Anocht fm – new radio service for young people on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta

John Spillane Image Name: John Spillane Description: John Spillane Copyright: RTÉ

RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta

News Release

Anocht fm
New radio service for young people on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta

Anocht fm – RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta’s dedicated service for younger listeners will be launched on Monday 2nd May 2005.  Broadcasting seven days a week between 9pm and 1am, Anocht fm is a radical departure from mainstream Raidió na Gaeltachta programming.  Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí presents Géill Slí (Give Way) on weekday evenings from 9.02pm to 11pm, with a lively and eclectic mix of music, chat, studio guests, text requests and competitions.  A native of Donegal, he started his radio broadcasting career with RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta where he has presented various programmes inlcuding Barrscéalta,  Cúl an Tí and An Taobh Tuathail.  He is a former columnist with LÁ and The Irish Times and has presented television programmes for young people on RTE 1, Network 2 and TG4 (Ecu Ecu, Ard Rí, Cleamhnas).  He is a founding member of An Ciorcal Craiceáilte.  His programme, Géill Slí, will be broadcast from RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta’s Doirí Beaga studios in Donegal with contributors from all over the country.  Quality music played on the programme will include a broad selection of indie, rock, reggae, rap and more, and listeners can expect Whitestripes, Franz Ferdinand, The Frames, Fifty Cent, Basement Jaxx, Damien Dempsey, The Killers and Mundy, for openers.  Demo tapes from up and coming bands will feature and the programme will also provide a platform for new Irish language songs as well as the best of contemporary music in all languages.

An Taobh Tuathail (‘The Other Side’ or ‘Flipside’) celebrates its sixth birthday this May Day with two major changes afoot.  ATT will  now be broadcast an hour later than usual (11pm – 1am) as part of Anocht fm and presenters will be free to play songs with English language lyrics.  “This is going to bring the show to the next level” says programme founder and presenter Cian Ó Cíobháin (DJ Club110th Street at the Vic in Galway every second Saturday).  “For the last six years, the ban on English lyrics hasn’t deterred us from seeking out exciting new music which – were it not for our show – might not have been played on national radio.  However, now that we have been given the go ahead to spin any single song or sound in the history of recorded music, we believe the show will be even better.”  The programme is unique among Irish national radio shows in that it pursues a leftfield music agenda, drawing on quality music worldwide, be it house, electro, hip-hop, drum’n’bass, techno, post-rock or nu-jazz.  It is one of the only shows on the national airwaves that is passionately devoted to broadcasting brand new electronic music from across the globe, from Dublin to Tokyo to Rio De Janeiro.  The onus will continue to be on breaking new music.  The first hour will continue to focus on uptempo records while the second half (Breá Bog –  nice ‘n easy) will feature more reflective sounds.  Fridays and Saturdays will – as ever – concentrate on the most interesting underground records from the clubs.  Both presenters are from West Kerry – Ben Ó Faoláin (DJ O2 Club at Club Árus na nGael, Galway on Fridays) anchors the programme from Saturday to Monday while Cian is at the helm from Tuesday through Saturday.  An Taobh Tuathail will now be a truer reflection of each presenter’s personality & musical heritage.  Sixth birthday?  This is only the beginning!

Áine Hensey describes her new programme An Ghealach Ghorm (Blue Moon) on Saturday nights as “an opportunity to play some wonderful music that has fallen just outside my remit as a traditional music presenter over the past number of years”.
Expect to hear songs from heroes of the 1970s, like Sandy Denny, Ewan McColl and Luke Kelly, alongside Irish singer songwriters of the 21st century such as Paddy Casey, John Spillane, Eleanor McEvoy, Paul Brady, and their illustrious international counterparts, John Prine, Neil Young and Nanci Griffith.
Groups like Moving Hearts, Kíla and Solas, who mix traditional Irish tunes with other influences, will also feature, and “we also hope to introduce our listeners to sounds and artists that would feature on radio only once in a blue moon!”, says Áine Hensey.

 “Seal leis an Spealaire; Seal fánach leis an Spealánach; Seal eile le ceol na Speile”
This is John Spillane’s intro as the new persona – An Speal (The Scythe) –  he has adopted for his weekly  RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta programme which will now be extended by an hour on Sunday nights from 9pm – 11pm on Anocht fm.  His programme Rogha John Spillane has won over a a strong listenership in recent times through his warm, friendly style and his eclectic mix of music, including Irish traditional and contemporary world music, snippets of lore and a regular poetry slot each week.  John Spillane is a well known figure in the world of music and has received both national and international acclaim as a singer/songwriter.  His recently released Hey Dreamer album is riding high in the charts at the moment.

There has been a progressive shift in RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta policy regarding the playing of English language lyrics on the new youth service Anocht fm.  Since the establishment of Raidió na Gaeltachta in 1972, English language lyrics have not been played although the issue has been under ongoing discussion.  Arising from research conducted by RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta over the past number of years, as well as ongoing feedback from young people, it is clear that there is a gap in the provision of Irish medium radio programming for young people.  It is patently obvious that young people want to listen to their own music preference, be it rock, indie, pop, reggae, rap, techno, jazz, folk etc.  It so happens that most of this music has English lyrics so the existing longstanding policy will be relaxed between 9pm – 1am on Anocht fm, so that young people may listen to their choice of music in any language they like!
 “We have a duty to provide a service to all sectors of the community” says Edel Ní Chuireáin, Leascheannaire RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.  “If we are serious about providing a youth driven service, we cannot ignore their choice of music and preferences.  We have listened carefully to what young people are saying to us and this is the result of that consultative process.” 

Anocht fm will be launched live on-air from RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta’s Doirí Beaga studios on the 2nd May at 9.02pm.  Attending and performing at the launch will be celebrity guests from the music world and there are a limited number of tickets available for seats in the audience (apply to
What historic first track will be played on Anocht fm?  All kinds of ideas and suggestions are already coming in so if have some ideas on your preferred first track (in any language), we would love to hear from you via email at 

The Radio Station of the Year Award was presented to RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta at the Celtic Film and Television Festival 2005 earlier this month for “its comprehensive service – news, sport, music and interaction with its audience” as Peter Browne, one of the adjudicators said. 
Tomás Mac Con Iomaire, Ceannaire RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta dedicated the award to Raidió na Gaeltachta listeners and said there would be no service without a listenership. 
“It is our business to provide a comprehensive and professional service to all sectors of our listenership, including young and old”  he said.