The future of Lyric FM

 

Sir, – In the current debate about the financial situation of RTÉ and the implied threat of closure to Lyric FM, we must ask ourselves what kind of country we want to be?

Irish people at home and abroad are justly proud of our vibrant culture and, though we are a small nation, our heritage is the envy of countries worldwide. As our national broadcaster, RTÉ is a significant guardian of our unique Irish identity and has a statutory responsibility to promote cultural diversity within the country.

Of course the global media world is changing, and RTÉ must change to meet the challenges, but to suggest the elimination of the only dedicated classical music radio station in the country is appalling. It would make a statement about who we are.

RTÉ Lyric FM has a wide-ranging impact, shares great music, supports emerging Irish performers and composers, impacts education at all levels, community music groups, health and retirement centres . . . the list is endless. Is it RTÉ’s intention that, left with this gap in provision, Irish audiences will have no option but to tune into BBC Radio 3 in the future?

Everyone should have access to the extraordinary range of culture we have in Ireland. Now more than ever, we need to have balanced coverage, broad provision and a public broadcaster that truly serves all its people.

It all comes back to that question: what kind of country do we want to be? – Yours, etc,

Dr ORLA McDONAGH,

Dublin 2.

Sir, – My hens enjoy Lyric FM all day long in their henhouse. I expect the future without it will be a future without eggs for this family. – Yours, etc,

ANNE STRAHAN,

Ballynonty,

Co Tipperary.

Sir, – It has been indicated that RTÉ is considering cancelling Lyric FM as part of a cost-cutting exercise. Then why does it insist on making the statement that “RTÉ (is) supporting the arts” after some television programmes and advertisements when it is obviously not supporting the arts? This is the height of hypocrisy. – Yours, etc,

SAMUEL WALSH,

Member of Aosdána,

Cloonlara,

Co Clare.