Minister Rabbitte and Gay Byrne welcome Digital TV Outreach Champions at Training Seminar

Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte T.D., was joined by Gay Byrne in Dublin today to welcome 23 Digital Outreach Champions who have just been selected to help create greater awareness and understanding of the Digital Switchover in local communities across the country.


The Digital Outreach Champions who will cover every county in the Republic Of Ireland, have gathered in Dublin for two days of training which will inform them of the nature and scope of the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources’ (DCENR) Digital Switchover national information and awareness campaign and outline what on-the-ground activities they will embark on in their roles as Digital Outreach Champions.


DCENR announced a partnership with The Wheel and Irish Rural Link in January as part of the Department’s outreach programme which is committed to ensuring that the more vulnerable people in the country are not left behind when the analogue TV signal is switched off on Wednesday 24th October this year.


According to Minister Rabbitte, “The success of the Department’s national information and awareness campaign is dependent on us reaching all strands of society in local communities right across the country and the Digital Outreach Champions will play an essential role in making this happen. They are a vital element in the outreach programme we have developed in partnership with The Wheel and Irish Rural Link and will greatly assist us in mobilising community and voluntary organisations at a local level in every parish of the country.”


The Digital Outreach Champions have been specifically selected by The Wheel and Irish Rural link following an application process which was advertised nationally and locally and sought to identify individuals and organisations living in local communities throughout Ireland with a keen interest in helping inform more vulnerable people living in their county about the digital switchover. On completion of the training and planning phase over a six week period, the Champions will begin their role of ensuring that people, especially those in rural communities, have all of the information they need for making the switch over to Digital Television before the analogue system is switched off.


Minister Rabbitte added, “The Digital switchover is a very positive thing for Ireland and we need to ensure that we promote it as such. The Digital Outreach Champions will play an important role in helping us deliver a positive message around the arrival of digital television in Ireland and will give people the relevant information in a format that is simple, clear, concise and easy to understand.


Anyone who currently relies on an aerial to watch TV – approximately 250,000 households across Ireland – will need to take action before 24th October 2012 to retain access to TV services. Guidance on the Digital Switchover is available at, through LoCall 1890 940 980 (English language) and 1890 940 970 (Irish language). Information booklets are also available in post offices and Citizen Information Centres throughout the country and an updated booklet will be sent to all households in the country later in the Summer.


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