Posts Tagged ‘radio’

Twenty-five years of Morning Ireland

6 November 2009

By Kevin O’Sullivan

Morning Ireland‘We’re better craic when we’re poor’. Des Bishop, who arrived in Ireland just after Italia 90 and is now unofficial ambassador for the Irish language, on Ireland, now and then. Bishop appeared on RTÉ Radio 1 yesterday morning to discuss the last twenty-five years of Ireland’s history, the period since Morning Ireland began broadcasting on 5 November 1984; an era in which that institution that for many has become, to echo the words of one of a special live audience, ‘part of my morning fix every day’.

The tone of yesterday’s anniversary programme was of a return to those (insert the opposite of halcyon) days of the mid-1980s. In the first hour Richard Downes interviewed Mary McAleese, who emphasised the importance of the peace process, having a positive mental attitude and cutting her salary, and left us with the image of her running after her husband and children in the Áras switching off the lights. Diarmaid Ferriter and Noel Dorr chatted about the events of 1984, the IRA attempt to murder Margaret Thatcher at the Conservative Party conference in Brighton that occurred just before Morning Ireland’s first broadcasts, and the historic processes that followed and led eventually to the Good Friday agreement. But it was economics that dominated: Avoca (who came bearing cake) and Microsoft represented the business community; Ferriter and Dorr discussed social partnership and development, and the importance of striking a balance between the various elements of Irish society to overcome differences and inequality. Not all doom, but more than a little gloom. Read More

War of the Worlds

29 October 2009

By Kevin O’Sullivan

War-of-the-worlds-tripod‘No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.’ (H.G. Wells, War of the Worlds, 1898, p. 1)

We all know the story of the response to the radio broadcast of War of the Worlds in 1938: the panic, the confusion, and, later, the outrage, as Orson Welles’s uninterrupted simulated news bulletins led listeners to believe that Martians had indeed invaded the earth. Some of you will have read the original (and brilliant) H.G. Wells novel of the same title, a smaller group will be fans of the Jeff Wayne musical version, and probably even less of you will have watched the surprisingly good ‘starring Tom Cruise’ adaptation for the big screen. But have you ever heard the broadcast that caused all the kerfuffle? In a web experience similar to the ‘We Choose Moon’ site marking the Apollo 11 moon landings, from 30 October you will be able to hear the original, from Welles’s series ‘The Mercury Theatre on Air’, in its entirety, seventy-one years to the minute after it originally aired. Go here for details and keep your ears open from 20.00 EST on 30 October (work that out for yourself in local time). Edit: Fintan Hoey has pointed out (see comments) that the broadcast begins at 00.00 GMT on 31 October – the perfect start to Halloween.

Tales of the Irish cowboy

29 August 2009

By Juliana Adelman

cowboy I happened to catch RTE radio 1’s ‘Farm Week’ this morning as I was up at the usual toddler waking time on Saturday.  For those of you lucky enough to be in bed or simply not tuned in, it’s definitely worth downloading as a podcast.  Donna O’Sullivan interviewed men and women from a few Cork families who all ended up in a remote part of Oregon as cattle and sheep herders during the 1950s.  The interviewees recalled the glory of the scenery, the freedom of sleeping under the stars and, of course, being saddle sore.  It was  fascinating and sounded more like a story from the nineteenth century than only fifty years ago.  Truly the Wild West: one of the interviewees revealed that she got a chance at a job only because two local men got into a fight at a dance, and one of them was taken out to the desert and never seen again.  A pretty amazing emigration story and well worth a listen.

Picture credit: Cowboy herding cattle along Oregon State Highway 31, west of Silver Lake, Oregon. December 18, 2004.

© 2004 Matthew Trump source