Irish Government Warns Church Pirates

Last week, an unexpectedly large underground segment of the Irish pirate radio community was exposed when Ireland’s spectrum police, ComReg, made contact with churches around the country warning them to stop their buccaneering ways. It seems that lots of churches have the habit of conducting hit-and-run broadcasts of their masses over local open FM channels, as a service to shut-ins and others in their parishes who can’t physically make it to the church. Some have been at it for five or six years.
This story was the subject of an interesting segment (22:25, 10.3 MB) on RTE Radio 1’s Liveline afternoon chat program. Several pirate priests called in, as well as parishioners who lamented the loss of the service. At least one priest who called in admitted that he knew the practice was illegal, but was adamant in his belief that the benefits of the service his church-station provided outweighed the licensing regulations which prevent such stations from existing.