Radio Review: Ray D’Arcy comes back on air with a frog in his throat, but soon finds his voice – and his persona
The Today FM presenter’s freeranging style works well, but he doesn’t always make the right transition from light to shade
As is often the case when his topics are in danger of fizzling out, Duffy took the reins himself, to some effect. Talking to a striking driver named Alan, Duffy made a point of praising the service and staff of Dublin Bus, his urgent tone suggesting he felt strongly on the matter. He then asked Alan if he knew the name of his company boss.
When his guest was momentarily flummoxed, the host archly replied: “I’m not surprised. He’s never on the radio.” In highlighting the lofty media silence of senior management at Dublin Bus during the first half of the week, Duffy came as close to abandoning his default armed neutrality and making a political statement as he has done in a long time.
In case anyone missed Duffy’s point about corporate arrogance, Dublin Bus declined to comment about the Labour Court talks on Wednesday’s Morning Ireland (RTÉ Radio 1, weekdays).
Nor was the transport company the only institution to lose its tongue when faced with troublesome coverage. Tuesday’s edition carried a devastating report by Aisling Kenny on the problems of obtaining discretionary medical cards for children with cancer. Whereas these were previously issued automatically, parents now have to endure a tortuous and uncertain request process, as if they didn’t have enough trauma in their lives.
One mother, Trish, recounted how it took seven months of submitting P60s and credit statements to obtain a card, during which time her teenage daughter had bleeds, clots, a bowel operation and a stroke. Another woman, Antoinette, said that, having received a discretionary card for her son Jamie every year since he was diagnosed with cancer, in 2010, she now had to place a request with the HSE, which generously allowed that it may take her son’s illness into account when dealing with her claim.
In response to the callousness detailed in Kenny’s report, and the anchor Rachel English’s information that there are 20,000 fewer such cards now than three years ago, the HSE issued a bland statement saying the terms of eligibility for discretionary cards had not changed and denying a shift in policy.
In presenting such a damning snapshot of Ireland today, Morning Ireland gave voice to those whom some would prefer not be heard.