A Sinn Féin MEP has written to Ireland’s Minister for Communications to call for more Irish music to be played on the country’s radio airwaves.
Liadh Ní Riada, MEP for Ireland South, wrote to Alex White yesterday to request a meeting to discuss the problems faced by those involved in the music industry in Ireland in accessing airwaves nationwide.
The youngest daughter of legendary Irish composer Seán Ó Riada points out that only 10 per cent of the country’s annual airplay is dedicated to Irish music.
Speaking from Strasbourg Ní Riada said: “Ireland is recognised worldwide for its rich cultural heritage and our extremely talented musicians and composers are central to this. Unfortunately those involved in the Irish music industry are struggling to make ends meet due to the lack of radio airplay they get on our national radio stations.
“It is extremely difficult for Irish music to compete with the multi-national music companies of mainly Britain, the USA and Australia who dominate the broadcasting sector in Ireland. The reality is that the broad spectrum of Irish music in Ireland is given very little consideration on radio and gets less than 10% of the annual airplay.
“Ireland is bursting with talented artists and in this economic climate, we surely need to be tapping into this creativity, encouraging and nurturing our musicians, our songwriters, and our performers. We need to provide real investment into our creative industry.
“I understand that the Minister has maintained that it is a European directive that is preventing them from applying such a quota. I find this hard to believe as I am aware that that in France they managed to legislate for 40% airplay in 1996 because of language and culture. I strongly believe that Ireland must now be given similar consideration. I find this reasoning to be disingenuous and I believe that it is a lack of will that is preventing him from taking appropriate action.
“I have written to the commission seeking clarification on this matter and I hope to use my position on the Culture and Education committee to push forward with this issue.
“A proper percentage airplay is crucial for Irish music. It will help to develop and maintain a strong industry into the future. “