Monday, 12 March 2018

Niamh Ní Chróinín
Presenter on Raidió Rí-Rá

Niamh Ní Chróinín
Aerthonnta spoke to Niamh Ní Chróinín, as Raidió Rí-Rá celebrates ten years on air

Introduce yourself...

I'm Niamh Ní Chróinín and I'm from Dublin. I'm the manager of the chart station Raidió Rí-Rá. As well as that, I present 'Rí-Rá ar RnaG' along with Cillian de Búrca on Raidió na Gaeltachta and I'm the presenter of 'Pop Raidió' on Spin 103.8. Raidió Rí-Rá exists as a platform for musicians who are composing and writing, or singing new Irish language music. My favourite guests  are young people, or not-so-young people who come in and might not have ever recorded a radio interview before. When they come in, they might be a bit nervous, but once they start singing, it's terrific  and I love to give a platform to musicians like that.

How important do you think it is that Irish language programmes can be heard on the radio?

It's really importanta that Irish language shows are heard regularly on the radio. The language is definitely being normalised and it's important that people can do normal everydya things through Irish; that there are opportunities to, for example, play football through Irish, to get a cup of coffee through Irish, to watch Irish language television and of course to listen to Irish language radio. All of these things help to promote the language.   

What is the biggest challenge in your role?

The biggest challenge of my job in Raidió Rí-Rá is that we're not broadcasting full-time on FM. We are working really hard on this and the aim is that we will be full-time on FM and broadcasting in every county in the country. Our presenters all work voluntarily and it is difficult... but our team works really hard to to make excellent programmes and there's a big audience out there that we just can't reach, because we're not on FM. We know from feedback that there would be demand for this kind of service on FM and no other full-time Irish language station is focused on young people. It's a big gap and we hope to be on FM soon, but the main challnge is getting the funding for this. 

Any advice for other broadcasters?

For anyone working in a station that is broadcasting for the most part in English (I d this on Spin 103.8 as my programme and a couple of others on the station are in Irish)... for anyone in this position, I would suggest they reach out to others working in the station and talk to them about the ways that they could introduce a bit more Irish. People in the radio world, in my experience, are really open to new ideas and happy to try new things, so if you have suggestions, do speak to someone about them. For anyone who wants to present an irish language programme, I would suggest getting experience. You can go to Raidió Rí-Rá, Raidió Fáilte, Raidió na dTreabh or Raidió na Life... or even a station in your university. These stations are always looking for presenters , so go for it. Ask someone who is already working in a station and get that experience.