Fine Gael TD for Longford/Westmeath, Gabrielle McFadden, has said that today’s official opening of RTE’s new Midlands Regional Studio at Athlone Institute of Technology was a clear endorsement of the national broadcaster’s commitment to its news and programming output in the Midlands. The official opening was performed by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan.
“The relocation of the Midlands studio from its former offices at St Mary’s Square to a state-of-the-art facility in AIT is a big vote of confidence by RTE in Athlone and the wider Midlands region. I also want to compliment AIT President Ciarán Ó Catháin and all those at the college who have ensured this partnership has taken place, which will allow a mutual sharing of knowledge and facilities.
“Back in 2012 when RTÉ announced it was restructuring its regional operations, there were understandable concerns and much uncertainty locally. However, RTE’s decision to sign partnership agreements with Institutes of Technologies, including AIT, to provide TV and Radio facilities was met with welcome relief all round.
“Today is also a very nostalgic one for all those associated over the years with the old offices at St Mary’s Square, which had been home to the Midland operations for twenty five years.
“In that time, three excellent regional correspondents have been based there, including the incumbent Ciarán Mullooly who has been in situ for the last eighteen years. I would like to wish Ciarán and his staff colleagues, Anne Brennan and Paula Reid, continued success.
“The new digital studio, which boasts 5 joint TV and radio points, offers much promise and potential in terms of additional programming and I look forward to RTE’s increased output from the Midlands.”