Entertainment Radio

Sunday 15 December 2019

Offer to house Lyric FM in UL by the university’s president still stands

  • UL president wrote an email to Dee Forbes in September offering to house the station
  • This followed concerns by Fitzgerald that Lyric FM would be closed
President: Des Fitzgerald
President: Des Fitzgerald

Gabija Gataveckaite

The offer to house classical radio station Lyric FM in the University of Limerick by its president still stands, Independent.ie understands.

The president of the University of Limerick (UL) wrote to RTÉ’s director general offering to house Lyric FM in an attempt to save the classical radio station in September.

Independent.ie understands that this offer still stands.

The Limerick Leader reported today that in September, UL president Des Fitzgerald wrote an email to Dee Forbes, RTÉ’s director general, offering to house the radio station following concerns that Lyric FM would close as part of cost cutting measures by the broadcaster.

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The email, which has been seen by Independent.ie, states that Mr Fitzgerald has been in discussion with RTÉ about "accommodating RTÉ Lyric in UL and indeed we had identified a location within the University Concert Hall".

"I did this because I believe the station should be cherished at a time when our national orchestras are under threat," Mr Fitzgerald explains.

"I did it also because I believe young people and in particular the students at UL should have the opportunity to hear classical music."

He adds that the university would like to help to "sustain" the station.

"I do hope that this decision can be reversed and indeed UL would like to help sustain the station.

"If this action continues, then the current board will become known for the damage it has done and not for the good it does," Mr Fitzgerald writes.

He added that he was disappointed to hear that the station would close.

"I was surprised to hear then of the closure of the radio station, although I was aware that a move to UL was unlikely.

"Aside from our own disappointment, I was shocked to see that the only national station for classical and indeed a wide range of music was to be shuttered," he writes.

The university declined to comment further when contacted by Independent.ie and Mr Fitzgerald did not reply to a request for comment

When contacted for comment, a spokesperson for RTÉ maintained that production of Lyric FM will leave Limerick.

"RTÉ will close its current studio in Limerick in 2020 and production of RTÉ Lyric FM will move to Cork and Dublin. Consultations will begin shortly with all staff affected by the changes as announced today," said the spokesman.

"RTÉ will continue to provide a mid-west news service in Limerick," he added.

Last week, RTÉ announced major plans which aim to reduce a financial crisis within the broadcaster, which include the closure of the Limerick studio, where Lyric FM is currently being produced.

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