The Second World War (known as 'The Emergency' in Ireland) was a testing time for Radio Éireann. Censorship was rigorously enforced over all the Irish media between 1939 and 1945 under the Emergency Powers Act and, as a state run service and accessible overseas, Radio Éireann broadcasts received particularly close attention.
War reporting was censored because of the policy of neutrality. Bulletins prepared by the tiny newsroom staff consisted of extracts from official communiqués without any comment. Before being broadcast, these news bulletin scripts were read over the phone to Head of the Government Information Bureau, Frank Gallagher. Before 1939, Mr Gallagher had been Assistant Director at Radio Éireann: he was now its censor.
Neutrality brought other changes. All three Radio Éireann transmitters at Dublin, Cork and Athlone were synchronised onto a single frequency - this measure was intended to prevent the transmitters being used for direction-finding by aircraft.
Furthermore, there was a prohibition on broadcasting weather forecasts, which were regarded as strategically important. Apart from the ongoing annoyance for farmers and fishermen, this policy meant, for example, that a sports commentator would have to omit an innocent phrase such as "it's a lovely day here today in Dublin for the football final".
Operations were also restricted by difficulties in obtaining the necessary parts to keep transmitters running.
Censorship brought in under the Emergency Powers Act was lifted on 11 May 1945.
A table from the Radio Éireann annual report showing the figures in minutes broadcast under different programme classifications during 1946.
Michael Lawlor a former news editor with Radio Éireann, describes the work of the newsroom in the 1950s and the impact the arrival of tape recording made.
Towards the end of the Second World War, Winston Churchill, in his Victory in Europe Day speech broadcast to the world, was critical of Taoiseach Eamon de Valera and Ireland's policy of neutrality throughout the war. Three days later, de Valera, in a much anticipated reply, outlined Ireland's right as an independent state to remain neutral. His response was praised widely in Ireland for its strength, dignity and restraint.
The Mobile Recording Unit was established in 1947 and was equipped with a disc recorder.
Labhrás Ó Cadhla sings 'Na Conairígh'. This recording was made on acetate disc in September 1948 at the singer's home in Cappoquin, Waterford.