Ten years after crackling onto the south-west Clare airwaves, Kilkee-based Raidió Corca Baiscinn will mark the community radio station’s contribution this Friday evening.
Minister of State Tony Killeen will launch the three-hour outside broadcast from the Stella Maris Hotel in Kilkee. The event will run from 6pm to 9pm.
Raidió Corca Baiscinn is a not-for-profit community radio station that was granted a full broadcasting license by the BCI in late 1999 and commenced broadcasting in January 2000. The station’s studios are in Kilkee Community Centre.
The station employs three full-time and 10 part-time staff. However, the 60 volunteers are also crucial to the operation as station manager Ciarán Ryan seeks to extend broadcasting hours in the coming weeks.
“We’re changing our broadcasting from February 1,” he told The Clare Champion. “We’re going to be on air from two in the afternoon until 9pm. It’s an increase of an hour a day. Our hope is that we can gradually increase our hours and become a bit more relevant to people’s lives in the area. There’s going to be the introduction of a community diary and community news slots. We’re just trying to make ourselves even more community oriented,” he added.
Although 60 volunteers is a significant increase on 12 a year ago, Mr Ryan is encouraging additional volunteers to join the station.
“There are community radio stations with up to 120 volunteers. I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t have that many. The more volunteers we can get in here making programmes, the more hours we can put on the schedule,” he explained.
“Anyone who has an interest in getting involved can sign up. Our next training programme won’t be starting until the middle of March but places will be limited. If people are interested we would ask them to sign up as soon as possible,” the station manager said.
This Friday’s broadcast will kick-start a week-long series of programmes and events to mark the anniversary.
A live discussion programme will start at 6pm. “It will look at the history of the station. So we’ll have some people who are still involved with the station and some who were involved in the past coming back.
“There are some good stories even beyond 10 years ago, when the temporary licence was in place. They broadcast from Glebe House in Kilrush. There was blankets up for sound proofing and things like that,” Mr Ryan recounted.
“Then from 7.30pm on Friday, Noel Gleeson is going to do his bilingual music programme live and Strangers on the Shore with Rob Hopkins, which is one of the longest-running programmes on the station, will finish up the night. Rob has been a volunteer from the very start. It’s apt that the programme, from 8pm to 9pm will finish up the night,” he added.
Next week will feature an increase in broadcasting hours from Monday to Friday, while additional outside broadcasts will be held in Kilkee, Kilrush and at Kilmihil GAA Club.
Meanwhile, the station will stage a fundraising flag day in Kilrush on Saturday. Raidió Corca Baiscinn can be found on 92.5 or 94.8FM throughout West Clare.