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Mannion's Spirit is lifted by launch of radio station

APPARITIONs and former Aer Lingus boss Dermot Mannion might not have a lot in common -- but there may be more to the launch of Aer Lingus's Knock to Gatwick route during Mr Mannion's tenure than we think.

Mr Mannion -- who stepped down as head of the airline in April 2009 around the time that the first Aer Lingus flight in a decade flew out of Knock -- has emerged as one of the backers of a new Christian radio station to be launched this Thursday. The station, Spirit Radio, will be launched on 89.9FM.

Mr Mannion told the Sunday Independent last week that he was one of several hundred people who helped raise €1m for the radio station over the last four years.

"I've always been a big radio fan and I've a strong sense of religious belief," said Mr Mannion. "It's a radio station that will give a positive message of hope at a time when we all need it. It's a not-for-profit so there may not be a great deal of advertising on it."

He said the station would provide a "lively mix of contemporary music, chat and phone-ins". The station's other backers include Basil Good, owner of the Isaac's Group; Declan Moylan, chairman of Mason Hayes and Curran; and Brian Daly, chief executive of Life FM Cork.

Spirit Radio, which has been tested on air in recent weeks, is a registered charity.

Sunday Indo Business