Press Releases

RTÉ Audience Council to Host Free Public Discussion

10/03/2014: 'Other Faces, Other Voices: Migrant Representation and Participation in RTÉ'

Chaired by former Director of the Centre for Cross Border Studies, Andy Pollak, with a panel and audience discussion

On Thursday 20th March, the RTÉ Audience Council will present “Other Faces, Other Voices: Migrant Representation and Participation in RTÉ”; a free public discussion in RTÉ, Dublin 4. Members of the public are invited to attend and participate. The event will also be streamed live on the night on

Commencing at 6pm in Studio 1, RTÉ Radio Building, the discussion will be chaired by former Director of the Centre for Cross Border Studies and former Religious Affairs & Education Correspondent with the Irish Times, Mr Andy Pollak, with contribution from a panel of representatives.

The panel on the evening will comprise Chinedu N. Onyejelem (Editor, Metro Éireann), Dil Wickremasinghe (Broadcaster, Global Village on Newstalk FM), Logan Raju (Board member at the Integration Centre, Ireland), Ebun Akpoveta (Author, RTÉ Audience Council Member and Training & Employment Officer at EPIC Programme at Business in The Community Ireland BITCI),  Zbyszel Zalinski (Researcher on RTÉ Radio 1 John Murray Show and former presenter on RTÉ Radio 1 Playback) and Kevin Bakhurst, Deputy Director General, RTÉ. Audience participation throughout the discussion is also welcomed.

RTÉ first formed an Audience Council in 2003. The RTÉ Audience Council provides a voice for the viewers and listeners with regard to RTÉ's output and delivery on its public remit. The Council, comprising 15 members, is chaired by Pauric Dempsey, Head of Communications and Public Affairs in the Royal Irish Academy and a previous Producer, Executive Producer and Presenter on RTÉ Radio programmes. Commenting on the upcoming event Mr Dempsey said

"Migrants make a huge contribution to Irish society. It is important that we see their faces and hear their voices and viewpoints in our national debates and discussions".

Andy Pollak is the former director (1999-2013) of the Centre for Cross Border Studies and secretary of Universities Ireland and the Standing Conference on Teacher Education North and South (SCoTENS). Before that he was religious affairs correspondent, education correspondent, assistant news editor and Belfast reporter with the Irish Times. In the early 1990s he was co-ordinator of the Opsahl Commission, an independent ‘citizens inquiry’ into ways forward for Northern Ireland. He is the co-author of a biography of Rev Ian Paisley and a former editor of the Belfast magazine Fortnight. Speaking about the upcoming event, Mr Pollack said:

"The tens of thousands of people from all over the world who have been granted Irish citizenship in recent years show clearly that Irishness is now a multicultural identity. But where are their faces on our television screens? Where are their voices on our radio stations? Where are their inspirational and challenging ideas in our newspaper columns? Their presence in our national media debates is not exactly high profile - and we as a nation are surely poorer for their absence."

Applications for tickets will be accepted to until Friday 14th March. Further details about the event and the RTÉ Audience Council can be found at


Live streaming at