Country star hits out at RTE's 'lack of support'
AN IRISH country music star has criticised RTE, saying the national broadcaster doesn't do enough to promote Irish music and jobs are being lost as a result.
Tom Allen, whose stage name is TR Dallas, said RTE's failure to play enough music by Irish musicians and Irish country musicians is having a devastating effect on live music.
However, a spokesperson for RTE said they "strongly reject" claims of a lack of commitment to home-grown talent.
Mr Allen, a Fianna Fail county councillor from Moate, Co Westmeath, had high praise for BBC Radio Ulster and Sky TV's Hot Country channel, but said he would like to see RTE "give the Irish working artist a hand".
He said that, over his 40-year career, RTE had been good to him and he got his "fair share" of time.
"But RTE could be doing more for younger artists," he said, and also spoke of the many jobs in hotels, pubs and halls that supported live music.
Of the listening public, he said: "If Irish musicians were in their face every day, they'd go and see them."
He added that one dedicated hour of Irish music a day on RTE radio and one hour a week on TV was not too much to ask.
RTE said it was "strongly committed to the diversity of its playlists".
"It isn't true or fair to suggest that RTE Radio shows a lack of commitment to Irish performers," a spokeswoman said.
She said 2FM in particular had always been a frontrunner in supporting up-and-coming Irish musicians and this week would be dedicating 14 hours of programming to new Irish acts performing at the EuroSonic festival in Holland.