Find out more about the structure & history of Craol and Community Radio in Ireland

Here you will find an outline of the structure of Craol, a brief history of Community Radio in Ireland and links to resources to find out more.

The Structure and History of CRAOL
How Craol is Structured

CRAOL is a co-operative with the co-operative shareholders being the fully licenced community radio stations. Community radio stations which have not yet got a full licence can join as Associate members. Each full member (shareholding station) nominates a CRAOL Representative and these representatives meet twice a year in ‘Forum’.

From these twenty representatives are drawn nine people to form the executive body called the Co-ordinating Committee.  This takes place at the Annual AGM. One third of the Co-ordinating Committee rotate every year.

The Co-ordination Committee is the Governing Body of the CRAOL Co-operative. As the group responsible for the governance of the organization, the Co-ordinating committee has four key functions:

  • Direction – remaining true to our purpose, providing guidance & structure
  • Assets – ensuring we have enough resources to run CRAOL and that they are managed well
  • Accountability – ensuring that our actions, and procedures are accountable to CRAOLs members and funders
  • Legality – meet any legal obligations of CRAOL under applicable laws

The Co-ordinating Committee body meets between 6-8 times per year to identify, prioritise, and manage the activities of CRAOL and its finances. Shifts in strategy are referred to the Forum


A Brief History of Craol 

In 1994 the Independent Radio and Television Commission established an 18-month community radio pilot project to explore and evaluate the potential offered by community broadcasting in an Irish context. This project went operational in 1995 when licenses were issued to eleven community and community of interest groups across the country. In recognition of the particular challenges faced by those participating, the IRTC implemented a number of specific support initiatives during the pilot project period and one of these was the Community Radio Forum now CRAOL.  

The Community Radio Forum was set up to provide an opportunity for inter-station communication and information exchange. We were also asked to identify and discuss the general lessons emerging from the pilot project. We produced our own report on the outcomes of the pilot project "A Community Radio Model for Ireland" and this report was one of the key information sources for the IRTC's final evaluation report. The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (now the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, BAI) has supported an significant expansion of the sector in recent years with corresponding support for a deepening and broadening of CRAOLs activities. CRAOL  was formally incorporated as a Registered Society (co-operative) with a constitution and standing orders/rules in 2004.

“Bicycle Highway; Celebrating Community Radio in Ireland (Edited by Dr Rosemary Day, Publish Liffey Press 2007 ) chronicles the early days of community Radio in Ireland.

Click here to download (in one file) extracts from

  •  Chapter 2 “If Community Radio is the Answer….What is the Question? The Birth of Community Radio in Ireland, 1974 – 1994”  by Jack Byrne  of NEAR Media Co-operative and former CRAOL Secretary
  • Extracts from Chapter 3 -  “From Pilot to Policy - The Development of a Community radio movement 1989-1997”  by Ciarán Kissane of the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland

Click here to purchase Bicycle Highway from the Liffey Press Website 

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