Northern Ireland Branch

The chair of the Northern Ireland Branch is Peter McVerry (028 9033 2105).Nortern Ireland

If you would like more information on the Branch or to suggest any events you can contact Branch chair directly.

Peter McVerry

News & updates

Northern Ireland Branch event: John Myers Q&A

Posted by Northern Ireland at 1 March, 2012, 1:44 pm

Monday 5th March 2012 | 5.45pm for 6.00 start | U105, Ormeau Road, Belfast BT7 1EB

Our glorious leader John Myers will join members of the Northern Ireland Branch for a Q&A session.

John will be in Belfast on Monday 5th March in U105 at UTV from 6.00pm until 8.00pm.

With the publication this week of his BBC Local Radio report and his own return to radio with Spectrum, John is sure to attract a large attendance in what promises to be a very enjoyable event. And the man himself has promised to answers any questions.

This is the first event of 2012 for the NI Branch and we hope to use it to recruit more members so if you'd like to come along please sign up on the Branch Facebook page here.

If you would like more information on the Branch or to suggest any events you can contact Branch chair Peter McVerry at U105 on 90332105 or e-mail

Northern Ireland Branch Event: THE DAN GILBERT EVENT 2011

Posted by Northern Ireland at 22 September, 2011, 12:42 pm

This annual event is held in memory of Dan Gilbert, and alternates between The Radio Academy Branch and the Royal Television Society.

This year's event is hosted by RTS with Special Thanks to UTV.


DATE:18 October 2011
TIME: 7.00pm - Sandwiches, Tea and Coffee from 6.20pm.
VENUE: UTV Studios, Ormeau Road, Belfast.

SPEAKER: Peter Heslop, Arqiva.

By 2012 television signals in the UK will go completely digital. The old analogue TV signal will be switched off and viewers will need to convert or upgrade their TV equipment to receive digital signals.

Northern Ireland will switch from analogue to digital TV at different times in 2012.

The Digital Switch Over project peaks in 2011 as some of the largest TV regions move to all-digital transmission. The implementation of this five year £700m project is a major engineering and logistical exercise, led by Peter Heslop at Arqiva. In this lecture, Peter describes what is involved in DSO, the challenges that it presents, progress to date, unexpected issues and critical success factors.

Admission is free, but places must be booked by emailing John Mitchell, RTS Northern Ireland Centre.

Please send your name and contact telephone number before Tuesday 11th October 2011.

Please note that studio places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

For more information click here.


Posted by Northern Ireland at 29 September, 2010, 9:00 am

Bob Shennan, Controller BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music

Friday 15th October, 5.00-6.30pm | Blackstaff Audience Reception Area, Blackstaff House, Great Victoria Street, Belfast, BT2 7BB

BBC Radio 2 holds the title of ‘the Nation’s favourite’ station, attracting 13.7 million listeners a week, according to the latest RAJAR.

A graduate of Cambridge, Bob began his career as a journalist with the independent Hereward Radio in Peterborough. He joined the BBC in 1987, and progressed to a variety of senior roles, becoming Head of BBC Sport in 1998 and Controller of 5 Live in 2000.

Bob left the BBC in early 2008 to lead Channel Four Radio. Following his departure from the venture late that year, he was appointed Controller, Radio 2 and 6 Music in January 2009.

In February 2009, Bob was appointed as the Chairman of the Radio Academy, and in his first visit to Belfast in that role, he will describe Radio 2 today with its diverse range of music programmes and new Breakfast host Chris Evans, and how the station sees the challenges of the future.

To register, please email Carol Lawley.

Northern Ireland Branch: Enigma Explained

Posted by Northern Ireland at 23 April, 2010, 10:43 am

small_Enigma_Machine_1The Enigma machine is one of the icons of WW2. The machine was invented in the 1920s and adopted by the German military in the mid 30s to give a means of secure communication for their armed forces.

To use the machine, an operator types in the message, letter by letter, and notes the encoded version. This is then passed to the radio operator who transmits the message in morse code. At the other end the process is repeated to produce the plain language text. The security of the machine comes from the fact that there are 150,000,000,000,000 different ways of setting up the machine, making it very unlikely to stumble on the correct one by accident.

small_Enigma_Machine_2Throughout WW2 the Germans remained convinced that the machine was invulnerable whereas, in truth, much of their traffic was being read within hours of it being sent. While the army and air force continued to use the same machine in much the same way as at the start of the war, the navy continually sought to improve the security and made both the machine and its operation more complex. This resulted in periods when the U boat traffic could not be read until a means was found to overcome the changes.

In his talk, Alan will give a brief history of the development of the machine and of those used by other countries which followed a similar principle. He will then go on to cover how the machine was used by the German armed forces and some insight into the way in which it was cracked.

"It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key." WINSTON CHURCHILL.

The Dan Gilbert Event - Enigma Explained

Date & Time: 18 May 2010, 6.30 p.m. for 7.00 p.m. A finger buffet / refreshments will be available at 6.30 pm.
Venue: BBC Broadcasting House, Ormeau Avenue, Belfast.
Price: Free - Event open to non members.
Registration: Please contact: Clair Baguley. Numbers are limited for the event and please register on or before 11th May 2010.

Various machines / rotors / documents will be on display at the event.

Event organised by John Mitchell, RTS Northern Ireland Centre, and is a joint event with The Radio Academy Northern Ireland Branch.

With special thanks to BBC Northern Ireland.

Further information

original_Alan_Enigma_1Alan’s early career was as a radio officer in the merchant navy. One of his responsibilities was the cipher system that was used to send and receive messages to the admiralty. Apart from having to use the system, Alan was interested in how secure it was and this started an interest in codes and ciphers. It was a fairly short path to the Enigma story which was then only just becoming public knowledge.

A second career took him into the world of broadcasting with the IBA where he worked on the rollout of Channel 4, Channel 5, and re-engineering the ITC transmission system. Later he became involved in the development of digital systems and worked for News Digital Systems (NDS) before joining NTL for the rollout of the present DTT system. He left NTL in 2002 and set up his own company, Trinity Start, doing consultancy on Digital Switchover both in the UK and ROI as well as setting up a sea training school specialising in radar and communications.

The interest in codes and ciphers persisted and he has carried out a lot of research over the years and has built up a collection of cipher machines from WW2 and the Cold War era. He is also chairman of the Medusa Trust, a charity which has restored and operates a small warship from WW2 (

Northern Ireland Branch: What’s the Point of Local Radio?

Posted by Northern Ireland at 13 April, 2010, 12:37 pm

The Radio Academy - Northern Ireland Branch would like to invite you to attend a panel based discussion considering the issue:

What’s the Point of Local Radio?

The panel will feature representatives from the BBC, commercial and community radio including Johnny Hero and Stephen Nolan.

This event is open to members and non-members of The Radio Academy.

Date & Time:
Tuesday 27th April 2010, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Venue: 2nd floor bar, Waterfront Hall, Belfast
Register: RSVP to Cameron

Events Archive

In Conversation with Trevor Dann and Northern Ireland’s Nations and Regions Awards

14th Jan 08 - UTV Ormeau Road, Belfast
You are invited to an evening with former Radio 1 supremo Trevor Dann who now runs The Radio Academy. Find out what he makes of how the radio sector is evolving, his reflections on Radio 1 and managing the talent, and his views on the skills radio professionals now need to get the job done. We’ll also be announcing the winner of the Radio Academy Nations & Regions award for stations in Northern Ireland with a TSA of under 300,000. Radio Academy members, students and non-members all welcome.

The Northern Ireland Branch present Johnnie Walker

26th June 07 - Blackstaff Audience Reception Area, BBC Blackstaff, Belfast
John Bennett will be interviewing Johnnie Walker at Northern Ireland's first event of 2007.

Mobile TV - TV in your pocket

6th Nov 07 - The Dan Gilbert Memorial Event 2007
With Simon Mason, Arqiva, Head of New Product Development Mobile Media Solutions. A finger buffet will be available after the event.