Fine Gael TD for Kildare South Martin Heydon has today (Thursday) encouraged members of the public to have their say on which key sporting events should be free to air on domestic TV. A public consultation process as part of a review of television coverage of key sporting events is ongoing until 1st August 2014.

“Irish people get great entertainment from watching their favourite sporting events on TV and their contributions now are important to ensure that the most important sporting events are secured as free to air events.

“Under the Broadcasting Act 2009, the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources may designate sporting and cultural events as being of major importance to society and which should be available on a free-to-air television service. The Minister is required to review such events every three years.

“Events are designated as being of major importance to society based on them having a special resonance and being of distinct cultural importance for the people of Ireland. That’s why it’s so important that interested members of the public engage with this process.

“Sky’s recent securing of rights to some GAA matches represents the first time that GAA games have not been available free to air in this country. The Sky GAA deal highlights the importance of people having their say in what events are made free to air.”

“Sporting events play an important role in bringing people together and uniting people behind the same cause. Ireland is a nation of sport lovers and it makes sense that people should be consulted on which events are televised. I urge members of the public to engage with this consultation process. Submissions on the designated events and the possible designation of additional events are now being sought.”