Irish music on the radio

Sir, – "Why does Irish music on the radio seem to begin and end with Hozier?" Kevin Courtney asks (Culture, April 25th). I challenge the observation that "though you're likely to hear the new Ariana Grande song a dozen times on the radio on any given day, you'd be lucky to catch a Soulé tune once in a blue moon". As of April 25th, 2019, 2fm has played Ariana Grande's latest offering 7 Rings 227 times, while we have played Soulé's Love Tonight 175 times, not including various broadcasts of her 2fm Studio 8 live contributions. Irish radio has given Soulé's latest single huge support with a combined radio airtime of 2,403 plays in 2019. Other acts quoted in the piece, such as Jafaris, Fontaines DC and Dermot Kennedy, have also received considerable support from 2fm.

And it’s not just about airplay. 2fm’s BIMM music college scholarship, the Irish Music Youth Awards, and 2fm Rising, give up-and-coming acts such as JyellowL, True Tides and Pillow Queens live set opportunities, airplay and social media support from the national broadcaster. The RTÉ Choice Music Prize offers significant support and visibility to young Irish bands and musicians of all types.

The piece celebrates three radio shows in time slots broadcast in off-peak hours. 2fm’s support is across the day and predominantly in prime time, with passionate broadcasters such as Louise McSharry, Dan Hegarty and Tracy Clifford.

Can 2fm improve our Irish music output even further? Yes, but not to acknowledge our recent contributions seems out of touch with what is happening in the radio and the Irish music industries currently.


I wish “Play Irish” all the best with its endeavours; it has an important role to play in the industry, but it is not alone in seeking to celebrate and support Irish music and Irish musicians. – Yours, etc,


Director of Music,

RTÉ 2fm,

Donnybrook, Dublin 4.