Four Illustrious Names Join the IMRO Radio Awards Hall Of Fame 2023 #IMRO23

Four Illustrious Names Join the IMRO Radio Awards Hall Of Fame 2023 #IMRO23


Dublin, 11th September 2023 – The IMRO Radio Awards Hall of Fame, since its initiation, stands as a beacon of excellence in the realm of Irish radio. Past inductees have been luminaries of the industry, with names such as Joe Duffy, Marian Finucane, Pat Kenny, Ian Dempsey, Aine Lawlor, and Gay Byrne gracing the honour roll.


This Wednesday, September 13, the annual Hall of Fame ceremony will take place at the IMRO office in Dublin. The IMRO Radio Awards Committee proudly announce the induction of four new members into its Hall of Fame. These inductees, chosen by an esteemed group of their contemporaries in the Irish radio community, span from national to local broadcasting. They have been selected not just for their longevity in the industry but for the unparalleled skill, unwavering passion, and deep love for radio they’ve showcased throughout their careers.

The 2023 inductees are:

  • John Bennett MBE from BBC Radio Ulster, whose contributions have left an indelible mark on the broadcasting landscape.
  • Joe Finnegan from Shannonside Northern Sound is celebrated for his captivating voice and compelling storytelling.
  • Paddy Halpenny, formerly of Communicorp, whose leadership and vision have been instrumental in shaping the direction of Irish radio.
  • And Mary Wilson from RTÉ Radio 1, renowned for her incisive journalism and unwavering dedication to truth in broadcasting.

The legacy these figures are creating is a testament to the power and influence of radio in Ireland. As the IMRO Radio Awards Hall of Fame continues its tradition of honouring the best in the industry, the class of 2023 is a reminder of the enduring impact of these icons in the world of broadcasting.



John Bennett, MBE, is one of Northern Ireland’s best-loved and most versatile personalities. Since joining the BBC in 1956, he has presented music, entertainment, sports, and current affairs programmes with equal prowess. His distinctive voice, warmth and breadth of knowledge have forged special bonds with listeners worldwide for close to 7 decades, sharing in their highs and lows and always giving them a voice.

John launched BBC Radio Ulster, with Gloria Hunniford, on New Year’s Eve in 1973. He is the head of the Station’s family. He is also well-known as “The President” of The Sunday Club – a 2-hour programme of beautifully curated music, mystery voices, yarns and listener requests – closing our weekend out: one which he has presented for the last 44 years. Such is its popularity that in 2015 the Station introduced The Saturday Club to its schedules. Again, John’s charisma and deep understanding of the audience made this a run-away success.

His appreciation of pace and tone and his ability to put even the biggest star at ease make him a master of the long-form interview. His celebrity interview series “With Bennett” has taken him into scores of starry living rooms and hotel foyers – from Spike Milligan to Janet Street-Porter and Jasper Carrot – and his special Christmas morning programme, “Calling Home”, has connected families at home and abroad for several decades.

John presented BBC Radio Ulster’s morning show (9000-1030) for 10 years, from 1993 to 2003. Spanning current affairs, entertainment and music, his understanding of “good radio” made it a superb listen. His irrepressible passion for football also made him a go-to commentator for hundreds of live matches – not least at Wembley Arena.

In January this year, John was awarded an MBE by King Charles III in his inaugural New Year Honours list for services to Television and Radio Broadcasting. This was widely celebrated by listeners, colleagues and industry professionals, coming in his 80th birthday year.

In a news article about The Sunday Club, John recently spoke of his special bond with listeners:

“I get emails, texts and letters from quite literally all over the world. People tune in from Japan, Australia, and the States, and they’re not all ex-pats, just people who picked it up on the internet and like the music. It’s like a family, a communion with a small-c. They write and tell you their problems. It’s nice.

“I’ve had correspondence that has reduced me to tears. People ask me for details of the signature tune that we use because their mother, or their grandmother, wanted it played at their funeral. A fortnight ago someone asked for a dedication for a lady because she was very ill, and apparently, she heard the programme, was delighted to hear her name mentioned and died that night, just afterwards. They just got in touch to say thanks for playing it, to say she so enjoyed it, and that she was happy in the end.”



Joe Finnegan is a household name in Irish radio broadcasting, having worked for over 34 years as a highly successful current affairs presenter, journalist, director, and station manager at Shannonside Northern Sound. He started his career in radio in the mid-1980s, and in 1989, he was instrumental in the setup of the station that was Shannonside and was one of its shareholders. Joe was the first voice heard on Shannonside Radio, covering counties Longford, Roscommon, and South Leitrim. In 1995, Shannonside and Northern Sound’s licences were combined to create the first regional station in Ireland, which broadcasts to 5 counties in 3 provinces.

As station manager, he and his fellow directors developed and implemented a successful programme policy which not only made Shannonside Northern Sound the most listened-to station in the region but it also involved the recruitment and training of staff who went on to achieve great recognition within the two main National Broadcasters.

In The RTE Family, Damien O’Reilly, Sinead Hussey, Fran McNulty, Justin Treacy, and Declan Mc Bennett, among others, started out in the Shannonside Northern Sound School of Broadcasting, as did Paul Quinn, Mairead Cleary (Virgin Media) and Grainne McElwain (TG4/GAA GO)

The station consistently remains in the top 5 local radio stations in the country. He was a contributor to the formation of IRS and Learning Waves and would have been the point of contact for the IRTC and the BCI from 1989 until 2007.

The JF Show debuted in 1989 and quickly gained a reputation for its insightful and engaging coverage of local, national, and international news and current affairs. The show features a mix of interviews, debates, and analysis and has become a must-listen for anyone interested in politics, business, or social issues in the region. Joe’s interviewing style is one of the reasons why the JF Show is so popular. He will ask tough questions while still maintaining a respectful and engaging tone with his guests. His ability to put his guests at ease and encourage them to share their thoughts and opinions has made him a favourite among listeners and guests alike. Joe has interviewed everyone from local politicians and community leaders to national and international figures. The JF Show has won numerous awards for his broadcasting, including several PPI/IMRO National Radio Awards.

Following Radio Kerry’s acquisition of Shannonside Northern Sound in 2006, Joe oversaw the transition before stepping down from his role as Programme Controller in 2008. Joe continued to present the JF Show and work with the new management to help continue the success story that is Shannonside Northern Sound.

Joe’s achievements in broadcasting are a testament to his talent and dedication. He has played a pivotal role in the development of Shannonside Northern Sound and has helped to make it one of the most successful radio stations in the country. His work on the JF Show has helped to shape public opinion and has provided a platform for people to engage with important issues in a meaningful way.

In conclusion, Joe Finnegan is a highly accomplished broadcaster who has made an indelible mark on Irish radio for more than 34 years. He is a true icon of Irish broadcasting and a shining example of what can be achieved with hard work, talent, and passion.



Patrick (Paddy) Halpenny, AKA ‘the General,’ was Chief Executive of Communicorp from 1997 to 2013. When he joined Communicorp, it consisted of 98FM in Dublin and Kiss in Prague. During the next fifteen years, Communicorp grew to a portfolio of 42 stations in 9 countries.

Communicorp owned and operated two Irish national stations, two local stations in Dublin and one regional youth station. It became an international radio operator with stations from Dublin to Tallinn, Budapest to Helsinki and Sofia to Kyiv.

Paddy Halpenny thought deeply about the Irish Radio Market and how it should develop into a strong and independent sector that could withstand any number of unforeseen challenges.

As important as the regulator, the shareholders, and the on-air talent are, Paddy believed most in the professional development of the executives who ultimately operate the radio stations on a day-to-day basis. He poured a huge amount of his time into mentoring his people. What Paddy liked to call the “reading and writing” what consultants call the “brilliant at the basics.”

Paddy was a stickler for accuracy in numbers and language, underpinned by his ability for thinking about what was not around the next corner but the fifth next corner!  Paddy steered Newstalk from a Dublin station to a successful National station. He valued creativity and risk, which resulted in the hiring of new talent who were to become our brightest and best.

With the collapse of INN in 2010, he oversaw the replacement of a cost-effective and accurate National hourly news service for local radio.

Paddy is a major contributor to the success of the Irish Radio Sector, and much of what he achieved went unnoticed by those outside the industry.

Deeply private and highly intelligent, Paddy kept a low profile, happy for others to stand in the limelight as he continued to drive the business to the highest standards.



Mary Wilson hails from Drangan in South Tipperary and joined RTÉ’s local radio service in Cork in 1989 after a career in provincial journalism and PR.

Mary later moved to the RTÉ Dublin Newsroom in 1990 to work as a reporter on Morning Ireland and later worked in all areas of radio and TV news as a correspondent, editor and presenter.

Mary was the station’s legal affairs correspondent and editor for ten years, 1996-2006, winning the National Journalist of the Year Award 2000 and multiple awards in the Justice Media Awards for her news and documentary coverage on radio TV and Primetime.

In 2006, Mary was asked to anchor the newly launched Drivetime radio show and stayed with the show for 14 years bringing listenership to a high of 265,000 listeners.

In 2020 she returned to Morning Ireland to join the presenting team on the most listened-to programme in the Irish radio Market.





– ENDS   –



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IMRO Radio Awards Hall of Fame inductees to date:

Micheál O’Muircheartaigh – RTÉ Radio 1

Jimmy Magee – RTÉ Radio1

Des Whelan – WLR FM

Marian Finucane – RTÉ Radio 1

Gay Byrne – RTÉ Radio1

Larry Gogan – RTÉ 2fm

Mario Rosenstock – Today FM

Gerry Ryan – 2fm

Ronan O’Rahilly – Radio Caroline

Candy Devine – Downtown

Seán Bán Breathnach – RTÉ Raidio Na Gaeltachta

Joe Duffy – RTÉ Radio 1

Bill Goulding – RTÉ

Liam O’Shea – clare fm

Tony Fenton RIP – Today FM

Paul Claffey – Midwest Radio

Áine Lawlor – RTÉ Radio 1

Walter Love – BBC Radio Ulster

Gerry Anderson – BBC Radio Ulster

Pat Balfe – Communicorp

Des Cahill – RTÉ Radio 1

Henry Owens RIP – Red FM

Seamus McKee – BBC Radio Ulster

Eamon Buttle – South East Radio

Trevor Campbell – Downtown Radio

Ian Dempsey – Today FM

Dave Fanning – RTÉ 2fm

Linda McAuley – BBC Radio Ulster

Séamus Mac Géidigh RIP – RTÉ Raidió Na Gaeltachta

Billy McCarthy RIP – WLR FM

Joe King – Broadcast Technical Services Limited

Pat Kenny – Newstalk

Margaret Nelson – FM104/Q102

Willie O’Reilly

Ian Wilson – RTÉ Radio 1 & 2fm

Sean Moncrieff – Newstalk

Ronan Collins – RTÉ Radio 1

Paul Byrne – Radio Kerry

Declan Meehan – East Coast FM

George Hamilton – RTÉ Lyric FM

Patricia Messinger – C103

Stephen Clements RIP – BBC Radio Ulster/Go Q Radio

Rachael English – RTÉ Radio 1

Keith Finnegan – Galway Bay FM

Albert Fitzgerald RIP – Midlands 103




IMRO Radio Awards Committee

The Radio Awards Committee comprises 12 members representing all sectors of licensed commercial and public radio on the island of Ireland – RTÉ, BBC NI, and the independent commercial radio sectors in both the Republic and Northern Ireland.



IMRO administers the performing right in copyright music on behalf of its members (songwriters, composers, and music publishers) and on behalf of members of the international overseas societies affiliated with it.  IMRO’s core function is to collect and distribute royalties from the public performance of copyright works. With a global scope, we represent creators along the chain of creation. At IMRO, we are committed to creators. We stand up for music and the people who make it and perform it. A community for creators, we listen, advocate, educate, invest, and engage to shape a culture of musical worth. We help music creators to adapt to change and receive a full and fair return for their work. See www.imro.ie


Coimisiún na Meán

The media regulator Coimisiún na Meán was established on the 15th March 2023 further to the provisions of the Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022, and replaces the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.  An Coimisiún will continue to deliver the functions of the former BAI, including the licensing of radio and television services, the development of codes and rules in relation to programming and advertising standards, and administration of the Broadcasting Funding Scheme. In addition Coimisiún na Meán will begin establishing a regulatory framework for on-demand audiovisual services and online safety, and will undertake a media development role.   More details can be found on its interim website available at www.cnam.ie





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Guess who’s back… IMRO Radio Awards 2022 live & in person! #IMRO22

Dublin, April 20th, 2022 – It has been announced today that the IMRO Radio Awards 2022 is now open for entries!


The forty-one category awards spanning music, speech, news, programmes, and personalities are designed to recognise those involved in radio in Ireland on-air and behind the scenes. 


In exciting news, after two years held as a virtual ceremony, the IMRO Radio Awards will return to an in-person event on Friday October 7th, 2022, in the Lyrath Estate in Kilkenny. 


The night will celebrate the best of radio broadcasting across the Island of Ireland and is one of the pre-eminent nights in the Irish media calendar.  


The closing date for entries to be submitted is Thursday June 30th at 5pm and audio for entries must have been broadcast between June 1st, 2021, and May 31st, 2022.  The shortlist for the awards will be announced in late Summer.  


Speaking today at the launch of the Awards, Chair of the IMRO Radio Awards, Chris Doyle said “The IMRO Radio Awards recognises the best of radio broadcasting in Ireland and the competition for the highly sought-after awards is huge. 


We look forward to receiving entries from across the country for what has been another exceptional year for broadcasting.   


I would like to thank IMRO for their on-going and valued support as title sponsor which allows the awards to continue and most importantly plan for an in-person ceremony in 2022 to recognise this amazing industry”. 


Returning as headline sponsor once again, IMRO Ireland Chairperson Eleanor McEvoy said “We can be sure that the world is truly coming back to life post Covid now that it’s been announced that the 2022 IMRO Radio Awards will be happening in person!  A highlight of the broadcasting calendar, the awards enable the entire radio community to gather together under one roof to celebrate the finest broadcasting talents. You just know that this one is going to be special”


Celene Craig, Chief Executive of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, commented  “This year marks a very welcome return to the in-person ceremony that highlights the breadth of talent working in the radio sector today.  Acknowledging the skill and achievements of those in the industry, and their commitment to delivering diverse and high quality programming to listeners, is hugely important.”



Four new inductees announced for the 2021 IMRO Radio Awards Hall of Fame

Declan Meehan, George Hamilton, Patricia Messinge & Stephen Clements RIP announced as the 2021 IMRO Hall of Fame recipients


The 2021 IMRO Radio Awards Hall of Fame inductees were revealed today. East Coast FM’s Declan Meehan, RTÉ Lyric fm’s George Hamilton, C103’s Patricia Messinger and BBC Radio Ulster/Q Radio’s Stephen Clements RIP were announced as the latest recipients of this prestigious accolade. 


The Hall of Fame is a highly regarded achievement within the Irish radio industry. The Hall of Fame celebrates those well-known names on air and those behind the microphone that make Irish radio such an integral part of daily life. Due to the current government guidelines, a small in person event at The Spencer Hotel was held on Wednesday 15th September where the inductee’s received their plaques.


The four new inductees join names such as Gay Byrne, Pat Kenny, Marion Finucane, Larry Gogan, Ian Dempsey, Áine Lawlor, Candy Devine, Dave Fanning and Tony Fenton amongst others. 


Chair of the IMRO Radio Awards Committee, Chris Doyle who hosted the event this week said “Today we are delighted to celebrate the careers of four radio presenters from different corners of Ireland and induct them in the IMRO Radio Awards Hall of Fame. All of today’s inductees have had significant impact in their radio careers, they are trailblazers, entertainers, amazing broadcasters and have literally seen and done it all. The inductees today have connected with audiences over many years and demonstrate how powerful radio really is.”


IMRO Chair, Eleanor McEvoy spoke at the event today and said “I think you were able to do that because of the deep connection that you forged with your listeners over many years, and that deep connection then built-up trust so that when presenters were talking about vaccines or numbers, that people trusted them.”


Deputy Chief Executive of the BAI, Celene Craig said: On behalf of the BAI, I would like to congratulate all the 2021 inductees. The four recipients have made notable and lasting contributions to the radio industry and I am very pleased to celebrate their achievements today. I would also like to acknowledge the crucial role played by the radio industry throughout this pandemic. It has continued to keep audiences connected and entertained while providing vital, relevant and timely information for individuals and communities during this difficult time.


The IMRO Radio Awards take place virtually on Friday 1st October and will be hosted by comedian and radio presenter Dermot Whelan.


Declan Meehan:


Declan Meehan’s career in Irish broadcasting spans over 5 decades. In a wide and varied career Declan began his radio life at the very beginning of the pirates on Radio Vanessa. He was co-founder of influential ARD and during the 1970’s was a strong campaigner for legal independent radio.


Declan was the first breakfast presenter on RTE 2FM when it launched in 1979 but was soon lured back to the Super Pirates where he worked on Sunshine and Radio Nova. It was here he presented the iconic ‘Dekkie Wekkie’s Brekki Trekki’ with Bob Gallico. 


2FM attempted to lure Declan back to them but he chose instead to join the fledgling independent radio sector and began presenting Drive on Century radio where he later became head of music. 


After a stint on FM104 Declan was headhunted to East Coast FM to present their flagship current affairs programme, The Morning Show. 27 years later Declan is still at the helm and is a vital part of the team at East Coast FM and the wider Wicklow community. Alongside his hugely successful career as a current affairs presenter, Declan never lost his love of music and being a disk jockey and presented a Sunday morning show on Today FM for 20 years. 


From presenting pioneering radio in the 70’s & 80’s to dealing with the serious issues of the day for people in Co. Wicklow Declan is a most deserving nominee for entry into the Hall of Fame. For the last 27 years he has been at the coalface of hard-hitting broadcasting, challenging politicians in the lead up to elections, campaigning for better roads on the N11, once dubbed the most dangerous road in Ireland. He has championed many great causes over the years and has highlighted the plight of many different communities in Co. Wicklow. He has presented marathon broadcasts from election count centres and has played a very significant part in raising over €800,000 for cancer support charities in Co. Wicklow by hosting the now famous East Coast FM Wicklow wide Coffee Morning. 


The Morning Show has been nominated for several PPI radio awards, winning silver. In 2019 it won bronze in the IMRO radio awards and silver in 2020. 


Apart from his passion for current affairs Declan has been a champion of new Irish music and presented ‘Nightmoves’ on 2FM where Irish talent was promoted. Over the years on East Coast FM, he has boosted the careers of many talented Irish musicians and in 2002 received an award for his contribution to Irish music on radio.


Declan has also nurtured the careers of many high-profile broadcasters that started their careers at East Coast FM and continues to mentor new employees, sharing with them his wisdom & knowledge of the industry. 


George Hamilton:


George has been the voice of RTÉ’s soccer and rugby coverage for many years and has presented The Hamilton Scores on RTÉ lyric fm for almost 20 years. 


Scores have been a key element of George Hamilton’s radio broadcasting.  George first clambered up on the piano stool to begin his musical studies at the age of six.
In later years his ability with his left foot led to many a point being converted from his position as a Rugby full back. Through several years as principal cellist with the orchestra at Methody (the Methodist College) in Belfast, his home town, his musical tastes expanded. Subsequently the study of German and French at Queen’s University led to a year in the Ruhr, he’d found the perfect mix – the location, the language, the music – and sport. Bach and Beethoven, Brahms and Bruckner, not to mention Borussia Mönchengladbach!

After graduation, it was either play or get paid – familiar dilemma, for sure – though in George’s case, his career developed into a labour of love. Radio became the perfect medium for his wonderful turn of phrase and blend of interests. A sports commentator for forty plus years, he spent eight of those with the BBC in Belfast and London, before teaming up with RTÉ. He currently counts 11 FIFA World Cups and 10 Summer Olympic Games amongst a wide portfolio of major events covered. 

His diversity and ability to bring an understanding of sport to his audience is unrivalled. He is instantly associated with the most elite levels of soccer, athletics and rugby. When you hear George Hamilton’s voice, you know you will not only get the sense of the occasion playing out, but also an understanding of the intricacies of the discipline and a true representation of the ebbs and flows of the contest. 

His voice is the soundtrack to the nation’s most iconic sporting memories. Try and mentally relive David O’Leary’s penalty for Ireland against Romania at Italia ‘90 without hearing “The Nation Holds Its Breath”. Genoa could as easily be replaced by Giant’s Stadium in 1994, Sonia O’Sullivan’s silver medal in Sydney in 2000, Brian O’Driscoll hat-trick in Paris in 2000 or Ireland in the 2018 Hockey World Cup Final amongst a lifetime of moments. 

It is impossible to disassociate the voice from the magnitude of the moment.


Sport and music remain his passions. And since 2003, he’s been happily ensconced in RTÉ lyric fm’s weekend schedule with The Hamilton Scores, where his flights of musical fancy are given full reign. He has transported lyric listeners all over Europe and beyond with his brilliant descriptions of his many and varied travels. Not many football commentators also moonlight as top classical music presenters, but George has consistently rated in the most listened to programmes on lyric.


Patricia Messinger:


For more than three decades now, Patricia Messinger has been the voice of morning radio in Cork. While others have careers spanning the same time, what makes Patricia unique is that she has broadcast in the same timeslot on the same station since November 1990. 


She has built up an extremely loyal audience. The most recent JNLR figures (2020-3) showed 43,000 adults tune in each day. No mean feat in one of the most competitive radio markets in Ireland. A decade ago, 29,000 people were listening to the timeslot on the station. 


The programme covers everything from important local issues to current affairs to human interest stories. Patricia shows great empathy towards her audience and always champions the underdog. Her great versatility allows her to dig deep into issues, while still giving interviewees the opportunity to express their views and always goes to air extremely well prepared. 


As many local radio stations across Ireland celebrated 30 years on air during 2020, Patricia 

marked her 30 years on air milestone with a special edition of Cork Today on November 13th. An Taoiseach Micheál Martin was the first guest on air to congratulate her. He also thanked her for all the work she does to highlight matters in Cork. She was joined by other friends of the programme including Joanne O’Riordan from Millstreet who was born with no limbs. Joanne explained how the C103 fundraiser for her in 1997 paved the way for her to lead the life she has now. 


Over the years, both Patricia and the show have been nominated for numerous PPI and IMRO Radio Awards. In 2015, she proudly picked up Gold at the then PPI Radio Awards when Cork Today won Best Current Affairs Programme. 


Patricia has interviewed many high profile people over the years but Cork topics are always at the heart of the programme. On a daily basis, Patricia demonstrates the vital role of Local Radio in the community. Following the economic crash of 2008, some Cork hospitals were in fear of being downgraded. One of those was Bantry General Hospital. To this day, the people of South West Cork still maintain that Patricia’s rigorous interviewing of politicians and coverage of the story played a vital part in services remaining at the hospital. 


Adi Roche of the Chernobyl Children’s Project has commended Patricia for her work in 

raising awareness of the situation in Chernobyl with particular emphasis on children’s 

orphanages. During the 90’s at a time when Belarus was as Adi describes “under a 

dictatorship”, Patricia was one of the first journalists to report live from these orphanages 

following the nuclear disaster in the 80’s. This resulted in Patricia making a life changing 

decision to adopt her daughter Marsha and also testing the adoption processes in place at the time. 


Stephen Clements RIP:


Stephen Clements was one of the most naturally gifted presenters to ever have been on the northern Irish airwaves.


A relative latecomer to the industry having been everything from a male model to an English teacher, Stephen’s talent lay in his genuine affection for other people and an eye for the everyday madness of daily life, allowing us all to laugh out loud especially in difficult times.


Having built up a huge following on Q Radio, especially with his legendary partnership Cate Conway where they gained huge numbers with the breakfast show, he then landed what he described as his dream gig with BBC Radio Ulster in the 1030 slot.


Stephen had an incredible knack of being able to prick pomposity but still remain on good terms with the great and the good. Both First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy FM Martin McGuinness were regular listeners to the show and both invited him for private meetings at Stormont where they admitted to being fans of the show, even when he sent them up. His legendary ‘Through The Window’ skit whereby a celeb or local face was guessed, always descending into farce, became something that regularly went viral and proved hugely popular.


He was extremely gifted on air, using technology to support his instant creativity, often cutting and mixing callers live on air. His ability to talk to live callers was second to none, often picking up on the slightest sense of an odd story to draw out hilarious anecdotes.


His on air partner Cate was mercilessly ribbed, being known even to this day as ‘hairy hands’. They were a relatable partnership, with moments of incredible tenderness as well as the fun. Even the cleaning lady became a star of his breakfast show, continually crashing into the studio live on air but then regaling the hosts with her latest thoughts, all manipulated and pulled together masterfully by Stephen.


At the BBC Stephen had already begun to expand his skills beyond his daily show and had presented Children in Need and Open for Summer on Television.


Sadly Stephen died suddenly in January 2020 and the outpouring of grief was enormous. From celebrities to his many thousands of fans, the sense of loss was palpable, and he is still missed by his listeners and also his colleagues at BBC Radio Ulster and Q network.


The IMRO Radio Awards is celebrating its 21st birthday and coming of age in 2021!

IMRO Radio Awards Come of Age 

Celebrating 21 Years of Accolades!


The IMRO Radio Awards is celebrating its 21st birthday and coming of age in 2021! 


Awards organisers are calling on radio stations and independent radio producers to celebrate the milestone by submitting the biggest number of entries ever this year! The last twelve months have seen exciting changes and brilliant moments across local, regional, and national radio on the island of Ireland, and this is the opportunity for great radio to be recognised.


Spanning categories as diverse as music, speech programming, news, sports, Irish language, promotions, and innovation, the IMRO Radio Awards celebrate the skill and craft of great radio and are considered the premier awards and are highly sought after within the radio industry. 


Entries for the awards open today and can feature broadcasts from the period of June 1st, 2020, to May 31st, 2021.  


With the current uncertainty around indoor gatherings, the 2021 IMRO Radio Awards will be handed out at a live virtual ceremony on Friday, October 1st.   The radio awards committee will closely watch public health guidelines over the coming period and will give consideration to hosting a physical event if restrictions and demand allow.


Chris Doyle, Chair of the 2021 Awards committee, said, “It is hard to believe it is 21 years of the radio awards this year.  These last twelve months have been amazing for radio.  We look forward to receiving a record number of entries and celebrating the amazing radio content produced on October 1st.  I would like to thank our sponsors IMRO for their continued support of the awards; without them, the awards would not be possible.’ 


Eleanor McEvoy, Chairperson of title sponsors, IMRO, said, Over this past year and a half, the debt we owe to radio has been more apparent than ever. We have relied on our broadcasters not only to entertain us but to educate us and to keep us connected at a time when so many of us were alone. I am delighted that on October 1st, we will have the opportunity to celebrate the radio professionals who are outstanding in their respective fields. On behalf of IMRO, I would like to wish all the entrants who have contributed so much to the broadcasting sector the very best of luck at this year’s awards.” 


Retiring Chief Executive of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, Michael O’Keefe, said of his final Radio Awards “The annual IMRO Radio Awards are upon us once again, and radio programmers across the length and breadth of the country will be busy putting their entries together.  The BAI has been proud to support the Radio Awards from the very beginning, and we salute once again all those involved in making high-quality programmes for their listeners. It is the second year of the Covid 19 pandemic, and it is to the enormous credit of the radio sector in Ireland that the high standard of programming has been maintained throughout this challenging period. For my own part, this is my final year as CEO of the BAI, and it has been a privilege to have been associated with these Awards since they were introduced to recognise excellence in the sector back in 2001”.


Details of categories, entry criteria and how to enter can be found here – https://www.imroradioawards.ie/


Media Contact: Kathryn Mason | MASONRY – KM@MASONRY.IE 087-2627977


Tuesday, May 25th, 2021