Keep Lyric FM in Limerick
Speaking during a Dáil debate on the financial challenges facing RTÉ, Labour Limerick TD Jan O’Sullivan repeated her call for Lyric FM to remain in Limerick and warned against having a Dublin-centric national broadcaster.
Deputy O’Sullivan said:
“I’m really concerned that aspects of RTÉ’s proposed solutions to their financial challenges don’t properly take into account their role as the national public service broadcaster.
“The positive developments such as new content, live TV moments and ‘big events’, integrated media centre and new digital infrastructure are all centred in Donnybrook, Dublin 4.
“The downside is outside the capital, particularly in Limerick. The Government should stop this Dublin-centric plan which goes against the goals of the National Planning Framework, Project Ireland 2040.
“Lyric FM has been firmly rooted in the cultural life of Limerick since it was set up there 20 years ago.
“It sustains, and is sustained, by a wide variety of cultural organisations and venues, and even as we debate this issue in the Dáil there is a BIG ROAR OF SUPPORT music event starting in the Irish Chamber Orchestra’s home in University of Limerick.
“Limerick City and County Council will also debate a motion tabled by my colleague, Cllr. Conor Sheehan, tomorrow to maintain Lyric FM in Limerick.
“The people of the City and the region are fighting back against RTÉ’s plans.
“There is just no justification for taking Lyric FM out of Limerick.
“The station costs €4.47 out of each person’s licence fee of €160. It will still cost at least half of that to run it from Dublin and Cork, and it will cost some fine people their jobs because they can’t uproot their families and move.
“It’s particularly unfair to those employees who have given their commitment to the policy of Lyric for the last 20 years to operate out of Limerick to expect them to move their family and their lives.
“I’ve already called on RTÉ to respond to the offer from the President of the University of Limerick, Dr. Des Fitzgerald to provide a home for Lyric in the University campus when the lease on their present location expires at the end of 2020.
“I am now calling on the Minister to insist that this option is explored positively. UL is already home to the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance and an excellent media faculty. Practitioners and academics in the University already have close ties with Lyric and it would be a very good fit.
“It would be a profound blow to the artistic and cultural identity if Lyric is removed.
“This is not, and cannot be, a fait accompli.
“The Government has to stand with us and tell RTÉ it cannot take Lyric out of Limerick. It is as simple as that. We need firm commitments from the Minister today on this.”