DECISION SOON

After months of speculation it’s believed the controversy surrounding Inishowen’s community radio station, ICR, could be coming to head, possibly by the the end of this week.

Speaking to the Journal yesterday Burnfoot councillor, John Ryan confirmed the Board of Directors had been ‘working through’ a report on an investigation into the station.

He said: “I have been on the management board of ICR for just over a year, in my capacity as a Donegal County Councillor.

“We inherited a number of historical problems relating to serious concern over governance and a financial audit of the station covering the 2006 - 2008 period.

“These led to an investigation by Pobal, one of ICR’s major funders.

“The board is currently working through the findings of that investigation.

“Meanwhile I would ask the excellent staff and volunteers at the station to pull together to ensure the station’s survival.”

Pobal is a not-for-profit company that manages programmes on behalf of the government and the European Union. It supports communities and local agencies to achieve social inclusion, reconciliation and equality.

Councillor Ryan said that the Pobal report was confidential but ICR’s current management board was addressing the issues it raised in an ‘efficient and professional’ manner.

He said: “The management board has been meeting on a weekly basis following its receipt of the Pobal report. I completely understand the concerns and frustrations of the staff and volunteers at ICR but we need to ensure the matter is handled in a correct and transparent way.

“Our approach is four-pronged. We have employed a human relations expert and are dealing with staffing; ensuring ICR’s future viability; financial matters; and securing future funding.

“The management board will be rolling out its ICR Action Plan this week. Hopefully Pobal will continue to fund ICR which provides a truely excellent service for the Donegal / Derry community.”

The local station has been at the centre of controversy for some time with a number of staff privately indicating they were less than happy at a number of decisions.

A former chairman, Gerard Moyne, resigned and stated publicly that he had raised a number of issues with both Pobal and the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland.

He told the ‘Journal’ at the time it was his opinion that a major overhaul of the station was needed and that this should be done as a matter of urgency.