The Minister for Communications has established the new Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI).

Minister Eamon Ryan has appointed former RTÉ Director General Bob Collins as the BAI's first chairman.

Mr Collins is currently chairman of Northern Ireland's Equality Commission.

The organisation, which is being established under the 2009 Broadcasting Act, will oversee the broadcasting industry in Ireland.

The new authority replaces the old Broadcasting Commission of Ireland and the Broadcasting Complaints Commission.

It will combine for the first time the responsibility for regulating commercial and public service broadcasting.

The authority has nine members and the Minister today announced the five members that the Government is appointing.

Management consultant Paula Downey, e-learning designer Michelle McShortall, solicitor Dr Maria Moloney and Irish Times columnist John Waters will join Mr Collins.

Announcing the Government's appointments, Minister Ryan said the BAI will seek and uphold the highest standards, enhancing trust among viewers and listeners.

The remaining four members of the authority will be nominated by the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.