Irish TV faces the axe

The Irish High Court has appointed a liquidator to oversee the liquidation of Mayo-based television station Irish TV. The appointment came after an order was made by the High Court today to wind up the business.

The company was founded in 2014 by husband and wife Pierce O’Reilly and Mairéad Ni Mhaoilchiaráin. It was primarily bankrolled by UK taxi millionaire John Griffin, who owned half of the company.

In a High Court petition seeking court protection, Irish TV said it has been left with an immediate operational cash-flow shortfall after its main funder – UK mincab mogul John Griffin who was a 41 per cent stakeholder in the company – withdrew his support in late October.
Mr Griffin’s decision followed four years of losses at Irish TV which told the courts it now has net liabilities of €8.7 million.

An independent expert’s report – prepared to support of company’s application for examinership – said the station has a “reasonable prospect of survival” if a number of steps are taken.
These include shutting down the station’s regional offices in Tralee, Dublin, Tyrone, London and New York and the implementation of a redundancy programme.

Irish TV’s Munster Regional Hub – which oversees all of the station’s productions in the region – is located at the Tom Crean Centre at Kerry Technology Park. It was first opened in late 2014 and it currently employs around 20 people.

Irish TV, broadcasts a 24-hour channel on Sky, and Freesat in the UK, Eir and online.
Ms Justice Marie Baker has appointed Michael McAteer as interim examiner. The station said the action was “necessary and unavoidable” adding that it will continue broadcasting during the 70 to 100 day examinership process.

The Irish community living overseas is again left with no Irish TV channel to keep them up to date with events back in the Irish Republic. RTÉ had plans to launch a service for the overseas Irish, though these plans seem to have been put on hold. Until such a service can be launched, RTÉ could make RTÉ News Now free-to-air, it is already available worldwide online.

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