Over 300 people took to the University of Limerick campus in ‘A Roar of Support for Lyric FM’ retaliation to RTE’s decision to relocate their studio to Cork and Dublin.
Referring to the crowds at the event, Liz Nolan of RTE Lyric FM said, “This is a fantastic celebration. This is what Limerick wants, to have Lyric FM as part of the city and we are delighted to be here”.
The pop-up musical protest event entitled ‘A Roar of Support for Lyric FM’ at the Irish Chamber Orchestra Studios on UL Campus on Thursday, November 14 was met with huge success as the Irish Chamber Orchestra, members of several of Limerick’s choral groups, students of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance and members of the public showed up to show their support for RTE Lyric FM’S retaliation to relocate.
The decision to move was announced by RTÉ’s Director General Dee Forbes, as part of overall cost-saving measures at the station. RTÉ Lyric FM’s production and staff are to be relocated from Limerick to Cork and Dublin.
There was widespread dismay and shock at the announcement, which caught not just the public, but also the staff at the Limerick studios, by surprise. Condemnation of the move has been voiced amongst the arts community who argue that moving RTÉ Lyric FM out of the Limerick would have a detrimental effect on the city, which welcomed the station as part of RTÉ’s decentralization program in 1998.
Yesterday we gave our ‘Roar or Support for Lyric FM’ at the @RTElyricfm musical protest @ICOrchestra studios @UL. Rte Lyrics @lizlyricfm filled us in on how Limerick is their home & they don’t want to leave! #ilovelimerick pic.twitter.com/QnNHVDKFMI
— #LimerickTilliDie (@ilovelimerick) November 15, 2019
The event ‘A Roar of Support for Lyric FM’ was a huge success and details have been circulated widely on social media, with the #KeepLyricInLIMERICK hashtag.
Louise Donlon, Director of the Lime Tree Theatre and former Arts Council member said, ”RTÉ Lyric FM’s presence is of huge importance in Limerick; the closure of its studio in the city would be an enormous loss to the entire region but will be especially felt by the arts and cultural sectors. Lyric is at the heart of our cultural life here, both in terms of its location in the Cornmarket area of the city, but also its support and promotion of the arts and culture in the region.
If this is allowed to happen, balanced regional development will be unimplementable and will mean nothing. What employee will ever consider decentralization in the future if decisions can be reversed 10, 15 or 20 years down the line, with no thought to the impact on people’s lives and families?”
Irish Chamber Orchestra CEO Gerry Keenan also pointed out the vacuum in the city’s vital arts infrastructure should Lyric’s Limerick base be removed: “RTE Lyric FM along with the ICO is an integral part of cultural life in Limerick, sharing classical music with the widest possible audiences on the airwaves, while integrating with communities and the arts citywide. We are dismayed at RTE’s proposed fragmentation of RTÉ Lyric FM. We at ICO, work closely with staff and colleagues at RTÉ lyric FM and together with our neighbouring Troy Studios, University Concert Hall, Irish World Academy, and the Limerick arts community pride ourselves as one of the country’s foremost cultural hubs”.
— #LimerickTilliDie (@ilovelimerick) November 14, 2019
Lyric FM staff are due to meet the members of the Oireachtas next week to discuss the matter.
Lyric FM staff are due to meet the members of the Oireachtas to discuss the matter. RTE Lyric FM presenter Lorcan Murray learned of the proposed closure of the station’s studio when a friend who saw the news online texted him. “It’s just so disappointing. I’m 31 years now with RTE and I would call myself a very loyal employee, and I feel very disappointed in the way I’ve been told,” he said.
Liz Nolan said, “We’ve been based here for 20 years, it’s our home and we want to stay here”.
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