The Mayor of the City and County of Limerick has called for a meeting with the Ministers for Communications and Culture to try and reverse the plans that RTÉ has announced for the Limerick-based station Lyric FM and the closure of its regional studio.
Mayor Michael Sheahan said: “The news that RTÉ are closing their Limerick offices and moving production of Lyric FM to Dublin and Cork is very disappointing. The establishment of RTÉ Lyric fm in Limerick in 1999 was seen as an important step forward in the regionalisation of the national broadcaster and the cultural life of Limerick.”
“Limerick has embraced Lyric FM and it has been seen as a badge of honour that the national station was based in Limerick. There was always a sense that Lyric was edgier and more innovative as it was located away from the shackles of Montrose.”
“Lyric has given so much to energise the cultural life of Limerick. Ironically, producers and presenters came from both Cork and Dublin to live in Limerick to set up Lyric FM. They have embedded themselves in Limerick life, more than their work in Lyric for example the Irish World Academy, The Irish Chamber Orchestra and our own Castleconnell Concerts.”
“I believe that the average cost per transmitted hour of programming on Lyric FM in 2018 was €800, significantly less than the cost for 2FM (€1,300), Raidió na Gaeltachta (€1,400) and Radio 1 (€4,000), so from a cost perspective it’s run extremely efficiently by a dedicated and multi-talented staff who also double as presenters/ producers.”
“I would urge RTÉ to look again at the decision to move Lyric FM and the impact it will have on the people whose jobs are now under threat. RTE must keep Lyric FM and the regional studio in Limerick in the interests of regional diversity and development.”
“I’m calling for a meeting with Ministers Richard Bruton and Josepha Madigan, who have responsibility for Communications and Culture respectively to discuss this shock announcement and see if it can be reversed.”