There were jubilant celebrations on Friday night as the Irish radio industry personnel descended on Kilkenny.
Lyrath Estate Hotel was again hosting the PPI National Radio Awards, which mark the best in local, regional and national radio.
Bronze, silver and gold were delved out in 35 categories with RTÉ Radio 1 and Today FM topping the scores with six golds each, among others.
Local broadcaster KCLR won gold for Best Newcomer for Kilkenny girl Eimear O’Shea, a member of the station’s news and current-affairs team. Hollybrook Films for KCLR won bronze in the Documentary section for their Cot Fisher Kings. Monica Hayes’ Full Circle the Complete Circle was shortlisted for Innovation.
Elsewhere Midlands 103 news and current-affairs team won gold for Best News Story; their head of news is Kilkenny woman Clara Walsh. Regional station Beat 102-103 won bronze in the Specialist Music Broadcaster section with Darren Rice taking the honours. Today FM’s Shave or Dye campaign, in which many locals participated, took bronze for Community/Social Action. And former The Stunning band member Tom Dunne (who’s married to a Kilkenny lady) won bronze for speech broadcaster of the year and Waterford neighbours WLR won Local Station of the Year.
Hall of Fame inductees were Candy Devine of Downtown Radio, Sean Ban Breathnach of RnG, Ronan O’Rahilly of Radio Caroline and 2FM famed Gerry Ryan, whose daughter Lottie was on hand to represent her late father.
A surprise performance came from legendary Clontarf Cowboy Phillip Donnelly and former Republic of Loose lead man Mick Pyro, who were invited by KCLR 96FM. Another surprise on the night was the appearance of Kilkenny senior hurling captain Eoin Larkin and the Liam MacCarthy, who were on hand to present a bunch of hotel stays to one lucky table – that was won by the Sunshine Radio crew and accepted by Amanda Brunker.
KCLR chief executive John Purcell was among the award presenters and did an excellent job while local business Fast Lane Audio Visual greatly enhanced the occasion and Lyrath excelled yet again. The party continued late into the night with dancing to Transmitter.
It was a great night and a brilliant opportunity for Kilkenny to showcase itself yet again.