TDs urge radio stations to give Irish artists more air
RADIO stations have come under pressure to play more music by Irish artists at a time when musicians are being hit by the recession.
Officials from RTE's 2FM and Today FM were told to raise the quota of national music by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Arts, Sports and Tourism.
Fianna Fail TD Tom Kitt, whose son is musician David Kitt, said many musicians were "living in tough times" and it was the national duty of stations to play more Irish music.
The call was echoed by his party colleague Sean Connick, who said it was time to "don the green jersey across the board".
Senator Paschal Mooney wondered if all genres were represented, saying "you won't hear Daniel O'Donnell on Today FM", while Fine Gael TD Michael Ring said there should be one station dedicated to genres such as country and western.
But Willie O'Reilly, chief of Today FM, said the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland suggested the Irish music quota should be 20pc.
"This is a figure we regularly exceed and in our last audit the number was 27pc," he said
2FM head John McMahon, said there was substantial coverage of Irish music, citing 20 hours of festivals during 2009 on RTE Radio 1.