of any individual is not unreasonably encroached upon.

(2) A provider of an audiovisual on-demand media service shall ensure that in programmes included in a catalogue of the service, and in the means employed to make such programmes, the privacy of any individual is not unreasonably encroached upon.

(3)  A failure to comply with subsection (1) or (2) shall be a contravention for the purposes of Part 8B.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F68

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 10, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 46L
46L

F69[News and current affairs.

46L. (1) A broadcaster, in programmes which he or she broadcasts, and a relevant media service provider, in programmes which he or she makes available in a catalogue of the relevant service, shall ensure

(a) that news is reported and presented in an objective and impartial manner and without any expression of the broadcaster’s or provider’s own views, and

(b) that the treatment of current affairs, including matters which are either of public controversy or the subject of current public debate, is fair to all interests concerned, and that the matter broadcast or made available is presented in an objective and impartial manner and without any expression of the broadcaster’s or provider’s own views.

(2) Should it prove impracticable to apply subsection (1)(b) in relation to a single programme, 2 or more related programmes may be considered as a whole, if

(a) where the programmes are broadcast, they are broadcast within a reasonable period of each other, or

(b) where the programmes are made available on a relevant service, they are made available in the same way on the relevant service within a reasonable period of each other.

(3) Nothing in subsection (1) prevents a broadcaster from broadcasting, or a relevant media service provider from making available, party political programmes, provided that an unfair preference is not given to any political party

(a) by a broadcaster, in the allocation of time for such programmes, or

(b) by a relevant media service provider, in the positioning of such programmes in a catalogue of the relevant service.

(4) Subsection (1), in so far as it requires a broadcaster or a relevant media service provider not to express his or her own views, does not apply to news or current affairs relating to a proposal which

(a) concerns policy as regards broadcasting which is of public controversy or the subject of current public debate, and

(b)  is being considered by the Government or the Minister.

(5) Subject to subsection (6), a provider of a sound broadcasting service shall ensure that the time devoted to the broadcasting of news and current affairs programmes on the service

(a) is not less than 20 per cent of the broadcasting time of the service, and

(b) if the service is provided for more than 12 hours in any one day, is not less than 2 hours of the broadcasting time of the service between 07. 00 hours and 19. 00 hours.

(6) The Commission may authorise a derogation in whole or in part from the requirement in subsection (5) in the case of a sound broadcasting service, if the Commission is satisfied that the derogation would be beneficial to the listeners of the service.

(7) The sound broadcasting services established and maintained by RTÉ are deemed to be one sound broadcasting service for the purposes of subsection (5).

(8) A failure to comply with this section shall be a contravention for the purposes of Part 8B.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F69

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 10, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 46M
46M

F70[Advertising.

46M. (1) A programme broadcast, or made available in a catalogue of an audiovisual on-demand media service, may include advertisements inserted in it.

(2) A broadcaster shall not broadcast, and a relevant media service provider shall not make available in a catalogue of the relevant service, an advertisement which

(a) is directed towards a political end or has any relation to an industrial dispute, or

(b) addresses the issue of the merits or otherwise of adhering to any religious faith or belief, or of becoming a member of any religion or religious organisation.

(3) A provider of a sound broadcasting service shall ensure that in the service the total daily time devoted to the broadcasting of advertisements does not exceed 15 per cent of the total daily broadcasting time.

(4) Nothing in subsection (2)(a) prevents a broadcaster from broadcasting, or a relevant media service provider from making available, party political programmes, provided that an unfair preference is not given to any political party

(a) by a broadcaster, in the allocation of time for such programmes, or

(b) by a relevant media service provider, in the positioning of such programmes in a catalogue of the relevant service.

(5) Subsection (2)(a) does not apply to advertisements broadcast by a broadcaster, or advertisements made available in a catalogue of a relevant service by a relevant media service provider, at the request of F71[An Coimisiún Toghcháin], in relation to a matter referred to in F72[section 31 of the Electoral Reform Act 2022] concerning a referendum.

(6) A failure to comply with subsection (2) or (3) shall be a contravention for the purposes of Part 8B.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F70

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 10, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F71

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 68(a), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F72

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 68(b), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F73[Chapter 3

Media service codes and media service rules

Section 46N
46N

Media service codes.

46N. (1) The Commission may make codes (media service codes) governing the standards and practices of broadcasters and providers of audiovisual on-demand media services.

(2) Media service codes may provide for standards and practices to ensure

(a) that broadcasters and providers of audiovisual on-demand media services comply with sections 46J and 46K,

(b) that broadcasters and relevant media service providers comply with section 46L(1) to (3),

(c) that in programme material audiences are protected from anything harmful or unduly offensive, and in particular that programme material relating to gratuitous violence or sexual conduct is presented

(i) with due sensitivity to the convictions or feelings of the audience, and

(ii) in such a way that children will not normally hear or see anything which may impair their physical, mental or moral development,

(d) that commercial communications

(i) protect the interests of the audience, and

(ii) in particular, where they relate to matters likely to be of direct or indirect interest to children, protect the interests of children having particular regard to the general public health interests of children,

and

(e) that the provision of a broadcasting service or audiovisual on-demand media service which has as one of its principal objectives the promotion of the interests of any organisation protects the interests of the audience.

(3) Media service codes may provide that party political programmes may be broadcast or made available only at specified times.

(4) Media service codes may provide for standards and practices to promote the following:

(a) balanced gender representation of participants in news and current affairs programmes broadcast by broadcasters or made available by providers of audiovisual on-demand media services;

(b) the broadcast in programmes broadcast on sound broadcasting services of music composed or performed by women.

(5) The Commission shall make media service codes providing for the matters required to be provided for by Articles 5, 6(1), 6a(1) to (3), 7b, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, Chapter VI, and Chapter VII (other than Article 26) of the Directive (except in so far as provision is made by media service rules).

(6) The Commission shall have regard to each of the following matters in making or amending a media service code

(a) the degree of harm or offence likely to be caused by the inclusion of a particular matter in programme material,

(b) the likely size and composition of the potential audience for programme material,

(c) the likely expectation of the audience as to the nature of programme material, and the extent to which the nature of the programme material can be brought to the attention of potential members of the audience,

(d) the likelihood of persons who are unaware of the nature of programme material being unintentionally exposed to it by their own actions,

(e) the desirability of securing that the provider of a broadcasting service or an audiovisual on-demand media service informs the Commission of any change affecting the nature of the service and, in particular, of any change relevant to the application of media service codes, and

(f) the desirability of maintaining the independence of editorial control over programmes.

(7) Provision made for the purpose referred to in subsection (2)(d)(ii) may prohibit or restrict, in accordance with law, the inclusion in programmes of commercial communications relating to foods or beverages considered by the Commission to be the subject of public concern in respect of the general public health interests of children, in particular infant formula, follow-on formula or those foods or beverages which contain fat, trans-fatty acids, salts or sugars.

(8) In preparing a media service code the Commission may consult the relevant public health authorities about any provision made for the purpose referred to in subsection (2)(d)(ii).

(9) The Commission may amend or revoke a media service code.

(10) A failure to comply with a media service code shall be a contravention for the purposes of Part 8B.

(11) Subject to subsection (12), the following broadcasting codes prepared under section 42 of this Act before the date of coming into operation of this section shall, if in force immediately before that date, continue in force as if made under this section:

(a) the General Commercial Communications Code (1 June 2017);

(b) the Code of Fairness, Objectivity and Impartiality (1 July 2013);

(c) the Code of Programme Standards (1 March 2015);

(d) the Children’s Commercial Communications Code (2 September 2013).

(12) After the coming into operation of this section, the broadcasting codes referred to in subsection (11) shall continue to apply to broadcasters only, unless otherwise amended or revoked by the Commission.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F73

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 10, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 46O
46O

F74[Media service rules.

46O. (1) The Commission may make rules (media service rules) for the purposes of this section.

(2) Subject to subsections (3) and (4), the Commission may make media service rules in relation to the total daily times that shall be allowed for broadcasting commercial communications on a broadcasting service provided by a broadcasting contractor.

(3)  In the case of audiovisual broadcasting

(a) media service rules under subsection (2) shall specify the time allowed for broadcasting audiovisual commercial communications in the period between 06. 00 and 18. 00 hours and in the period between 18. 00 and 24. 00 hours each day, but

(b) the time specified shall not exceed 20 per cent of the time in each period.

(4) Media service rules under subsection (2) relating to sound broadcasting shall be in accordance with section 46M(3).

(5) The Commission shall make media service rules requiring a broadcaster, as respects programmes broadcast by the broadcaster, and a provider of an audiovisual on-demand media service, as respects programmes made available in a catalogue of the service, to take steps to promote the understanding and enjoyment of those programmes by

(a) persons who are deaf or have a hearing impairment,

(b) persons who are blind or partially sighted, and

(c) persons who have a hearing impairment and are partially sighted.

(6) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (5), media service rules under that subsection shall require a media service provider to take steps to provide access to audiovisual programmes by persons within any paragraph of that subsection by means such as the provision of

(a) a sign language service,

(b) subtitling, or

(c) audio description.

(7) Media service rules under subsection (5) shall require media service providers to have regard to whether facilities such as those referred to in subsection (6) are provided

(a) in the case of an audiovisual broadcasting service

(i) daily, or at other regular intervals,

(ii) at popular viewing times, as well as at other times, and

(iii) for news and news related matters, as well as for other matters,

or

(b) in the case of an audiovisual on-demand media service, in an easily identifiable and easily accessible manner.

(8) Media service rules under subsection (5) may require a broadcaster to ensure that a specified percentage of programmes broadcast on a broadcasting service in a specified period employs specified means by which the understanding and enjoyment by persons referred to in that subsection of that percentage of programmes may be promoted.

(9) Media service rules shall provide for the matters required to be provided for by Articles 6(1), 6a(1), 7, 7b, 8, 9, 10, 11, Chapter VI and Articles 23(2), 24 and 25 of the Directive (except in so far as provision is made by media service codes).

(10) The Commission may amend or revoke a media service rule.

(11) A failure to comply with a media service rule shall be a contravention for the purposes of Part 8B.

(12) The Commission shall prepare a report for the Minister on the operation of media service rules made under subsection (5), in such form and manner as the Minister may specify, not later than 3 years after the coming into operation of this subsection, and every 3 years thereafter.

(13) Subject to subsection (14), the following broadcasting rules prepared under section 43 of this Act before the date of coming into operation of this section shall, if in force immediately before that date, continue in force as if made under this section:

(a) Access rules (28 January 2019);

(b) Rules on Adverts and Teleshopping (28 July 2010).

(14) After the coming into operation of this section, the broadcasting rules referred to in subsection (13) shall continue to apply to broadcasters only, unless otherwise amended or revoked by the Commission.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F74

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 10, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F75[Chapter 4

Retention of copies of programme material

Section 46P
46P

Retention of copies of programme material.

46P. (1) A broadcaster shall retain a copy of all programme material

(a) broadcast by the broadcaster, or

(b) supplied by the broadcaster under a broadcasting contract or a content provision contract.

(2) A provider of an audiovisual on-demand media service shall retain a copy of all programme material made available in a catalogue of an audiovisual on-demand media service by the provider.

(3) The Commission may determine the duration for which copies of programme material shall be retained in each of the cases referred to in subsections (1) and (2) and shall publish the duration on a website maintained by it.

(4) The Commission may require the broadcaster or provider referred to in subsection (1) or (2) to provide a copy of any programme material to which that subsection applies within a specified period.

(5) A failure to comply with subsection (1) or (2) shall be a contravention for the purposes of Part 8B.

(6) A person who fails without reasonable excuse to comply with a requirement under subsection (4) shall be guilty of a category 2 offence.

(7) The making or retention of a copy of programme material for the purposes of compliance with subsection (1) or (2) is not a contravention of the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F75

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 10, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F76[Chapter 5

Procedures in relation to media service codes and media service rules

Section 46Q
46Q

Consultation.

46Q. (1) Before making a media service code or media service rule, the Commission shall make a draft of it available for inspection by any person.

(2) A person may make submissions to the Commission in relation to the draft referred to in subsection (1), within such period as the Commission specifies for that purpose.

(3) The Commission shall publish on a website maintained by it, and may publish in a newspaper circulating in the State, notice

(a) that a draft referred to in subsection (1) is available for inspection,

(b) of the place at which, or the means by which, it may be inspected, and

(c) of the period specified under subsection (2) for the making of submissions.

(4) The Commission shall, in finalising a draft media service code or media service rule, have regard to any submissions made during the period specified under subsection (2).]

Annotations

Amendments:

F76

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 10, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 46R
46R

F77[Laying of codes and rules.

46R. (1) A copy of any media service code or media service rule made or amended, and notice in writing of the revocation of any code or rule, shall be given to the Minister as soon as practicable after the code or rule is made, amended or revoked.

(2) A media service code or media service rule shall be laid by the Commission before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made or amended and, if a resolution annulling the code or rule is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which that House sits after the code or rule is laid before it, the code or rule shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under it.

(3) Subject to section 46O(12), the Commission shall, from time to time as it sees fit, or at the direction of the Minister, review the effect of a media service code or media service rule and shall prepare a report in relation to that review and give it to the Minister.

(4) The Minister shall cause a copy of the report referred to in subsection (3) to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as practicable after receiving it.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F77

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 10, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

PART 4

Redress

Section 47
47

Code of practice — complaints handling.

47.— F78[(1) A broadcaster or provider of an audiovisual on-demand media service shall give due and adequate consideration to a complaint made in writing to it that it has failed to comply with one or more of the matters referred to in section 48(1) where, in the opinion of the broadcaster or provider of an audiovisual on-demand media service, the complaint is made in good faith and is not frivolous or vexatious.]

(2) A complaint under subsection (1) shall be made to the F79[broadcaster or provider of an audiovisual on-demand media service] not more than 30 days after—

(a) in case the complaint relates to one broadcast, the date of the broadcast,

(b) in the case of 2 or more unrelated broadcasts, the date of the earlier or earliest, as the case may be, of those broadcasts, F80[]

(c) in case the complaint relates to 2 or more related broadcasts of which at least 2 are made on different dates, the later or latest of F81[those dates, or]

F82[(d) in the case the complaint relates to programme material made available on an audiovisual on-demand media service, the date the programme material ceased to be available on that service.]

(3) A F79[broadcaster or provider of an audiovisual on-demand media service] shall prepare and implement a code of practice for the handling F83[in accordance with subsection (1) of complaints made in accordance with subsection (2) or referred under section 48(3)]. The code of practice shall make provision for the following matters—

(a) an initial point of contact for complainants, including an electronic-mail address,

(b) a time period within which the F79[broadcaster or provider of an audiovisual on-demand media service] shall respond to complaints, and

(c) the procedures to be followed by the F79[broadcaster or provider of an audiovisual on-demand media service] in the resolution of complaints.

(4) A F79[broadcaster or provider of an audiovisual on-demand media service] shall publish on a website maintained by the F79[broadcaster or provider of an audiovisual on-demand media service], and generally make available, a copy of the code of practice prepared under subsection (3).

(5) The Compliance Committee may prepare and publish guidance for F84[broadcasters or providers of an audiovisual on-demand media service] for the purposes of ensuring compliance with subsection (3).

(6) A F79[broadcaster or provider of an audiovisual on-demand media service] shall supply F85[the matters referred to in subsection (3)(a) and (b), and the address of the website referred to in subsection (4),] to the Compliance Committee who shall cause such information to be published on a website maintained by the Authority.

(7) A F79[broadcaster or provider of an audiovisual on-demand media service] shall keep a record of complaints made under subsection (1) F86[or referred under section 48(3)] and of any reply made thereto for a period of 2 years from the date of receipt of the complaint.

(8) A F79[broadcaster or provider of an audiovisual on-demand media service] shall, if directed by the Compliance Committee, make available for inspection by the Compliance Committee all records kept by the F79[broadcaster or provider of an audiovisual on-demand media service] under subsection (7).

Annotations

Amendments:

F78

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 11(a), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F79

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 11(g), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F80

Deleted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 11(b)(i), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F81

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 11(b)(ii), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F82

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 11(b)(iii), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F83

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 11(c), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F84

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 11(d), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F85

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 11(e), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F86

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 11(f), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 48
48

Complaints process.

F87[48. (1) A person may make a complaint to the Commission that there has been a failure to comply with section 46J, 46K, 46L, 46M(2) or (3), a media service code, a media service rule, section 46P(1) or (2), section 106(3) or section 127(6).

(2) A complaint shall be made in writing to the Commission not more than 30 days after

(a) where the complaint relates to one broadcast, the date of the broadcast,

(b) where the complaint relates to 2 or more unrelated broadcasts, the date of the earlier or earliest, as the case may be, of those broadcasts,

(c) where the complaint relates to 2 or more related broadcasts, of which at least 2 are made on different dates, the later or latest of those dates, or

(d) where the complaint relates to programme material made available on an audiovisual on-demand media service, the date the programme material ceased to be available on that service.

(3) The Commission may, in the first instance, refer the complaint to the broadcaster or provider of an audiovisual on-demand media service concerned, for his or her consideration in accordance with a code of practice prepared under section 47(3).

(4) If the Commission does not refer a complaint under subsection (3), it may, following consideration of the complaint, dismiss the complaint, if it is satisfied that

(a) the complaint is frivolous or vexatious or was not made in good faith,

(b) the subject matter of the complaint is trivial,

(c) the complaint has been resolved effectively under a code of practice prepared under section 47(3), or

(d) the complaint was not made in accordance with subsection (2).

(5) If the Commission does not refer a complaint under subsection (3) or dismiss it under subsection (4), it shall refer the complaint to a person authorised under section 139ZI(2) for his or her consideration.

(6) Where the Commission refers a complaint under subsection (3) or (5) or dismisses a complaint under subsection (4), it shall notify the person who made the complaint of that reference or dismissal as soon as practicable after doing so, and no later than 30 days after the date of the reference or dismissal.

(7) Where a complaint is dismissed under subsection (4), the notification referred to in subsection (6) shall include a statement of the reasons for the dismissal.

(8) The Commission shall either refer a complaint under subsection (3) or (5) or dismiss a complaint under subsection (4) within 60 working days from the date on which the complaint is received and shall publish notice of the fact of the reference or dismissal on a website maintained by it.

(9) A complaint made under subsection (1) of section 47 in accordance with subsection (2) of that section may, whether resolved under a code of practice prepared under subsection (3) of that section or not, be treated by the Commission as a complaint made to the Commission in accordance with subsection (2) of this section.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F87

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 12, S.I. No. 71 of 2023, subject to transitional provision in s. 69.

Section 49
49

Right of reply.

49.— (1) In this section—

“requester” means a person who makes a request under subsection (6);

“right of reply” means the broadcast by a broadcaster of a statement prepared in accordance with a scheme;

“scheme” means a scheme under subsection (3).

(2) Subject to this section, any person whose honour or reputation has been impugned by an assertion of incorrect facts or information in a broadcast shall have a right of reply.

(3) The Authority shall prepare, F88[] following a period of public consultation, a scheme for the exercise of the right of reply.

(4) A scheme shall set out the procedures to be followed in the exercise of the right of reply.

(5) In preparing a scheme the Authority shall ensure that—

(a) a right of reply shall be broadcast—

(i) within a reasonable time period subsequent to the request for a right of reply being made, and

(ii) at a time and in a manner appropriate to the broadcast to which the request refers, and

(b) a right of reply shall—

(i) state to what extent the information contained in the broadcast under subsection (2) is incorrect or misleading, and

(ii) be limited to factual assertions necessary to rectify an incomplete or otherwise distorting assertion.

(6) A person who wishes to exercise a right of reply in accordance with a scheme shall make a request in writing addressed to the broadcaster concerned—

(a) stating that the request is made under this section,

(b) containing sufficient particulars to enable the identification by the taking of reasonable steps of the part of the broadcast which asserted incorrect facts impugning the honour or reputation of the requester, and

(c) if the requester requires the right of reply to be given in a particular form or manner (being a form or manner which is in accordance with the terms of any scheme) specifying the form or manner of the right of reply.

(7) A request for a right of reply shall be made not later than 21 days after the making of the broadcast referred to in the request, unless otherwise agreed between the requester and the broadcaster concerned.

(8) The broadcaster shall, as soon as may be but not later than 10 days after the receipt of a request under subsection (6)

(a) decide whether to grant or refuse the request, and

(b) cause notice in writing of the decision to be given to the requester.

(9) Where notice of a decision under subsection (8) is not given to the requester by the expiration of the period specified for that purpose a decision refusing to grant the request under subsection (6) shall be deemed to have been made upon such expiration by the broadcaster concerned.

(10) A broadcaster shall give due and adequate consideration to any request under subsection (6), which in the opinion of the broadcaster has been made in good faith and is not of a frivolous or vexatious nature, by a member of the public in respect of the broadcasting service provided by the broadcaster and shall keep due and proper records for a period of 2 years of all such requests and of any reply made to them or of any action taken on foot of them.

(11) A broadcaster shall, if directed by the Compliance Committee, make available for inspection by the Compliance Committee all records kept by him or her under subsection (10).

(12) No charge shall be made for the processing of a request under subsection (6) by a broadcaster.

(13) In a defamation action the granting of a request for a right of reply under this section by a defendant in respect of a statement to which the action relates—

(a) does not constitute an express or implied admission of liability by that defendant, and

(b) is not relevant to the determination of liability in the action.

(14) In a defamation action the defendant may give evidence in mitigation of damage, that he or she granted or offered to grant a right of reply under this section to the plaintiff in respect of the statement to which the action relates, either—

(a) before the bringing of the action, or

(b) as soon as practicable thereafter, in circumstances where the action was commenced before there was an opportunity to grant or offer to grant a right of reply.

(15) In a defamation action, a defendant who intends to give evidence to which subsection (14) applies shall, at the time of the filing or delivery of the defence to the action, notify the plaintiff in writing of his or her intention to give such evidence.

(16) Evidence of the granting of a right of reply under this section by a broadcaster in respect of a statement to which the action relates is not admissible in any civil proceedings as evidence of liability of the defendant.

(17) Subject to this section, the Compliance Committee, F89[on application to it] in that behalf, in writing, by a requester, shall endeavor to within 21 days after the receipt of such an application, review a decision to refuse by a broadcaster under subsection (8) or (9) and F1[as it considers appropriate]

(a) affirm the decision, or

(b) annul the decision and require the broadcaster concerned to broadcast the Compliance Committee’s decision including any correction of inaccurate facts or information relating to the individual concerned within 7 days of such decision being communicated to the broadcaster and at a time and in a manner corresponding to that in which the broadcast to which the request relates took place,

in accordance with this section.

(18) An application under subsection (17) shall be made to the Compliance Committee not more than 21 days after receipt of a decision to refuse under subsection (8) or (9).

(19) Where F90[the Commission proposes] to investigate an application made under subsection (17), the Compliance Committee shall afford to the broadcaster to whom the application relates (hereafter in this section referred to as the “broadcaster concerned”) an opportunity to comment on the application.

(20) As soon as may be after F91[it decides] on an application made under subsection (17), the Compliance Committee shall send to—

(a) the person who made the application, and

(b) the broadcaster concerned,

a statement in writing of F91[its decision], including the reasons for F91[its decision].

(21) The Compliance Committee may reject any request for a right of reply where it is of the opinion inter alia that—

(a) the request is of a frivolous or vexatious nature or was not made in good faith,

(b) a right of reply is manifestly unnecessary owing to the minor significance of the error in the broadcast complained of,

(c) the proposed right of reply cites untrue information or assertions,

(d) the proposed right of reply is a personal opinion,

(e) the proposed right of reply is an assessment or warning against the future conduct of a person,

(f) satisfaction of the proposed right of reply would involve a punishable act,

(g) satisfaction of the proposed right of reply would be harmful or offensive,

(h) satisfaction of the proposed right of reply would render the broadcaster liable to civil law proceedings,

(i) satisfaction of the proposed right of reply would breach a broadcaster’s statutory obligation,

(j) satisfaction of the proposed right of reply would breach the terms of a broadcaster’s contract under Part 6 with the Authority,

(k) the person who was injured by the contested information has no legally justifiable actual interest in the publication of a right of reply,

(l) the original broadcast also contained a statement from the person affected and such contents are equivalent to a right of reply,

(m) an equivalent editorial correction has been made and the person affected informed,

(n) the content of the proposed right of reply would violate the rights of a third party,

(o) the matter concerned relates to reports on public sessions of the Houses of the Oireachtas or the Courts,

(p) the matter concerned relates to a party political broadcast,

(q) the matter concerned relates to a broadcast under F92[section 31 of the Electoral Reform Act 2022],

(r) the broadcast of a right of reply is not in the public interest, or

(s) the application was not made within the period specified in subsection (18).

(22) Where the Compliance Committee finds that the broadcaster has failed to comply with a decision under subsection (17) the Compliance Committee shall notify the broadcaster of those findings and give the broadcaster an opportunity to make representations in relation to the notification or remedy any non-compliance, not later than—

(a) 10 days after F92[the giving of the notification], or

(b) the end of such longer period as is agreed by the Compliance Committee with the broadcaster concerned.

(23) Where, at the end of the period referred to in subsection (22), the Compliance Committee is of the opinion that the broadcaster concerned has not remedied its non-compliance, F92[the Commission may, on notice to the broadcaster,] apply to the High Court for such order as may be appropriate in order to ensure compliance with a decision under subsection (17).

(24) The High Court may, as it thinks fit, on the hearing of the application make an order—

(a) compelling compliance with a decision under subsection (17),

(b) varying a requirement under subsection (17), or

(c) refusing the application.

(25) A scheme shall be—

(a) published by the Authority on a website maintained by the Authority, and

(b) carried out in accordance with its terms by the Compliance Committee.

F93[(25A) The Commission may amend a scheme prepared under subsection (3) and an amended scheme shall be considered to be a scheme prepared under subsection (3).]

(26) (a) A scheme shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas by the Minister as soon as may be after it is prepared.

(b) Either House of the Oireachtas may, by resolution passed within 21 sitting days after the day on which a scheme was laid before it in accordance with paragraph (a), annul the scheme.

(c) The annulment under paragraph (b) of a scheme takes effect immediately on the passing of the resolution concerned but does not affect anything that was done under the scheme before the passing of the resolution.

(27) The Authority shall review and report to the Minister on the operation, effectiveness and impact of a scheme not later than 3 years from the date on which it comes into operation and every 5 years thereafter or at such time as may be requested by the Minister.

(28) A copy of a report under subsection (27) shall be laid by the Minister before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it has been made to him or her.

F93[(29) A scheme prepared under subsection (3) before the date of coming into operation of section 13 of the Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 shall, if in force immediately before that date, continue in force as if made under this section as amended by that section.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F88

Deleted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 13(a), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F89

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 13(b)(i), (ii), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F90

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 13(c), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F91

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 13(d)(i), (ii), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F92

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 13(e), (f), (g), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F93

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 13(h), (i), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

PART 5

Enforcement

Chapter 1

Compliance with terms of contract

Section 50
50

Investigation into affairs of contractor.

50. F94[(1) In this section

contractor means a holder of a contract under Part 6 or 8;

investigator means a person appointed as an investigator under subsection (2).]

F94[(2) If a person authorised by the Commission under subsection (2A) has reason to suspect that a contractor is not providing a service in accordance with the terms of the contractor’s contract, the person may appoint a member of the staff of the Commission, or such other person as he or she considers appropriate, as an investigator to carry out an investigation under this section into the operational, programming, financial, technical or other affairs of the contractor.]

F95[(2A) The Commission may authorise any Commissioner or member of its staff to make an appointment referred to in subsection (2).]

(3) The F96[investigator]shall notify the contractor concerned of the matter under investigation and afford the contractor an opportunity to respond, within 7 days of the date of the notification, or such further period as the F96[investigator] allows, to the matter under investigation. It is the duty of the contractor to co-operate in the investigation.

(4) An investigator may for the purposes of an investigation under this section require the contractor concerned to—

(a) produce to the investigator such information or records in the contractor’s possession or control relevant to the investigation,

(b) allow the investigator to enter the premises of the contractor to conduct such inspections and make such examinations of broadcasting equipment found there, and

(c) where appropriate, attend before the investigator for the purposes of the investigation.

(5) Where an investigator, having conducted an investigation under subsection (2), forms a view that a contractor is not providing the service referred to in that subsection in accordance with the terms of the contractor’s contract, then he or she shall notify the finding to the contractor and afford that contractor an opportunity to make submissions in accordance with any rules made under subsection (8) at a hearing before the Compliance Committee in respect of the matter under investigation.

(6) The contractor concerned shall supply the Compliance Committee with such information and records the F97[Commission] considers necessary for the purposes of a hearing.

(7) After consideration of submissions (if any) made by the contractor concerned under subsection (5), the Compliance Committee may—

(a) make a finding that the contractor is not providing the service referred to in subsection (2) in accordance with the terms of the contractor’s contract, or

(b) make such other finding as it considers appropriate in the circumstances.

(8) The Compliance Committee shall make rules providing for F98[the operation of an investigation under this section, and] the conduct of a hearing under subsection (5). The rules shall provide for the period in which submissions under subsection (5) are to be made. The rules may include provision for an oral or other form of hearing, as appropriate.

F98[(8A) The functions of the Commission under subsections (5), (6) and (7) shall be exercised by a division of the Commission consisting of such uneven number of Commissioners, not being less than 3, as the Commission may determine.]

F98[(8B) If the person appointing an investigator to carry out an investigation under subsection (2) is a Commissioner, the division exercising the functions referred to in subsection (8A) in relation to the investigation shall not include that Commissioner.]

(9) F99[]

Annotations

Amendments:

F94

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 14(a), (b), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F95

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 14(c), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F96

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 14(d)(i), (ii), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F97

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 14(e), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F98

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 14(f), (g), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F99

Deleted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 14(h), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Modifications (not altering text):

C9

Transitional period provided for and section applied with modifications (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 70, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Investigation under section 50 of Principal Act

70. (1) Where before the date of coming into operation of section 14 an investigation conducted under section 50 of the Principal Act has not resulted in a finding under section 50(7) of the Principal Act the investigation shall, on and after that date and subject to the modifications referred to in subsection (2), be considered to be an investigation under section 50 of the Principal Act as amended by this Act.

(2) The modifications are that—

(a) the investigator appointed by the Compliance Committee shall be deemed to have been appointed in accordance with section 50(2) and (2A) of the Principal Act as amended by this Act, and

(b) where before the date of coming into operation of section 14 submissions have been made by a contractor under section 50(5) of the Principal Act, but a finding has not been made under section 50(7) of that Act, the contractor may be afforded a further opportunity to make submissions to the Commission under section 50(5) of the Principal Act as amended by this Act.

Section 51
51

Termination or suspension of contract under Part 6 or 8.

51.— F100[(1) Without prejudice to any provision of this Act, or of a contract made under it, the Commission may terminate, or suspend for such period as it considers reasonable, a contract entered into under Part 6 or Part 8

(a) if any false or misleading information of a material nature was given to the Commission by or on behalf of the holder of the contract before it was entered into, or

(b) if, following an investigation under section 50, the Commission has made a finding under subsection (7) of that section that the holder of the contract has failed on one or more occasions to comply with a term or condition of the contract, and the nature of that failure is of such seriousness as in the Commission’s opinion warrants the termination or suspension of the contract.]

F101[(1A) The functions of the Commission under subsections (1) and (2), shall be exercised by a division of the Commission consisting of such uneven number of Commissioners, not being less than 3, as the Commission may determine.]

F101[(1B) In the case of functions under subsection (1)(b), and subsection (2) as it applies to a decision under subsection (1)(b), if the person who appointed the investigator to carry out the investigation referred to in subsection (1)(b) was a Commissioner, the division referred to in subsection (1A) shall not include that Commissioner.]

F102[(2) Where the Commission proposes to make a decision under subsection (1) the Commission shall by notice in writing afford the holder of the contract concerned an opportunity to make submissions, in accordance with any rules made under subsection (3), at a hearing before the Commission in respect of the matter under consideration.]

(3) The Compliance Committee shall make rules providing for F103[the operation of this section, including] the conduct of a hearing under subsection (2). The rules shall provide for the period in which submissions under subsection (2) are to be made. The rules may include provision for an oral or other form of hearing, as appropriate.

F104[(3A) The Commission may make guidelines in relation to the operation of section 50 and this section and shall publish any guidelines on a website maintained by it.]

(4) A decision to terminate or suspend a contract by the Authority under this section, any other provision of this Act or a provision of the contract, may be appealed by the holder of the contract to the High Court.

(5) F105[]

(6) A contract terminated or suspended under this section, under any other provision of this Act or under a provision of the contract, shall—

(a) in case it is terminated, cease to have effect, and

(b) in case it is suspended, cease to have effect for the period for which it is suspended.

Annotations

Amendments:

F100

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 15(a), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F101

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 15(b), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F102

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 15(c), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F103

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 15(d), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F104

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 15(e), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F105

Deleted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 15(f), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Modifications (not altering text):

C10

Transitional period provided for and section applied with modifications (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 71, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Termination or suspension of contract under section 51 of Principal Act

71. (1) Where before the date of coming into operation of section 15 the Compliance Committee has issued a notification under section 51(2) of the Principal Act but not heard submissions under that subsection, the notification shall on and after that date, and subject to the modification referred to in subsection (4)(a), be considered to be a notice under section 51(2) of the Principal Act as amended by section 15, and section 51 of the Principal Act as amended by section 15 shall apply accordingly.

(2) Where before the date of coming into operation of section 15 the Compliance Committee has received submissions under section 51(2) of the Principal Act but has not made a recommendation under section 51(1) of the Principal Act, the Commission shall on and after that date, and subject to the modifications referred to in subsection (4), make a decision in accordance with section 51 of the Principal Act as amended by section 15.

(3) Where before the date of coming into operation of section 15 the Compliance Committee has made a recommendation under section 51(1) of the Principal Act but the Authority has not suspended or terminated the contract under section 51(1) of the Principal Act, the Commission shall, on and after that date, and subject to the modification referred to in subsection (5), act in accordance with section 51(1) and (5) of the Principal Act as if section 15 had not come into operation.

(4) The modifications referred to in subsections (1) and (2) are that—

(a) the reference in section 51(1) of the Principal Act as amended by section 15 to the finding of the Commission under section 50(7) of the Principal Act, shall be construed as a reference to the finding of the Compliance Committee under section 50(7) of the Principal Act as it existed prior to the coming into operation of section 15, and

(b) the Commission may afford the holder of the contract referred to in section 51 of the Principal Act a further opportunity to make submissions in accordance with section 51(2) of the Principal Act as amended by section 15.

(5) The modification referred to in subsection (3) is that references to the Authority in section 51 of the Principal Act shall be construed as references to the Commission.

(6) Any rules made by the Authority under section 51(5) of the Principal Act which were in force immediately before the coming into operation of section 15 shall continue in force for the purposes of subsection (3), subject to any amendment made by the Commission.

Chapter 2

Financial Sancitions

Section 58
58

Definitions (Chapter 2).

52.— F106[]

Annotations

Amendments:

F106

Repealed (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 73(b), S.I. No. 71 of 2023, subject to transitional provision in s. 72.

Section 58
58

Investigation into affairs of broadcaster.

53.— F107[]

Annotations

Amendments:

F107

Repealed (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 73(b), S.I. No. 71 of 2023, subject to transitional provision in s. 72.

Section 58
58

Reports, findings, recommendations and procedures relating to outcome of investigation.

54.— F108[]

Annotations

Amendments:

F108

Repealed (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 73(b), S.I. No. 71 of 2023, subject to transitional provision in s. 72.

Section 58
58

Financial sanctions.

55.— F109[]

Annotations

Amendments:

F109

Repealed (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 73(b), S.I. No. 71 of 2023, subject to transitional provision in s. 72.

Section 58
58

Matters to be considered in determining the amount of financial sanction.

56.— F110[]

Annotations

Amendments:

F110

Repealed (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 73(b), S.I. No. 71 of 2023, subject to transitional provision in s. 72.

Chapter 3

Notifications

Section 57
57

Notifications.

57.— (1) F111[]

(2) F111[]

(3) A copy of a notification, which has endorsed on it a certificate purporting to be signed by an investigator under Chapter 1 or investigating officer under Chapter 2, as the case may be, stating that the copy is a true copy of the notification may, without proof of signature of that person, be produced in every court or before the Authority and in all legal proceedings and is evidence, unless the contrary is shown, of the notification.

(4) In this section “notification” means a notification under this Part.

Annotations

Amendments:

F111

Deleted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 16, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

PART 6

Broadcasting Contracts and Content Provision Contracts — Commercial and Community Broadcasters

Section 58
58

Interpretation (Part 6).

58.— (1) In this Part—

“broadcasting licence” means a licence granted under section 59;

“sound broadcasting contract” means a contract entered into under section 63;

F112[]

(2) Any contract in respect of broadcasting entered into under an enactment repealed by section 3 by the BCI with another person which is in force immediately before the passing of this Act continues in force as if made under the corresponding provision of this Part and has effect accordingly.

Annotations

Amendments:

F112

Deleted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 17, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 59
59

Broadcasting licence.

59.— (1) The Authority shall not authorise a broadcasting contractor to operate a broadcasting transmitter and provide a broadcasting service under a broadcasting contract unless and until the Communications Regulator has granted under this subsection to the Authority a licence (“broadcasting licence”) under section 5 of the Act of 1926 in respect of the sound or television broadcasting transmitter to which the contract relates.

(2) A broadcasting licence shall be valid only for such period of time as a broadcasting contract between the Authority and a broadcasting contractor is in force.

(3) Every broadcasting contract shall contain a condition requiring the broadcasting contractor concerned to establish, maintain and operate the broadcasting transmitter concerned in accordance with such terms and conditions as the Communications Regulator attaches to the broadcasting licence to which the contract relates (including any variations made to it in accordance with section 60), and so long as the terms and conditions are complied with, the contract has the effect of conveying the benefits of the licence to the broadcasting contractor and any such transmitter so established, maintained and operated shall be deemed to be licensed for the purposes of the Act of 1926.

(4) Every broadcasting licence shall be open to inspection by members of the public at the Authority’s F113[] office, at such times as the Authority considers reasonable during office opening hours.

Annotations

Amendments:

F113

Deleted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 18, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 60 (I) (II)
60
(I)
(II)

Variation of broadcasting licence.

60.— (1) The Communications Regulator may vary any term or condition of a broadcasting licence—

(a) if it appears to it to be necessary so to do in the interest of good radio frequency management,

(b) for the purpose of giving effect to any international agreement to which the State is a party and which has been ratified by the State and which relates to broadcasting,

(c) if it appears to it to be in the public interest so to do,

(d) if it appears to it to be necessary for the safety or security of persons or property so to do,

(e) on request from the Authority after consultation with any affected broadcasting contractor, or

(f) on request from the Authority on behalf of a broadcasting contractor.

(2) (a) If the Communications Regulator, for any reason specified in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of subsection (1) proposes to vary, under this section, any term or condition of a broadcasting licence, the Regulator shall, by notice in writing, inform the Authority of the Regulator’s intentions and of the reasons for it. The Authority shall, within 7 days of receiving the notice, give notice in writing to the broadcasting contractor concerned of the intention.

(b) The broadcasting contractor shall have the right to make representations in writing to the Authority in respect of the Communications Regulator’s intentions, within 21 days after the service of the notice by the Authority.

(c) The Authority shall transmit any such representations to the Communications Regulator within a further 7 days and the Communications Regulator, having considered the representations, may make such decision thereon as seems to it to be appropriate.

(3) (a) If, having considered the representations (if any) which have been notified to it by the Authority by or on behalf of a broadcasting contractor, the Communications Regulator decides to vary any term or condition of a licence, it shall, by notice in writing, inform the Authority of its decision.

(b) The Authority shall, within 7 days of receipt of the Communications Regulator’s decision by notice in writing inform the broadcasting contractor of that decision.

(c) On and from the day following service on the contractor of notice of the Communications Regulator’s decision the licence shall have effect subject to the variation of it by that decision.

(4) F114[]

(5) F114[]

Annotations

Amendments:

F114

Deleted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 19, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 61
61

Emergencies.

61.— (1) In this section “network provider” means a person providing or operating an electronic communications network which is used for the distribution, transmission or retransmission of broadcasting services to the public.

(2) During the continuance of any national emergency, the Minister may suspend any broadcasting licence or multiplex licence as defined in section 129 and, while any such suspension continues, the Minister may operate any service which was provided under the suspended licence or require such service to be operated as he or she directs.

(3) The Authority shall have the power to require broadcasting contractors and network providers to co-operate with the relevant public bodies in the dissemination of relevant information to the public in the event of a major emergency.

(4) If and whenever the Minister shall exercise the powers conferred on him or her by subsection (2) the broadcasting contractor or multiplex contractor shall be entitled to receive from the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance—

(a) such sums as are required to defray any expenses which, regard being had to the nature of the emergency, have been properly and necessarily incurred by the broadcasting contractor or multiplex contractor and for meeting which revenue is by reason of the exercise of such powers not otherwise available to the broadcasting contractor or multiplex contractor, and

(b) compensation for any damage done to any property of the broadcasting contractor or multiplex contractor, being damage directly attributable to the exercise of such powers.

(5) At the request of the Minister, the Authority shall direct a broadcasting contractor to allocate broadcasting time for announcements for and on behalf of any Minister of the Government, in the event of a major emergency, in connection with the functions of that Minister of the Government. The broadcasting contractor shall comply with the direction.

(6) At the request of the Minister, the Authority shall direct a network provider, in a manner to be specified by the Authority, to carry broadcast announcements for and on behalf of any Minister of the Government, in the event of a major emergency, in connection with the functions of that Minister of the Government. The network provider shall comply with the direction.

(7) In complying with a direction under subsection (5) or (6) a broadcasting contractor or network provider may broadcast an announcement that it has received such a direction from the Authority.

Section 62
62

Restriction on award of sound broadcasting contract.

62.— F115[The Commission shall not grant] a sound broadcasting contract to a person who has been convicted of an offence under section 3(3) (inserted by section 181 (2)) of the Act of 1926 or under section 3, 4 or 5 of the Act of 1988 if the conviction occurred less than 12 months before the first day on which the person proposes to engage in sound broadcasting activities to which the application for the sound broadcasting contract relates.

Annotations

Amendments:

F115

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 20, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 63
63

Sound broadcasting contracts.

63.— F116[The Commission] shall enter into contracts (“sound broadcasting contracts”) with persons ("sound broadcasting contractors”) under which the sound broadcasting contractors have, subject to this Part, the right and duty to establish, maintain and operate sound broadcasting transmitters serving the areas specified in the sound broadcasting contract and to provide, as the sound broadcasting contract may specify, a sound broadcasting service.

Annotations

Amendments:

F116

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 21, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 64
64

Community sound broadcasting contracts.

64.— F117[The Commission] may enter into a class of sound broadcasting contract (“community sound broadcasting contract”) with 2 or more members of a local community or of a community of interest if it is satisfied that—

(a) those members are representative of, and accountable to, the community concerned, and

(b) the supply of programme material in pursuance of the contract will be effected with the sole objective of—

(i) specifically addressing the interests of, and seeking to provide a social benefit to, the community concerned, and

(ii) achieving a monetary reward of no greater amount than is reasonably necessary to defray the expenses that will be incurred in effecting that supply.

Annotations

Amendments:

F117

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 22, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 65
65

Applications for sound broadcasting contracts.

65.— (1) In order to secure the orderly development of broadcasting services and to allow for the establishment of a diversity of services in an area catering for a wide range of tastes including those of minority interests, the Authority shall liaise and consult with the Communications Regulator in the preparation by that body of an allocation plan for the frequency range dedicated to sound broadcasting.

(2) The Authority, having regard to an allocation plan under subsection (1) and after consultation with the Communications Regulator, in respect of the availability of radio frequencies for sound broadcasting services shall—

(a) specify the area (which area may consist of the whole or any part of the State) in relation to which applications for a sound broadcasting contract are to be F118[invited.]

(b) F119[]

(3) Where the Authority proposes to specify an area under subsection (2), the Authority may conduct, or arrange for there to be conducted, either or both—

(a) a study in that area or amongst a community of interest for the purposes of ascertaining the interests and wishes of that area or community in respect of sound broadcasting services, or

(b) a study as to the sectoral impact of an additional sound broadcasting contract in that area.

(4) The Authority shall publish the results of any study conducted under subsection (3) on a website maintained by the Authority.

(5) F119[]

(6) F120[The Commission may, by public notice, in such form and manner as it considers appropriate,] invite expressions of interest in the securing of contracts for sound broadcasting services under this Act. Any expressions of interest must be made within 60 days of the date of such notice and must indicate in general terms the type of service that would be provided and shall not be regarded as an application for a sound broadcasting contract.

(7) A public notice under subsection (6) may invite all interested parties to express their views on the type of sound broadcasting service proposed.

F120[(8) Subject to this Part, the Commission shall invite applications for a sound broadcasting contract for the provision of a sound broadcasting service in each area specified by the Commission under subsection (2), and may enter into such a contract.]

F121[(8A) For the purposes of subsection (8) the Commission may consider the results of any study conducted under subsection (3).]

(9) Where the Contract Awards Committee invites applications for a sound broadcasting contract for the provision of a sound broadcasting service it shall by public notice specify the area in relation to which the sound broadcasting service is to be provided pursuant to such contract and by such notice shall invite persons interested in providing such a service to apply for such contract.

(10) In considering applications for the award of a sound broadcasting contract the Contract Awards Committee shall determine applications in accordance with section 66 and assign a F122[score to each of the criteria specified in section 66(2), either individually or in combination,] and the Contract Awards Committee shall inform each person who has indicated his or her intention of being an applicant for a contract of such assignment.

(11) The Contract Awards Committee shall in reaching its decision as to the award of a sound broadcasting contract assign an agreed score to each of the applications received in accordance with subsection (10).

(12) F119[]

(13) Every notice under subsection (9) shall—

(a) be published on a website maintained by the Authority, and where appropriate, in a newspaper circulating in the area to be served,

(b) specify the procedure to be followed in order to make an application, and

(c) specify any other matters which appear to the Contract Awards Committee to be necessary or relevant.

Annotations

Amendments:

F118

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 23(a)(i), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F119

Deleted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 23(a)(ii), (b), (g), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F120

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 23(c), (d), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F121

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 23(e), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F122

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 23(f), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 66
66

Determination of applications for award of sound broadcasting contracts and television programme service contract.

66.— (1) The Contract Awards Committee shall, in accordance with this Part, consider every application received by it—

(a) for a sound broadcasting contract made under section 65 (8), or

(b) for a television programme service contract,

for the purpose of determining the most suitable applicant, if any, to be awarded a broadcasting contract.

(2) In the consideration of applications referred to in subsection (1) received by it and in determining the most suitable applicant to be awarded a broadcasting contract, the Contract Awards Committee shall have regard to—

(a) the character, expertise and experience of the applicant or, if the applicant is a body corporate, the character expertise and experience of the body and its directors, manager, secretary or other similar officer and its members and the persons entitled to the beneficial ownership of its shares,

(b) the adequacy of the financial resources that will be available to each applicant and the extent to which the application accords with good business and economic principles,

(c) the quality, range and type of the programmes proposed to be provided by each applicant or, if there is only one applicant, by that applicant,

(d) the quantity, quality, range and type of programmes in the Irish language and the extent of programmes relating to Irish culture proposed to be provided,

(e) the extent to which the applicant will create within the proposed broadcasting service new opportunities for talent in music, drama and entertainment and in particular in respect of Irish culture,

(f) the desirability of having a diversity of services in the area specified in the notice catering for a wide range of tastes including those of minority interests,

(g) the desirability of allowing any person, or group of persons, to have control of, or substantial interests in, an undue number of sound broadcasting services in respect of which a sound broadcasting contract has been awarded under this Part,

(h) the desirability of allowing any person, or group of persons, to have control of, or substantial interests in, an undue number of sound broadcasting services in the area specified in the notice,

(i) the desirability of allowing any person, or group of persons, to have control of, or substantial interests in, an undue amount of the communications media in the area specified in the notice,

(j) the extent to which the service proposed—

(i) serves recognisably local communities and is supported by the various interests in the community, or

(ii) serves communities of interest,

(k) any other matters which the Contract Awards Committee considers to be necessary to secure the orderly development of broadcasting services, and

(l) F123[] any of—

(i) the amount of a single cash sum payment, as specified by the applicant during the course of his or her application, which the applicant is willing to pay to the Authority in respect of the award of the broadcasting contract,

(ii) the amount of a periodic cash sum payment, as specified by the applicant during the course of his or her application, which the applicant is willing to pay to the Authority in respect of the award of the broadcasting contract, and

(iii) the amount of a periodic cash sum payment determined by reference to a variable, as specified by the applicant during the course of his or her application, which the applicant is willing to pay to the Authority in respect of the award of the broadcasting contract.

(3) In considering the suitability of any applicant for the award of a sound broadcasting contract to provide a sound broadcasting service in respect of an area which includes a Gaeltacht area, the Contract Awards Committee shall have particular regard to the continuance and advancement as a spoken language of the Irish language.

(4) In considering the suitability of an applicant for the award of a broadcasting contract, the Contract Awards Committee shall have regard to—

(a) the overall quality of the performance of the applicant with respect to the provision by him or her of a broadcasting service under any broadcasting contract held by him or her at, or before, the date of the making of the F124[application.]

(b) F125[]

(5) Where F126[the Commission decides to refuse to award a broadcasting contract to an applicant, it shall] notify the applicant of—

(a) the reasons for the decision,

(b) the score of the applicant, and

(c) the score of any successful applicant.

(6) In this section “notice” means a notice under section 65 (9).

Annotations

Amendments:

F123

Deleted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 24(a), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F124

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 24(b)(i), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F125

Deleted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 24(b)(ii), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F126

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 24(c), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 67
67

Fast-track application process for award of sound broadcasting contracts.

67.— (1) In this section—

F127[]

“fast-track procedure” means a procedure provided for under subsection (2);

“incumbent” means the holder of a sound broadcasting contract which is the subject of a notice under section 65 (6).

(2) Where, in the opinion of the F128[Commission], the only response made in good faith pursuant to a public notice under section 65(6), is received from the incumbent, then the F128[Commission] may at its discretion propose to invoke a fast-track procedure under subsection (6).

(3) Where the F128[Commission] proposes to invoke a fast-track procedure, it shall by notice published on a website maintained by the Authority, and where appropriate in a newspaper circulating in the area to be served, state its intention to invoke such a procedure.

(4) If a person, other than the incumbent, within 28 days of a notice published under subsection (3)

(a) submits in writing that he or she wishes to apply for the award of a sound broadcasting contract for the area concerned, and

(b) deposits such a sum with the Authority as is specified by the F129[Commission] in any notice under subsection (3), not exceeding €25,000,

then the F129[Commission] shall proceed to—

(i) invite applications for the award of a sound broadcasting contract for the area concerned under F129[section 65(8).]

(ii) F130[]

(5) Where, in the opinion of the F131[Commission], an application under section 65 has been received consequent to a submission under subsection (4) then any sum deposited under subsection (4) shall be refunded in full.

(6) In the event that no written submission and associated deposit are received under subsection (4) the F131[Commission] may—

F131[(a) assess the incumbent’s compliance with the terms of its sound broadcasting contract and Part 3B,]

(b) invite the incumbent to make a proposal to amend the terms of his or her sound broadcasting contract, and

(c) suggest to the incumbent possible amendments to the terms of his or her contract.

(7) A proposal received under subsection (6) must address—

(a) the matters outlined in section 66, and

(b) such other matters as the F131[Commission] may consider relevant.

(8) On consideration of a proposal received under subsection (6) the F132[Commission] may—

(a) reject the contractual changes proposed by the incumbent and proceed to invite applications under section 65 (8) from other persons for the area F132[concerned, or]

(b) F133[]

F132[(c) agree amended contract terms with the incumbent.]

(9) The term of any contract extension agreed under subsection (8) shall not exceed 10 years.

(10) All payments made to the Authority under subsection (4) (b) and subsequently forfeited by the applicant shall be paid into or disposed of for the benefit of the Exchequer in such manner as the Minister for Finance may direct.

Annotations

Amendments:

F127

Deleted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 25(a), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F128

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 25(b), (c), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F129

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 25(d)(i), (ii), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F130

Deleted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 25(d)(iii), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F131

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 25(e), (f)(i), (ii), (g), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F132

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 25(h)(i), (ii), (iv), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F133

Deleted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 25(h)(iii), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 68
68

Sound broadcasting contracts for temporary or institutional sound broadcasting services.

68.— (1) F134[The Commission] may, in any period of 12 months, enter into a sound broadcasting contract with an applicant for the provision in such area as may be specified in the contract of a sound broadcasting service for a period of—

(a) not more than 30 days (whether consecutive days or otherwise) in that period of 12 months, or

(b) if the application is for a community sound broadcasting contract, not more than 100 days (whether consecutive days or otherwise) in that period of 12 months.

(2) F134[The Commission] may enter into a sound broadcasting contract with an applicant for the provision of a low-power sound broadcasting service which is intended to serve only such single educational institution, hospital, or other similar establishment as may be specified in the contract.

(3) F134[Section 46L(5)] does not apply to a contract awarded for the provision of a sound broadcasting service under this section.

(4) Sections 65 and 66 do not apply in the case of a contract applied for, or awarded, for the provision of a sound broadcasting service under this section.

Annotations

Amendments:

F134

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 26(a), (b), (c), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 69
69

Terms and conditions of broadcasting contract.

69.— (1) Every broadcasting contract may contain such terms and conditions as the Authority thinks appropriate and specifies in the contract.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the Authority may specify in a broadcasting contract all or any of the following terms or conditions:

(a) the period during which the contract shall continue in force;

(b) whether the contract may be renewed and, if so, the manner in which, the terms on which, and the period for which, the contract may be so renewed;

(c) a condition prohibiting the assignment of the contract or of any interest in it;

(d) if the broadcasting contractor is a company, a condition prohibiting any alteration in the Memorandum or Articles of Association of the company or in so much of that Memorandum or of those Articles as may be specified or prohibiting any material change in the ownership of the company;

(e) a condition requiring the broadcasting contractor to provide the quality, range and type of programmes which he or she proposed to offer in his or her application for the award of the contract;

(f) a condition requiring the sound broadcasting contractor to pay to the Authority the amount which the contractor specified in his or her application.

(3) If a broadcasting contract does not contain a condition of the type specified in paragraph (c) or (d) of subsection (2), the following provisions shall have effect:

(a) a broadcasting contract, or any interest in a broadcasting contract, shall not be assignable, nor shall any alteration be made in the Memorandum or Articles of Association of any company which is a broadcasting contractor, nor shall there be any material change in the ownership of such a company, without the previous consent in writing of the Authority, and the Authority may, if it considers it reasonable so to do, refuse such consent;

(b) in considering whether to grant its consent to an assignment of a broadcasting contract, a change in the Memorandum or Articles of Association of a company which is a broadcasting contractor, or a material change in the ownership of such a company, the Authority shall have regard to the criteria specified in section 66 (2) and, where applicable, section 66 (4).

(4) Every broadcasting contract shall provide that the broadcasting contractor shall provide such information (including copies of his or her accounts) which F135[the Commission] considers it requires in order to enable it carry out its functions under this Act.

(5) Every broadcasting contract shall be open to inspection by members of the public at the Authority’s F136[] office and the Authority shall, on request made by any person and on payment of such sum (if any) as the Authority may reasonably require, give to that person a copy of that contract.

(6) In order to avoid the loss of sound programme material inimical to the preservation of a historical record of Irish culture, heritage and experience and as an initial step towards the development of an integrated approach to the archiving of programme material produced in the State, every sound broadcasting contract shall contain a term or condition requiring the sound broadcasting contractor to make a recording and to store categories of programme material, which may be inspected by the Authority, for the term of the sound broadcasting contract and for a period of 6 years thereafter.

(7) The Authority shall, within one year of the passing of this Act, prescribe a format and categories to be followed by sound broadcasting contractors for the purposes of the storing and recording of programme material as required under subsection (6).

(8) The Authority may vary the categories and amounts of programme material required to be recorded and stored by a sound broadcasting contractor having regard to the nature and amount of programme material broadcast by the sound broadcasting contractor and any financial burden associated with such recording and storage.

(9) In carrying out its duties under subsections (7) and (8) the Authority shall have due regard to programme content which:

(a) is in the Irish language,

(b) relates to Irish culture and life,

(c) concerns Irish music, drama and entertainment,

(d) is news, current affairs or documentary,

(e) is in any other category identified by the Authority and which the Authority deems is worthy of maintenance and preservation.

(10) The Authority may store on behalf of a sound broadcasting contractor or a person who held a sound broadcasting contract any programme material recorded under subsection (6).

(11) The making of a recording and storage of programme material in compliance with subsection (6) or (10) is not a contravention of the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000.

(12) The Authority shall report to the Minister on an annual basis in relation to the performance of its duties under subsections (7), (8), (9) and (10).

(13) Any amount paid to the Authority by a contractor, being an amount which the contractor specified in his or her application, shall be paid into or disposed of for the benefit of the Exchequer in such manner as the Minister for Finance may direct.

Annotations

Amendments:

F135

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 27(a), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F136

Deleted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 27(b), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 70
70

Television programme service contract.

70.— (1) F137[The Commission] shall enter into a contract (“television programme service contract”) with a person or persons (“television programme service contractor”) who shall have the right and duty to establish and maintain a television programme service and who, subject to section 139, shall have the right and duty, subject to the terms of the contract, to establish, maintain and operate television broadcasting transmitters for the purpose of transmitting the television programme service as a free-to-air service.

(2) The Authority shall ensure that a television programme service provided by a television programme service contractor under this section shall in its programming—

(a) be responsive to the interests and concerns of the whole community, be mindful of the need for understanding and peace within the whole island of Ireland, ensure that the programmes reflect the varied elements which make up the culture of the people of the whole island of Ireland, and have special regard for the elements which distinguish that culture and in particular for the Irish language,

(b) uphold the democratic values enshrined in the Constitution, especially those relating to rightful liberty of expression,

(c) have regard to the need for the formation of public awareness and understanding of the values and traditions of countries other than the State, including in particular those of other Member States, and

(d) include a reasonable proportion of news and current affairs programmes.

(3) A television programme service contractor shall in its programming comply with the requirements set out in paragraphs (a) to (d) of subsection (2).

(4) For the purpose of ensuring compliance with subsection (2) the Authority shall ensure that a reasonable proportion of the television programme service—

(a) is produced in the State or in another Member State, and

(b) is devoted to original programme material produced therein by persons other than the contractor, its subsidiary, its parent or existing broadcasting organisations.

(5) The television programme service contract entered into between TV3 Television Network Limited trading as TV3 and the BCI under section 17 of the Radio and Television Act 1988 and section 6 of the Broadcasting Act 1990, if in force immediately before the passing of this Act, continues as if entered into under this section.

(6) The Authority shall ensure that any contract entered into by it under this section and any such contract renewed by it under this Act, contains a term providing that the expression “independent television programme”, where used in the contract, has the same meaning as it has in section 116.

Annotations

Amendments:

F137

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 28, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 71
71

Content provision contracts.

71.— (1) Subject to subsection (3), a person shall not supply a compilation of programme material for either of the purposes set out in subsection (2) otherwise than under and in accordance with a content provision contract.

(2) The purposes for which subsection (1) applies are—

(a) inclusion as part of a multiplex,

(b) the purpose of its being transmitted as a broadcasting service in the State, part of the State or elsewhere by means of an electronic communications network including a satellite network, F138[] a fixed or mobile terrestrial network, a cable television network, an internet protocol television network or any other form of electronic communications network.

(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to such a supply made by—

(a) an excepted person for the purpose of any such arrangements, or

(b) RTÉ, TG4, Houses of the Oireachtas Channel, Irish Film Channel or the holder of a broadcasting contract for the purposes of a free-to-air service.

(4) F139[The Commission] may enter into a contract (“content provision contract”) with a person whereby that person may supply a compilation of programme material for the purposes referred to in subsection (2).

(5) A content provision contract shall include—

(a) a condition requiring the holder of the contract to comply with any F139[media service codes or media service rules] with respect to the programme material supplied in pursuance of the contract, and

(b) a condition authorising the Compliance Committee to request the holder of the contract to pay to the Authority, in respect of a failure by the holder to comply with a particular term or condition of the contract, a sum of money (not exceeding an amount that shall be specified in the condition as being the maximum amount that may be so requested to be so paid) and requiring the holder to comply with such a request.

(6) A content provision contract shall include a condition providing that, where any of the programme material supplied in pursuance of the contract—

F139[(a) contains anything referred to in section 46J(1)(c) or (d),]

F140[(aa) contains anything which may impair the physical, mental or moral development of children which is not presented in such a way that children will not normally hear or see it, or]

(b) constitutes an incitement to commit an offence,

the Authority may, or, if such a supply of programme material has occurred within 6 months of a previous such supply by the same person having occurred, shall, terminate the contract.

(7) The Authority may divide the contracts it may enter into under this section into different classes by reference to the different conditions which, in pursuance of its powers under this Act, it may attach to the contracts and may style each such class of contract by the addition of such distinguishing words as it considers appropriate.

(8) The Authority may, before it enters into a content provision contract with a person, require that person to pay a fee to the Authority of such amount as it considers appropriate. If that person fails to pay that fee to the Authority, the Authority shall not enter into the contract with him or her.

F140[(8A) Where under a levy order under section 21 a levy becomes payable in respect of a levy period by a person who, in that period, paid a fee to the Commission under subsection (8), the Commission shall

(a) deduct the amount of the fee from the amount payable by that person under the levy order, and

(b) if the fee paid is more than the amount payable under the levy order, refund to that person so much of the fee as exceeds that amount.]

F140[(8B) Payment of a refund under subsection (8A)(b) shall be deferred for any period for which payment of the amount under the levy order referred to in that paragraph is deferred.]

(9) The Authority may specify different fees for particular classes of content provision contractors.

(10) The amount of any fee paid to the Authority under subsection (8) may be used by it for the purpose of defraying the expenses incurred by it in performing its functions generally.

F140[(11) In this section, excepted person means a person who is under the jurisdiction of another Member State, and for the purposes of this subsection section 2A applies to a person providing a sound broadcasting service

(a) as if references to a media service provider were references to a provider of a sound broadcasting service,

(b) as if references to audiovisual media service activity were references to activity relating to the sound broadcasting service concerned, and

(c) as if references to relevant editorial decisions were references to editorial decisions about the sound broadcasting service concerned.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F138

Deleted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 29(a), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F139

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 29(b), (c), (d)(i), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F140

Inserted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 29(d)(ii), (e), (f), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 72
72

Community content provision contracts.

72.— (1) Subject to this section, 2 or more members of a local community or community of interest may supply a compilation of programme material for the purposes of its being transmitted as a broadcasting service F141[] by an appropriate network provider referred to in section 77 (1).

(2) Subject to subsections (3) and (4), the Authority may enter into a class of content provision contract (“community content pro vision contract”) with 2 or more members of a local community or a community of interest whereby those members may supply a compilation of programme material for the purposes referred to in subsection (1) if it is satisfied that—

(a) those members are representative of, and accountable to, the community concerned, and

(b) the supply of programme material in pursuance of the contract will be effected with the sole objective of—

(i) specifically addressing the interests of, and seeking to provide a social benefit to, the community concerned, and

(ii) achieving a monetary reward of no greater amount than is reasonably necessary to defray the expenses that will be incurred in effecting that supply.

(3) The Authority shall not enter into a community content contract save after consultation with the person who it appears to the Authority will transmit or, as the case may be, will be the subject of a requirement under section F141[] 77(8) to transmit, the programme material supplied pursuant to the contract as a broadcasting service.

(4) The Authority shall establish procedures whereby members of local communities are enabled, at regular intervals, to make submissions to the Authority as to what particular contracts ought, in their opinion, to be entered into under this section and what particular terms and conditions ought, in their opinion, to be included in such contracts and requiring the Authority to furnish, on request, to any such members particulars of any proposals formulated, for the time being, by the Authority itself with regard to each of those matters.

(5) Before entering into a community content provision contract, the Authority shall have regard to any submissions made to it under and in accordance with procedures established under subsection (4) and which appear to it to be of relevance to that contract.

(6) The Authority shall conduct, or arrange with members of the local community or community of interest concerned for there to be conducted, a survey, which shall be as comprehensive as is practicable, amongst members of that community for the purpose of ascertaining—

(a) the extent to which that community is facilitated in the active participation by it in the compilation and transmission of the programme material supplied pursuant to a community content provision contract,

(b) the extent to which those members view any broadcasting service on which there is transmitted that programme material, and

(c) the opinion of those members with regard to—

(i) the quality of that programme material, and

(ii) whether that material specifically addresses the interests of their community,

and shall have regard to the results of such a survey in deciding, in relation to any community content provision contract it proposes to enter into with members of that community next after the conduct of that survey, with whom it shall enter into such a contract and the nature of the terms and conditions it may include in that contract.

(7) If F142[] an appropriate network provider referred to in section 77 (1) is required under subsection (8) of that section, to transmit as a broadcasting service the programme material supplied pursuant to a community content provision contract, the F142[] appropriate network service provider shall not be—

(a) under any duty to ensure that the material complies with the terms and conditions of that contract or the requirements of F143[Part 3B],

(b) regarded, for the purposes of the law of defamation, malicious falsehood or any other form of civil liability as having, by virtue of such transmission, published the material, or

(c) liable in damages, by virtue of such transmission, for any infringement of copyright, other intellectual property rights or other legal rights of any person.

Annotations

Amendments:

F141

Deleted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 30(a), (b), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F142

Deleted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 30(c)(i), (ii), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

F143

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 30(c)(iii), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 73
73

Assessment of community needs in respect of broadcasting.

73.— The Authority may, of its own initiative or at the request of a local community or community of interest, carry out an assessment of the needs of a community in respect of broadcasting and such an assessment shall include an ascertainment of the extent to which production facilities, training and resources are available to the community to enable the community to best serve its interests in respect of those needs.

Section 74
74

Electronic programme guides.

74.— F144[]

Annotations

Amendments:

F144

Repealed (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 73(c), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 75
75

Rules with respect to programme guide contracts.

75.— F145[]

Annotations

Amendments:

F145

Repealed (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 73(d), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 76
76

Transmission of broadcasting services by MMD system.

76.— F146[]

Annotations

Amendments:

F146

Repealed (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 73(e), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 77
77

Must-carry and must-offer obligations.

77.— (1) (a) In this Part “appropriate network” means an electronic communications network provided by a person (“appropriate network provider”) which is used for the distribution or transmission of broadcasting services to the public.

(b) For the purposes of this section a multiplex contractor in relation to multiplexes referred to in section 132(1), (2), (3) and (4) or in section 133 is not an appropriate network provider by virtue of being a multiplex contractor or associated activities.

(c) F147[]

(d) For the purposes of this section a holder of a licence issued under section 59 or 121 , the terms of which authorise the transmission of programme material, is not an appropriate network provider by virtue of being a licensee under that section or associated activities.

(2) Where the Authority is of the view, after carrying out a review and after consultation with the Communications Regulator, that a type or class of network system, rather than an individual network system, is not used by a significant number of end-users as their principal means of receiving transmissions of programme material, it may propose to the Minister the full or partial removal of the obligations set out in subsections (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9) and (10) on that type or class of network system. The Minister may make an order to that effect.

(3) In the case where the appropriate network is a digital system, the appropriate network provider shall ensure the re-transmission, by or through his or her appropriate network, of the Houses of the Oireachtas Channel and the Irish Film Channel.

(4) An appropriate network provider shall ensure the re-transmission, by or through his or her appropriate network, of each free-to-air television service provided for the time being by RTÉ, TG4 and the free-to-air service provided under section 70 by the television service programme contractor which that body or contractor requests the appropriate network provider to so re-transmit.

(5) If a dispute arises between the appropriate network provider and RTÉ, TG4 or the television programme service contractor in relation to the placement by the appropriate network provider, relative to the placement by him or her of another broadcasting service, on the system concerned of a free-to-air service provided by that body or contractor, being a placement made on an appropriate network for the purposes of the appropriate network provider complying with a request by that body or contractor under subsection (4), the dispute shall be referred to the Authority for its determination and the determination of the Authority in the matter shall be final.

(6) An appropriate network provider shall re-transmit each national sound broadcasting service provided for the time being by RTÉ and each sound broadcasting contractor and which RTÉ or the contractor concerned requests the holder to so re-transmit.

(7) The appropriate network provider shall not impose a charge or allow a charge to be imposed in relation to the making available to a person of any service referred to in subsection (3), (4), (5) or (6) if he or she imposes a charge or allows a charge to be imposed on that person in relation to the making available of any other service to that person by means of the appropriate network concerned.

(8) The Authority may require an appropriate network provider to transmit as a broadcasting service, by means of specified appropriate networks (whether analogue or digital) maintained by the appropriate network provider, the whole or part of the programme material supplied under one or more specified community content provision contracts the holders of which are members of the local community or community of interest that is served by the said appropriate network and who request the first-mentioned appropriate network provider to so transmit the whole or, as the case may be, part of that programme material.

(9) A person of whom a requirement is made by the Authority under subsection (8) shall comply with that requirement.

(10) An appropriate network provider shall not impose a charge or allow a charge to be imposed in relation to the making available to a person of any service referred to in subsection (8), pursuant to a requirement made of him or her under that subsection, if he or she imposes a charge or allows a charge to be imposed on that person in relation to the making available of any other service to that person by means of the appropriate network concerned.

(11) Without prejudice to the requirements imposed under subsection (4), RTÉ, TG4 and the television service programme contractor shall ensure that their must-offer services are at all times offered for re-transmission (subject to agreement as to fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms of use) by means of any appropriate network that is available for reception in an intelligible form by members of the public in the whole of or in part of the State.

(12) RTÉ, TG4 and the television service programme contractor shall ensure that their must-offer services are at all times offered for broadcast or re-transmission (subject to agreement as to fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms of use) by means of every satellite television service.

(13) Arrangements entered into under subsection (12) shall not result in an additional charge on any subscriber to a satellite television service by reason of the making available to that subscriber of any must-offer service by way of the satellite television service.

(14) F147[]

(15) The Authority shall report to the Minister on an annual basis in relation to the operation of this section.

(16) (a) An order under subsection (2) shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas by the Minister as soon as may be after it is made.

(b) Either House of the Oireachtas may, by resolution passed within 21 sitting days after the day on which an order was laid before it in accordance with paragraph (a), pass a resolution annulling the order.

(c) The annulment under paragraph (b) of an order takes effect immediately on the passing of the resolution concerned but does not affect anything that was done under the order before the passing of the resolution.

(17) In this section—

“must-offer service” means a free-to-air television service provided for the time being by RTÉ, TG4 and the free-to-air service provided under section 70 by the television service programme contractor;

“re-transmission” means near-simultaneous, unaltered and unabridged transmission;

“satellite television service” means a service which consists in or involves the distribution or transmission of television broadcasting services from a satellite, such services then offered to the public with the intention that such services be used by a significant number of the persons in the whole or part of the State by whom the broadcasts are received in an intelligible form as their principal means of receiving television programmes.

Annotations

Amendments:

F147

Repealed (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 73(f), S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 78
78

Offences (Part 6).

78.— (1) A person who contravenes section 71(1) F148[] commits an offence.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) is liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding €5,000, or

(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding €100,000.

Annotations

Amendments:

F148

Deleted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 31, S.I. No. 71 of 2023. A fine of €5,000 translates into a class A fine, not greater than €5,000, as provided by Fines Act 2010 (8/2010), ss. 3, 4(2) and table ref. no. 1, S.I. No. 662 of 2010

PART 7

Public Service Broadcasting

Chapter 1

Public Service Broadcasting Corporations — Common Provisions

Section 79
79

Bodies corporate.

79.— Each corporation continues as a body corporate with perpetual succession and power to sue and be sued and to acquire, hold and dispose of land.

Section 80
80

Seals of corporations.

80.— (1) A corporation shall as soon as may be after the passing of this Act provide itself with a new seal.

(2) The seal of a corporation shall be authenticated by the signature of the chairperson of the corporation, or some other member of it authorised by the corporation to act in that behalf, and the signature of an officer of the corporation authorised by the corporation to act in that behalf.

(3) Judicial notice shall be taken of the seal of a corporation, and every document purporting to be an instrument made by the corporation and to be sealed with the seal (purporting to be authenticated in accordance with this section) of the corporation shall be received in evidence and be deemed to be such instrument without further proof unless the contrary is shown.

Section 81
81

Appointment of board.

81.— (1) The number of members of the board of a corporation shall be 12 in number, of which—

(a) 6 of them shall be appointed by the Government on the nomination of the Minister,

(b) subject to subsection (2), 4 of them shall be appointed by the Government on the nomination of the Minister,

(c) one shall be appointed by the Government following an election in accordance with section 83, and

(d) one shall be the director general of the corporation.

(2) Where an appointment is to be made by the Government under subsection (1)(b) or under that paragraph arising from a vacancy referred to in section 84(12)

(a) the Minister shall inform the Joint Oireachtas Committee of the proposed appointment,

(b) The Minister in respect of an appointment under subsection (1)(a) shall provide a statement to the Joint Oireachtas Committee indicating the relevant experience and expertise of the persons or person nominated by the Minister for appointment or appointed by the Government on the nomination of the Minister, and such other matters as the Minister considers relevant,

(c) the Joint Oireachtas Committee shall within the period of 90 days of being so informed, advise the Minister of the names of the persons or name of the person it proposes that the Minister should nominate under subsection (1)(b) giving reasons, such as relevant experience and expertise, in relation to the proposed named persons or person,

(d) the Minister shall have regard to the advice and may accept the proposed named persons or some of them or the named person or decide to nominate as he or she sees fit other persons or another person, and

(e) inform the Joint Oireachtas Committee of his or her decision.

(3) Not less than 5 of the members of the board of a corporation shall be men and not less than 5 of them shall be women.

(4) The Joint Oireachtas Committee for the purposes of providing advice to the Minister under subsection (2) may establish a panel, for such duration, and consisting of such number of persons as the Joint Oireachtas Committee shall think proper.

(5) Persons placed on a panel established under subsection (4) shall—

(a) have experience of or have shown capacity in one or more of the matters stated in section 82 (1),

(b) in respect of TG4 comply with the requirements of section 82 (2), and

(c) be chosen with a view to representing the public interest in respect of public service broadcasting matters.

(6) The Joint Oireachtas Committee shall, insofar as is practicable, endeavour to ensure that among the persons placed on a panel under subsection (4) there is an equitable balance between men and women.

(7) The Joint Oireachtas Committee shall have sole responsibility for the selection and placing of candidates on a panel established under subsection (4).

Section 82
82

Criteria for board membership.

82.— (1) A person shall not be appointed to be a member of the board of a corporation unless he or she has experience of or shown capacity in one or more of the following matters—

(a) media affairs,

(b) public service broadcasting,

(c) broadcast content production,

(d) digital media technologies,

(e) trade union affairs,

(f) business or commercial affairs,

(g) matters pertaining to the development of the Irish language,

(h) matters pertaining to disability,

(i) arts, music, sport or culture,

(j) science, technology or environmental matters,

(k) legal or regulatory affairs, and

(l) social, educational or community activities or Gaeltacht affairs,

relevant to the oversight of a public service broadcaster.

(2) A person shall not be appointed to be a member of the board of TG4 unless he or she is able to communicate proficiently in the Irish language.

(3) Each member of the board of a corporation shall be appointed for a period not exceeding 5 years.

(4) The Government in setting a term of appointment under subsection (3) shall consider the need for continuity of membership of the board of a corporation.

(5) A member of the board of a corporation whose term of office expires by the effluxion of time shall be eligible for re-appointment.

(6) A member of the board of a corporation shall not serve more than 2 consecutive terms of office.

(7) A member of the board of a corporation may at any time resign his or her office by letter addressed to the Government and the resignation shall take effect on the date specified therein or upon receipt of the letter by the Government, whichever is the later.

(8) Subsections (3) to (7) do not apply to the membership of the director general of the board of a corporation.

Section 83
83

Appointment of staff member.

83.— (1) The Government shall appoint to be a member of the board of each corporation one member of staff of the corporation elected to be a staff member of the board in accordance with this section.

(2) A member of the board of a corporation appointed under this section shall, subject to this section, be eligible for nomination as a candidate and for election at an election.

(3) An election shall be held as soon as practicable after the passing of this Act or such longer period as may be agreed between the corporation and recognised trade unions and staff associations.

(4) Subsections (5) to (16) apply for the purposes of an election.

(5) (a) The secretary of a corporation (or a person selected by him or her after consultation with representatives of recognised trade unions or staff associations) shall be the returning officer for each election of a staff member of the board of the corporation.

(b) The returning officer shall not be entitled to be nominated as, or to nominate, act as agent for or promote the interests of, a candidate at the election.

(c) The returning officer may authorise any person to exercise designated functions on his or her behalf and paragraph (b) applies to any such person.

(6) (a) A poll shall be conducted where there is more than one candidate.

(b) Voting shall be by secret ballot and on the basis of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote.

(c) Presiding officers at the poll and polling clerks shall be appointed by the returning officer.

(d) An election shall be held in accordance with arrangements made by the returning officer.

(e) The returning officer shall be required to give due notice of these arrangements to the electorate and to designate premises as an election office.

(7) (a) The returning officer shall fix the nomination day and give notice of the election not later than 4 weeks before that day.

(b) The nomination day shall be not earlier than 4 weeks after the day on which eligibility of voters and candidates is determined in accordance with subsections (13) and (14), respectively.

(8) The returning officer may declare a candidate elected if the number of candidates standing duly nominated does not exceed one.

(9) If the nomination of candidates or any poll is interrupted or cannot be proceeded with the returning officer may adjourn the nomination or poll for such period as he or she considers appropriate to enable him or her, on its expiration, to proceed with or complete the nomination or poll.

(10) On receipt of a notification from the returning officer of the name of the candidate elected or declared to be elected under subsection (8), the Government shall, in accordance with this section, appoint the candidate as a member of the board of the corporation.

(11) The returning officer shall place the remaining candidates in order of votes credited to each at the last count in which he or she was involved.

(12) A corporation shall bear the cost of holding an election except costs incurred by candidates on their own behalf.

(13) Every employee of a corporation who, on the day specified by the returning officer and on the day on which the poll is taken—

(a) is not less than 18 years of age, and

(b) has been an employee of the corporation for a continuous period of not less than one year,

shall be entitled to vote at an election.

(14) (a) Every employee of a corporation who, on the day specified by the returning officer under subsection (13), is not less than 18 years of age and has been an employee of the corporation for a continuous period of not less than 18 months, shall be eligible to be nominated as a candidate at the election.

(b) A candidate may be nominated by—

(i) a recognised trade union or staff association or jointly by 2 or more such bodies, or

(ii) a minimum of 20 eligible voters.

(c) Nominations shall be made in the manner specified by the returning officer.

(d) The returning officer shall rule on the validity of nominations and his or her decision shall be final.

(15) The returning officer shall prepare and maintain a list of eligible voters and candidates.

(16) The returning officer shall prepare and maintain a list of recognised trade unions and staff associations for the purposes of this section.

(17) In this section “election” means an election held under this section for the appointment of a staff member to be a staff member of the board of a corporation.

Section 84
84

Terms and removal.

84.— (1) There shall be paid to members of the board of a corporation, out of monies at the disposal of the corporation, such remuneration (if any) as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, from time to time determines.

(2) There shall be paid to members of the board of a corporation, out of monies at the disposal of the corporation, such allowances for expenses incurred by them in the performance of their functions as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, from time to time determines.

(3) Subject to this Act, a member of the board of a corporation shall hold office on such terms (other than the payment of remuneration and allowances for expenses) as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, from time to time determines.

(4) The Minister shall cause a statement in writing specifying the expertise or experience, terms of office and remuneration of the members of a corporation to be laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas and published in the Iris Oifigiúil.

(5) A member of the board of a corporation may at any time be removed from membership of the board of the corporation by the Government if, in the Government’s opinion, the member has become incapable through ill-health of performing his or her functions, or has committed stated misbehaviour, or his or her removal appears to the Government to be necessary for the effective performance by the corporation of its functions, and only if, resolutions are passed by each House of the Oireachtas calling for his or her removal.

(6) A member of the board of a corporation shall cease to be and shall be disqualified from being a member of the corporation where such member—

(a) is adjudicated a bankrupt,

(b) makes a composition or arrangement with creditors,

(c) on conviction on indictment by a court of competent jurisdiction is sentenced to a term of imprisonment,

(d) is convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty, or

(e) is disqualified or restricted from being a director of any company.

(7) A member of staff of a corporation, who is appointed to serve on the board of the corporation or the director general of the corporation, shall cease to be a member of the board of the corporation on the cessation of his or her contract of service with the corporation.

(8) Where a member of the board of a corporation fails—

(a) for a consecutive period of 6 months, to attend a meeting of the corporation, unless the member demonstrates to the Minister’s satisfaction that the failure to attend was due to illness, or

(b) to comply with the requirements of section 93, or

(c) to make a declaration in accordance with the requirements of section 17 of the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995,

the Minister may with the consent of the Government by order remove the member from office.

(9) (a) An order made under subsection (8) shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as practicable after it is made.

(b) Either House of the Oireachtas may, within 21 sitting days after the day on which an order was laid before it in accordance with paragraph (a), pass a resolution annulling the order.

(c) The annulment under paragraph (b) of an order takes effect immediately on the passing of the resolution concerned, but does not affect anything that was done under the order before the passing of the resolution.

(10) If a member of the board of a corporation appointed by the Government, on the nomination of the Minister under section 81(1)(a) or following an election under section 83, dies, resigns, becomes disqualified or is removed from office or for any other reason ceases to be a member of the board of the corporation, the Government on the nomination of the Minister, may appoint a person to be a member of the board of the corporation to fill the casual vacancy so occasioned and the person so appointed shall be appointed for the unexpired period of the term of membership of, and in the same manner as, the member of the board of the corporation appointed by the Government, on the nomination of the Minister or following an election under section 83, who occasioned the casual vacancy.

(11) In choosing a person to fill a casual vacancy occasioned by the cessation of membership of a member appointed by Government following an election under section 83, the Government shall select the next eligible candidate, if any, under section 83(11). Where 2 or more candidates are credited with an equal number of votes, the Government shall select one of them by lot.

(12) If a member of the board of a corporation appointed by the Government on the nomination of the Minister under paragraph (b) of section 81(1) dies, resigns, becomes disqualified or is removed from office or for any other reason ceases to be a member of the board of the corporation, the Government on the nomination of the Minister, the Minister having regard to the advice of the Joint Oireachtas Committee, may appoint a person to be a member of the board of the corporation to fill the casual vacancy so occasioned and the person so appointed shall be appointed for the unexpired period of the term of membership of, and in the same manner as, the member of the board of the corporation appointed by the Government on the nomination of the Minister under paragraph (b) of section 81(1), who occasioned the casual vacancy.

Section 85
85

Chairperson.

85.— (1) The Government shall from time to time as occasion requires appoint, on the nomination of the Minister, a member of the board of a corporation to be chairperson of it.

(2) A chairperson of a corporation shall, unless he or she sooner dies, resigns the office of chairperson or ceases to be chairperson under subsection (4), hold office until the expiration of his or her period of office as a member of the board of the corporation.

(3) A chairperson of a corporation may at any time resign his or her office as chairperson by letter sent to the Government and the resignation shall, unless it is previously withdrawn in writing, take effect at the commencement of the meeting of the corporation held next after the corporation has been informed by the Government of the resignation.

(4) Where a chairperson of a corporation ceases during his or her term of office as chairperson to be a member of the corporation he or she shall also cease to be chairperson of the corporation.

(5) A member of staff of a corporation appointed by the Government to membership of the board of the corporation or a director general of a corporation shall not be appointed as chairperson of the corporation.

Section 86
86

Exclusions from board membership.

86.— (1) Where a member of the board of a corporation is—

(a) nominated as a candidate for election to the European Parliament, either House of the Oireachtas, or as a member of Seanad Éireann,

(b) elected as a member of either House of the Oireachtas or the European Parliament, or

(c) regarded pursuant to Part XIII of the Second Schedule to the European Parliament Elections Act 1997 as having been elected to that Parliament to fill a vacancy,

he or she thereupon ceases to be a member of the corporation.

(2) Where the person who is the director general or a member of the staff of a corporation is—

(a) nominated as a candidate for election to the European Parliament, either House of the Oireachtas, or as a member of Seanad Éireann,

(b) elected as a member of either House of the Oireachtas or the European Parliament, or

(c) regarded pursuant to Part XIII of the Second Schedule to the European Parliament Elections Act 1997 as having been elected to that Parliament to fill a vacancy,

he or she shall thereupon stand seconded from employment by the corporation and shall not be paid by, or be entitled to receive from, the corporation any remuneration or allowances in respect of the period commencing on such nomination or election, or when he or she is so regarded as having been elected as the case may be, and ending when such person ceases to be a member of either such House or that Parliament.

(3) A person who is for the time being entitled under the Standing Orders of either House of the Oireachtas to sit therein or who is a member of the European Parliament, shall, while so entitled or such a member, be disqualified from becoming a member of the board of a corporation or the director general or a member of the staff of a corporation.

(4) A person who is appointed F149[a Commissioner] shall be disqualified from becoming or ceases to be a member of the board of a corporation or a director general or a member of staff of a corporation.

(5) A person who holds employment, save for educational or performing creative work, or has an interest in an undertaking holding a contract under this Act, shall be disqualified from becoming or ceases to be a member of the board of a corporation.

(6) A person who holds employment in RTÉ shall be disqualified from becoming or ceases to be a member of the board of TG4.

(7) A person who holds employment in TG4 shall be disqualified from becoming or ceases to be a member of the board of RTÉ.

(8) A person who holds membership of the board of RTÉ shall be disqualified from becoming or ceases to be a member of the board of TG4.

(9) A person who holds membership of the board of TG4 shall be disqualified from becoming or ceases to be a member of the board of RTÉ.

(10) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), that subsection shall be read as prohibiting, inter alia, the reckoning of a period mentioned in that subsection as service with the corporation for the purposes of any superannuation benefits.

Annotations

Substituted

Amendments:

F149

Substituted (15.03.2023) by Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022 (41/2022), s. 32, S.I. No. 71 of 2023.

Section 87
87

Duties of board members.

87.— Subject to the requirements of this Act every member of the board of a corporation shall perform his or her functions in such a manner as to—

(a) represent the interests of viewers and listeners,

(b) ensure that the activities of the corporation in pursuance of its objectives as set out in section 114(1) or 118(1) are performed efficiently and effectively,

(c) ensure that the gathering and presentation by the corporation of news and current affairs is accurate and impartial, and

(d) safeguard the independence of the corporation, as regards, the conception, content and production of programmes, the editing and presentation of news and current affairs programmes and the definition of programme schedules from State, political and commercial influences.

Section 88
88

Meetings.

88.— (1) The board of a corporation shall hold such and so many meetings as may be necessary for the due performance of its functions.

(2) At a meeting of the board of a corporation—

(a) the chairperson of the board of a corporation shall, if present, be chairperson of the meeting, and

(b) if and so long as the chairperson of the board of a corporation is not present or if the office of chairperson is vacant, the members of the board of a corporation who are present shall choose one of their number to be chairperson of the meeting.

(3) Every question at a meeting of the board of a corporation shall be determined by a majority of the votes of the members of the board present and voting on the question, and in the case of an equal division of votes, the chairperson of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.

(4) The board of a corporation may act notwithstanding one or more vacancies among its members.

(5) Subject to this Part, the board of a corporation shall regulate its procedure and practice by rules made under this section.

(6) The quorum for a meeting of the board of a corporation shall be 7.

(7) Subject to any rule made under subsection (5) meetings of the board of a corporation shall be capable of being held by telephone or other suitable electronic means whereby all the members of the board can hear and be heard.

(8) The board of a corporation may delegate any of its functions to a subcommittee of the board of the corporation subject to such conditions as the board of the corporation considers appropriate.

Section 89
89

Director general.

89.— (1) A corporation shall from time to time appoint a person to be the chief executive officer of the corporation and who shall be known, and is in this Part referred to, as, in the Irish language, ardstiúrthóir or, in the English language, director general.

(2) A director general shall—

(a) carry on and manage, and control generally, the administration of the corporation,

(b) act as editor-in-chief in respect of content published by the corporation in pursuance of its objects under this Act, and

(c) perform such other functions (if any) as may be determined by the board of the corporation.

(3) The consent of the Government is necessary before a corporation appoints or removes the director general of the corporation, or alters his or her remuneration or his or her terms and conditions of holding office.

(4) The person who, immediately before the passing of this Act, was the director general of Radio Telefís Éireann, continues as director general of RTÉ.

(5) The person who, immediately before the passing of this Act, was the chief executive officer of TG4, continues as director general of TG4.

(6) A director general shall not hold any other office or employment or carry on any business without the consent of the board of the corporation.

(7) A director general shall furnish the board of the corporation with such information (including financial information) in relation to the performance of his or her functions as the board of the corporation may from time to time require.

(8) The functions of a director general may be performed in his or her absence or when the position of director general is vacant by such member of the staff of the corporation as may, from time to time, be designated for that purpose by the board of the corporation.

(9) A director general shall, for the duration of his or her appointment, serve as an ex officio member of the board of his or her corporation.

Section 90
90

Staff.

90.— (1) A corporation shall, as well as appointing a director general, appoint such and so many persons to be members of the staff of the corporation as it may, from time to time, determine but, subject to subsection (2), a person shall not be appointed under this section to be a member of staff of the corporation unless he or she has been selected by means of a public competition.

(2) The requirement under subsection (1) of being selected by means of a public competition does not apply in relation to:

(a) an appointment consisting of the promotion of a person who is already a member of staff of the corporation,

(b) an office for which, in the opinion of the corporation, specialised qualifications not commonly held are required, or

(c) an office to which appointments are made for limited periods only, being periods not exceeding 2 years.

(3) A member of staff of a corporation shall hold his or her employment on such terms and conditions as the corporation from time to time determines.

(4) A corporation may perform any of its functions through or by any of its members of staff duly authorised by the corporation in that behalf.

Section 91
91

Superannuation.

91.— (1) A corporation, with the approval of the Minister and the consent of the Minister for Finance, shall make a scheme or schemes for the granting of superannuation benefits to or in respect of the members of staff, including the director general, of the corporation.

(2) A superannuation scheme shall fix the time and conditions of retirement of all persons to or in respect of whom superannuation benefits are payable under the scheme or schemes and different times and conditions may be fixed in respect of different classes of persons.

(3) A corporation may, with the approval of the Minister and the consent of the Minister for Finance, make a scheme amending or revoking a superannuation scheme including a scheme under this section.

(4) A superannuation scheme submitted by the corporation under this section shall, if approved by the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Finance, be carried out by the corporation in accordance with its terms.

(5) Each superannuation scheme shall include a provision for appeals from a decision relating to a superannuation benefit under the scheme.

(6) No superannuation benefits shall be granted by the corporation to or in respect of a person on ceasing to be director general or a member of the staff of the corporation otherwise than—

(a) in accordance with a superannuation scheme, or

(b) with the consent of the Minister and the Minister for Finance.

(7) Disbursement of superannuation benefits which may be granted to or in respect of persons who, immediately before the establishment of Radio Éireann, were officers and servants of the Minister, shall not be on less favourable conditions than would apply if the benefits referred to had continued to be paid out of monies provided by the Oireachtas.

(8) The Minister for Finance shall make such contribution as may, with his or her consent, be specified in a scheme or schemes under this section towards the superannuation benefits related to reckonable service given before the establishment day of Radio Éireann which may be granted to or in respect of persons who, immediately before that day, were officers and servants of the Minister, and such scheme or schemes shall, with the like consent, fix the manner and times of the payment of such contribution.

(9) Monies required to be paid by the Minister for Finance under this section shall be advanced out of the Central Fund or the growing produce of it.

(10) (a) A superannuation scheme (including an amendment of it) shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas by the Minister as soon as may be after it is made.

(b) Either House of the Oireachtas may, by resolution passed within 21 sitting days after the day on which a scheme was laid before it in accordance with paragraph (a), annul the scheme.

(c) The annulment of a scheme under paragraph (b) takes effect immediately on the passing of the resolution concerned but does not affect anything that was done under the scheme before the passing of the resolution.

(11) In this section “superannuation scheme” means a scheme under this section.

Section 92
92

Accountability of director general and chairperson to Oireachtas Committees.

92.— (1) In this section “Committee” means a Committee appointed by either House of the Oireachtas or jointly by both Houses of the Oireachtas (other than the Committee on Members’ Interests of Dáil Éireann or the Committee on Members’ Interests of Seanad Éireann) or a subcommittee of such a Committee.

(2) Subject to subsection (4), a director general shall, at the request in writing of a Committee, attend before it to give account for the general administration of his or her corporation.

(3) Subject to subsection (4), the chairperson of a corporation shall, at the request in writing of a Committee, attend before it to represent the views of the board of his or her corporation.

(4) A director general or chairperson shall not be required to give account for, or represent the views of the board of his or her corporation in respect of, any matter which is or has been or may at a future time be the subject of proceedings before a court or tribunal in the State.

(5) Where a director general or chairperson is of the opinion that a matter in respect of which he or she is requested to give an account for, or represent the views of the board of the corporation, is a matter to which subsection (4) applies, he or she shall inform the Committee of that opinion and the reasons for the opinion and, unless the information is conveyed to the Committee at a time when the director general or chairperson is before it, the information shall be so conveyed in writing.

(6) Where the director general or chairperson has informed a Committee of his or her opinion in accordance with subsection (5) and the Committee does not withdraw the request referred to in subsection (2) or subsection (3) in so far as it relates to a matter the subject of that opinion—

(a) the director general or chairperson may, not later than 21 days after being informed by the Committee of its decision not to do so, apply to the High Court in a summary manner for determination of the question whether the matter is one to which subsection (4) applies, or

(b) the chairperson of the Committee may, on behalf of the Committee, make such an application,

and the High Court may determine the matter.

(7) Pending the determination of an application under subsection (6), the director general or chairperson shall not attend before the Committee to give account for, or represent the views of the board of the corporation in respect of, the matter the subject of the application.

(8) If the High Court determines that the matter concerned is one to which subsection (4) applies, the Committee shall withdraw the request referred to in subsection (2) or subsection (3), but if the High Court determines that subsection (4) does not apply, the director general or chairperson shall attend before the Committee to give account for, or represent the views of the board of the corporation in respect of, the matter.

Section 93
93

Disclosure by members of corporation of certain interests.

93.— (1) A member of the board of a corporation who has—

(a) any interest in any body or concerns with which the corporation has made a contract or proposes to make a contract, or

(b) any interest in any contract which the corporation has made or proposes to make,

shall disclose to the board of the corporation the fact of such interest and the nature of it and shall not be present at any deliberation or decision of the board of the corporation relating to the contract.

(2) Where at a meeting of a board of a corporation any of the following matters arise, namely—

(a) an arrangement to which the corporation is a party or a proposed such arrangement, or

(b) a contract or other agreement with the corporation or a proposed such contract or other agreement,

then, any member of the board of the corporation present at the meeting who otherwise than in his or her capacity as such a member has an interest in the matter shall—

(i) at the meeting disclose to the board of the corporation the fact of such interest and the nature of it,

(ii) neither influence nor seek to influence a decision to be made in relation to the matter,

(iii) absent himself or herself from the meeting or that part of the meeting during which the matter is discussed,

(iv) take no part in any deliberation of the board of the corporation relating to the matter, and

(v) not vote on a decision relating to the matter.

(3) Where an interest is disclosed under this section, the disclosure shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting concerned and, for so long as the matter to which the disclosure relates is being considered or discussed by the meeting, the member of the board by whom the disclosure is made shall not be counted in the quorum for the meeting.

(4) Where at a meeting of a board of a corporation a question arises as to whether or not a course of conduct, if pursued by a member of the board of the corporation, would constitute a failure by him or her to comply with the requirements of subsection (2), the question may be determined by the board of the corporation, whose decision shall be final, and where such a question is so determined, particulars of the determination shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

(5) For the purposes of this section and section 94 a person shall not be regarded as having an interest in any matter by reason only of an interest of that person, or of any company in which he or she has an interest, which is so remote or insignificant that it cannot reasonably be regarded as likely to influence a person in considering, discussing or in voting on, any question relating to the matter, or in performing any function in relation to that matter.

Section 94
94

Disclosure by staff and contractors for services of certain interests.

94.— (1) Where a member of the staff of a corporation or a member of the staff or a director of a subsidiary or a contractor for services, in a category specified before engagement by the corporation, has an interest, otherwise than in his or her capacity as such, in any contract, agreement or arrangement, or any proposed contract, agreement or arrangement, to which the corporation is or is proposed to be a party, that person—

(a) shall disclose to the board of the corporation his or her interest and the nature of it,

(b) shall take no part in the negotiation of the contract, agreement or arrangement or in any deliberation by members of the board of the corporation or members of the staff of the corporation or contractors for services in a category specified before engagement by the corporation in relation to it,

(c) shall not influence or seek to influence a decision to be made in the matter, and

(d) shall not make any recommendation in relation to the contract, agreement or arrangement.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person as regards a contract or proposed contract of employment of that person as a member of the staff of the corporation or as regards a contract or proposed contract for services of that person as a contractor for services to the corporation.

(3) Where a person to whom subsection (1) applies fails to comply with a requirement of this section, the corporation concerned shall decide the appropriate action (including removal from office or termination of contract) to be taken.

(4) In this section ‘‘member of staff’’ includes the director general.

(5) In this section and sections 95, 104 and 116 , “subsidiary” means a subsidiary of a corporation.

Section 95
95

Code of conduct.

95.— (1) A corporation shall, as soon as may be, draw up and adopt a code of conduct in respect of controls on interests and ethical behaviour to apply to each member of the board, member of staff, adviser, member of an advisory committee and member of an audience council of the corporation or a subsidiary of the corporation.

(2) A corporation shall, as soon as may be, draw up a code of conduct in respect of controls on interests and ethical behaviour to apply to such categories of contractors for services as the corporation may specify before engagement.

(3) A corporation shall publish on a website maintained by the corporation any code of conduct drawn up under subsections (1) and (2).

Section 96
96

Audience council.

96.— (1) A corporation shall establish for the purposes of this section, a committee, which committee shall be known, and is in this section referred to, as an audience council.

(2) An audience council shall consist of 15 members appointed by its corporation.

(3) The members of the board of a corporation shall appoint one of their number to serve as a member of its audience council.

(4) In appointing the members of its audience council, a corporation shall endeavour to ensure that the audience council is representative of the viewing and listening public and, in particular, of Gaeltacht communities and persons with a sight or hearing disability.

(5) In appointing the members of its audience council TG4 shall endeavour to ensure that the members of the audience council are able to communicate proficiently in the Irish language.

(6) A corporation shall from time to time appoint, as occasion requires, a member of its audience council to be chairperson of it.

(7) The membership of an audience council shall be appointed for such periods, not exceeding 5 years, as the corporation may think fit and a member of the audience council appointed for a period of less than 5 years shall be eligible for re-appointment for the remainder of the period of 5 years from the beginning of his or her appointment, or for any shorter period.

(8) A member of an audience council may at any time, by notice in writing to the corporation, resign his or her membership. The membership of any member of the audience council may at any time be terminated by notice in writing given to him or her by the corporation.

(9) A corporation shall give to its audience council the use of such resources and information as the council requires for the proper performance of its functions.

(10) The principal function of an audience council shall be to represent to the board of its corporation the views and interests of the general public with regard to public service broadcasting by the corporation.

(11) An audience council may require its corporation to conduct, or arrange to be conducted, as far as is reasonably practicable, a survey of children and young persons, for the purpose of ascertaining the views and interests of children and young persons in respect of public service broadcasting by the corporation.

(12) An audience council may require its corporation to conduct, or arrange to be conducted, as far as is reasonably practicable, a survey of elderly persons, for the purpose of ascertaining the views and interests of elderly persons in respect of public service broadcasting by the corporation.

(13) In order to exercise its function under subsection (10), an audience council may—

(a) hold public meetings, and

(b) require that its corporation provide the equivalent of up to one hour of television programme material and in respect of RTÉ one hour of sound broadcasting programme material in each year, and that the corporation shall broadcast same, at such times as are agreed between the corporation and the audience council.

(14) The quorum for a meeting of an audience council shall be 8.

(15) Subject to this section an audience council shall have the power to regulate its own procedure and practice by rules made under this section.

(16) An audience council shall, not later than 30 June in each year, make an annual report to the Minister, the board of its corporation and the Authority, of its proceedings during the preceding financial year. An audience council may, and if requested to do so by the Minister shall, make special reports to the Minister during any year.

(17) At least once in each year the director general of the corporation concerned shall meet with the audience council of the corporation.

(18) At least once in each year an audience council shall meet with the board of its corporation.

(19) A corporation may pay to each member of its audience council such out-of-pocket expenses as such member may reasonably incur in the performance of his or her functions.

Section 97
97

Advisory committees.

97.— (1) A corporation may establish advisory committees to advise and assist it in the performance of its functions.

(2) Where advisory committees include members other than members of the board of the corporation or staff of the corporation, such members may be paid such remuneration (if any) and allowances for expenses as the corporation considers reasonable, subject to the consent of the Minister and the Minister for Finance.

(3) A corporation may regulate the procedure of its advisory committees, but subject to such regulation, an advisory committee may regulate its own procedure.

(4) A corporation and its director general shall have regard to, but shall not be bound by, the advice of any advisory committee under this section.

Section 98
98

Independence.

98.— Subject to the requirements of this Act, a corporation shall be independent in the pursuance of its objects.

Section 99
99

Statement of strategy.

99.— (1) As soon as may be, but not later than 6 months after the passing of this Act, and every 5 years thereafter, a corporation shall prepare and present to the Minister, in such format as shall be approved by the Minister, a statement of strategy.

(2) A statement of strategy prepared under subsection (1) shall set out the strategy of the board of the corporation for achieving its objects under this Act during the period to which the statement relates, having regard to resources available to the corporation.

(3) The Minister shall, as soon as may be, after a statement of strategy or any revision to it under this section has been presented to him or her, cause a copy or a summary of it to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

Section 100
100

Sectoral impact assessments by Authority.

100.— (1) The Authority shall, within 3 months of receiving a written request for advice from the Minister in respect of the sectoral impact of a proposal under this Part, prepare and submit such advice to the Minister.

(2) The Authority, in advising the Minister on the sectoral impact of a proposal under this Part, shall consider the following matters—

(a) the extent to which the proposal impacts on—

(i) the availability, choice, quality and accessibility of services for audiences, and

(ii) existing sectoral services,

(b) the impact of the proposal on sectoral development, innovation and investment,

(c) the impact of the proposal on related markets, and

(d) such matters as the Authority may decide.

(3) In reviewing the sectoral impact of a proposal under this Part, the Authority shall consider such impacts as may arise within a 5 year period of the receipt of a written request for advice from the Minister under subsection (1).

Section 101
101

Public service statement.

101.— (1) A corporation, following a public consultation, shall prepare, not later than 12 months after the passing of this Act, and every 5 years thereafter, or as required by the Minister, a public service statement setting out the principles to be observed, and activities to be undertaken by the corporation in order to fulfil its public service objects.

(2) A corporation shall submit a public service statement prepared under subsection (1) to the Minister.

(3) The Minister, having consulted with the Authority, and having reviewed a public service statement received from the corporation under subsection (2) against its public service objects, may grant his or her consent to the public service statement.

(4) The Minister shall on the grant of his or her consent to a public service statement, or any revision to it, cause a copy of the public service statement to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

Section 102
102

Annual statement of performance commitments.

102.— (1) A corporation shall, by 31 January in each year, prepare an annual statement of performance commitments, in accordance with —

(a) its objects,

(b) any extant statement of strategy prepared under section 99, and

(c) any extant public service statement prepared under section 101,

and including the activities to which the corporation intends to commit in that financial year and associated performance indicators.

(2) An annual statement of performance commitments prepared by a corporation under subsection (1), shall address, inter alia

(a) original children’s programming, commissioned or produced by the corporation, relevant to the social and cultural needs and interests of children in Ireland and including animation and children’s programming in the Irish language, to be broadcast by the corporation,

(b) Irish language programming to be broadcast by the corporation,

(c) science and technology programming to be broadcast by the corporation,

(d) magazines and books to be prepared, published and distributed in pursuance of the corporation’s public service objects, and

(e) the recorded audio material to be compiled, published and distributed in pursuance of the corporation’s public service objects.

(3) As soon as may be after 31 January in each year a corporation shall submit to the Minister and the Authority an annual statement of performance commitments prepared under subsection (1) and, having consulted with the Minister and the Authority, shall publish the statement, or a summary of it, as soon as practicable, thereafter.

(4) A corporation shall by 31 March in each year submit to the Minister and the Authority a report on the fulfilment or otherwise of any commitments made in a statement prepared under subsection (1) for the previous financial year and an explanation of any difference arising.

(5) A corporation shall include within a report required under section 110 a report on the fulfilment or otherwise of any commitments published under subsection (3) for the period concerned and an explanation of any difference arising.

Section 103
103

Ministerial consent for new services and variations in channels.

103.— (1) A corporation may, with the consent of the Minister, pursue the objects in paragraphs (g) and (h) of section 114(1) or paragraphs (g) and (h) of section 118(1), as the case may be.

(2) A corporation may, with the consent of the Minister, vary the number of television or sound broadcasting channels it operates.

(3) A corporation may, with the consent of the Minister, undertake ancillary services.

(4) Where the Minister proposes to give his or her consent under this section, the Minister shall—

(a) consult with the corporation concerned and such other persons as he or she considers appropriate,

(b) consult with the Authority as to the sectoral impact of a proposal under this section,

(c) consider the public value of such proposal, and

(d) publish in such manner as he or she considers appropriate a statement outlining the consultations that have been carried out under paragraphs (a) and (b) and indicate a place at which any document given to the Minister by a person referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) in the course of consultations under those paragraphs may be inspected.

(5) A person referred to in paragraphs (a) or (b) of subsection (4) may, on giving a document to the Minister for the purposes of subsection (4), request the Minister to omit from documents made available for public inspection under paragraph (d) of subsection (4) a document or part of a document which the person regards as commercially sensitive.

(6) The Minister may, if satisfied that the information contained in a document or part of a document is commercially sensitive and that its disclosure is not necessary for the purposes of public understanding of a decision made under subsection (4), omit the document or part of a document from the documents made available for public inspection under paragraph (d) of subsection (4).

(7) For the purposes of this section, information is commercially sensitive if its disclosure could reasonably be expected to—

(a) materially prejudice the commercial interests of the person who provided that information to the Minister, or of a group or class of persons to which that person belongs, or

(b) prejudice the competitive position of a person in the conduct of the person’s business.

(8) The Minister, in deciding on the public value of a proposal under this section shall consider the following matters—

(a) the importance of the proposal in respect of the pursuance of the public service objects of the corporation,

(b) the compatibility of the proposal with the Council Directive and recommendations of the Council of Europe in respect of public service broadcasting,

(c) the costs and revenues associated with the proposal and any impact on existing public service provision,

(d) the extent to which the proposal contributes to meeting the democratic, cultural, linguistic, educational, and social needs of Irish society, of individual groups within Irish society, and of Irish communities outside of the island of Ireland,

(e) the extent to which the proposed service will be accessible by the public,

(f) the extent to which the proposed service will reach under-served audiences,

(g) the contribution of the proposed service or activity to raising the level of familiarity of the general public, or of individual groups within Irish society, with new forms of services and technologies,

(h) the contribution of the proposal to media plurality, and

(i) such matters as the Minister may decide.

(9) The Minister may attach to any consent granted under this section such particular terms or conditions as he or she considers appropriate in the circumstances.

(10) The requirements of subsection (2) shall not apply to the establishment by a corporation of a television or sound broadcasting channel for a period of not more than 30 days (whether consecutive days or otherwise) in any period of 12 months.

(11) In this section “ancillary services” means the provision by a corporation of services, which—

(a) are ancillary to the public service objects of the corporation,

(b) the corporation has not engaged in a significant manner in the previous 5 years,

(c) require expenditure by the corporation in excess of €5 million in each year, and

(d) for which the corporation proposes to use funding received by the corporation under section 123,

but does not include the provision by a corporation of a service in pursuance of paragraphs (d), (f) and (i) of section 114 (1) and paragraphs (d) and (f) of section 118 (1).

Section 104
104

Establishment of subsidiaries and joint ventures.

104.— (1) A corporation may, in pursuance of its objects under this Act, with the consent of the Minister and the Minister for Finance, the Minister having consulted with the Authority, acquire, form, establish and dispose of one or more subsidiaries.

(2) A corporation or a subsidiary of it may, either by itself or with another person, with the consent of the Minister and the Minister for Finance, the Minister having consulted with the Authority, promote or take part in the formation or establishment of a company, and enter into joint ventures or partnerships in pursuance of its objects under this Act.

(3) A corporation may, with the consent of the Minister and the Minister for Finance, the Minister having consulted with the Authority, acquire, hold and dispose of shares or other interests in a company and become a member of a company.

(4) The memorandum and articles of association of a subsidiary shall be in such form as may be determined by the corporation with the consent of the Minister and the Minister for Finance.

(5) The Minister may attach to any consent granted under this section particular terms or conditions as he or she considers appropriate in the circumstances.

Section 105
105

Duty of corporation with respect to its revenue.

105.— It is the duty of a corporation so to conduct its affairs as to secure that its revenue is at the earliest possible date, and thereafter continues to be, at least sufficient—

(a) to meet all sums properly chargeable to current account, and

(b) to make suitable provision with respect to capital expenditure.

Section 106
106

Advertisements.

106.— (1) A corporation may broadcast advertisements, broadcast acknowledgements of sponsorship, may fix charges and conditions for such broadcasts and, in fixing the charges, may provide for different circumstances and for additional special charges to be made in special cases.

(2) A corporation may reject any advertisement presented for broadcast in whole or in part.

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