In the majestic surrounds of the Connaught Park Hotel on the outskirts of the City of the Tribes last Thursday evening, Kilkenny’s only Community Radio really hit the jackpot when the Community Radio National Awards for a wide range of broadcasting excellence were being handed out to the winning Community Broadcasters.
Sponsored by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, in conjunction with CRAOL –the Community Radio Forum of Ireland, CRKC were awarded two Golden Awards.
Collecting one National Gold Award was a tremendous achievement for the Kilkenny Community Radio, but when Pat Shortall was announced as the second Kilkenny Gold Award, the Kilkenny contingent- Staff and supporters- were unquestionably beyond control with pride and delight with the double header.
The Mac Carthy story
The Liam Mac Carthy story won Gold in the Commissioned Programme category.
Written by Barrie Henriques for his own Radio Station the production was recorded to the highest specifications by station sound engineer Mick Cummins. It was produced and Directed by Declan Gibbons.
Playing the part of the Liam Mac Carthy Cup was Lake productions member Ger Cody, with Derek Dooley taking on the role of the interviewer.
The drama tells the story of the Cup, famed in song and story, from its inception at the silver mines of the Andes Mountains to the podium in Croke Park on All Ireland Final day.
It was such an entertaining dramatization that the many thousand listeners to the only Community Radio in Kilkenny that tuned in over the four success nights it was aired that the Board of the Radio felt that it was a good idea to submit for some Award.
After all, its Kilkenny attachments were very akin to the Kilkenny Radio ethos -by the people, for the people, and having been made by James Mary Kelly in his workshop in the Castle Yard, it started life very much as a Kilkenny Community project.
And never forgetting that the first time it was presented, it was given to a Kilkenny captain – Liam Fennelly- who is the only man ever to be presented with the old and new Liam Mac Carthy cups. It was Kilkenny all the way in Galway on Thursday evening.
It was no surprise that the very talented Pat Shortall would cruise home in his category for his programme ‘Sunday Serendipity.’ The variety of entertainment in this Sunday morning 3-hour show knows no bounds. It covers so many elements of customer satisfaction; it is a unique idea that Pat has adapted, to the demands and subsequent interest of so many people. It is serious, comedic, quirky, informative, musically adaptable, entertaining in spades, and encapsulates all that is so good about the Kilkenny Community. In all honesty, it is quite amazing that a man-Pat Shortall- who has such a wide-ranging list of interests, managed to grab such a huge audience at a time on a Sunday morning where most of us are shuffling ourselves out of our slippers. As the likeable, popular Pat stood on the podium, the Kilkenny attendees were unapologetic for the sound of joy that came form the body of the hall. It was Kilkenny all the way in Galway on Thursday evening.
Collecting the first Gold gong was the Radio adaptation of the Story of the Liam Mac Carthy Cup. The MC for the night and the team responsible for the production of the Drama was roundly applauded by the capacity crowd as they received their Award. The team of Barrie Henriques (Writer and Producer) Mick Cummins (sound engineer), Derek Dooley (Interviewer), Ger Cody (Liam Mac Carthy), and Declan Gibbons (Station manager).
Manager Gibbons thrilled with awards
Speaking with The Kilkenny Observer newspaper, Station manager Declan Gibbons said he was delighted that two programmes received gold. “Competition and the quality of programmes around the country is of a very high standard, which makes the double-gold win extra special” said Mr Gibbons.
Chairman of Community radio Kilkenny City, Maurice O’Connor, who travelled to the awards night, said it was a great boost for the morale of the station to be awarded two gold awards.
“The station has evolved from a ‘pirate’ into a professional unit with the support of full-time staff and an army of volunteers, which ensures that the people of Kilkenny receive a first class service” Mr O’Connor told the Observer.
Mr. O’Connor took time out to show The Kilkenny Observer around the station and took special pride in showing off the new state of the art studios which just recently opened.
While praising the two winners, Maurice paid special mention to all programme makers, presenters and administration staff at the station, noting that many people over the last forty years have contributed greatly to the success of the station.