Near Media Co-op March Newsletter Update
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It’s three months since our last newsletter, and Near Media Co-Op has been very busy indeed. From road races, to election counts, to discussions on and re-interpretations of the Easter Rising, a lot has happened since the beginning of 2016.

FRIENDS of Near provide new computer and software
First of all though, we’d like to start with a big thank-you to the Friends of Near whose donations have paid for the new main computer and new software in Studio One. Although it’s only in its first year, the Friends of Near initiative, which allows people to donate as little as €5 a month to the Near Media Co-Op, has already raised more than €1,000.   These generous donations makes Near FM more financially independent and helps us give a voice to our community.
If you would like to learn more about the Friends of Near initiative, you can read about it here.

Northside Parnells Sports Sponsorship Launch

On 30 January last, Parnells GAA Club were at the Northside Shopping Centre (NSSC), for the official launch of a very special three-year sponsorship deal between the NSSC and the GAA club. This agreement will see Parnells and the NSSC work together to promote the Coolock community and the Centre while encouraging the youth of the surrounding areas to participate in various sporting activities.

Declan Ralph of Near FM broadcast his show live from the NSSC. Declan interviewed the organisers and various people from the Centre such as Ann Ford of Book Value, Paul Barr of Fuji Film and also various group leaders who use the facilities in Parnells. There was live music and some dancing displays, including Hip Hop, Zumba, Salsa and Irish dancing. Near TV were also there to film the event and to chat to the public.

It was a really fun day and we are looking forward to more events with Parnells and the NSSC. The official opening of the new Northside Shopping Centre will be in August. We will be there broadcasting live on that day, so stay tuned to Near FM or check out our Facebook page for further updates.

On your marks, get set, GO!

You may have been hibernating on 31 January, but the Near FM crew were out in the elements covering the 32nd AXA Raheny 5 Mile Road Race. The event was founded in 1985 by former Olympian Pat Hooper, and is promoted by Raheny Shamrock Athletic Club. It is now rated as one of the country’s leading road races.

As in previous years, Near FM was there on the day, with Fergus Carroll providing live commentary, and interviews with the runners and walkers before and after the race.

General Election 2016

Even if you were hibernating, you definitely couldn’t have missed the fact that we had a General Election in February. Near FM and Near TV covered the election in a variety of ways. Near FM had an election blog, which was set-up by of the station’s volunteers and which ran for the duration of the election campaign.

Not only that but on 10 February, Near FM broadcast an election debate live from the Civic Centre. There was a Question and Answer session with members from the general public and various election candidates who had been invited to participate.

The public got the opportunity to ask the candidates, who were all from the Dublin Bay North constituency, where they stood on various issues. It was a lively debate with listeners also getting involved and calling in on the phones or texting. You can listen back to this debate and other GE2016-related interviews via the General Election category on Near FM’s podcast site.

Near TV also had an election special on 19 February during which candidates running in the Dublin Bay North Constituency were asked to answer questions on five key election topics. In this special, voters from the area selected their preferred policy for each issue, with the Near TV team then revealing which statements matched which political party.

On 27 February, from 12.30-8.30pm, Near FM had a live Election Special updating listeners on the incoming results of the General Election 2016. They had reporters at the RDS reporting events as they happened, and as well as a panel of commentators at Near FM studios discussing the updates as they came in.

Congratulations to everyone who was involved in all of the above coverage – it was a great demonstration of the ability of Near Media Co-Op to cover national and local issues on such a scale.

Making connections with community radio in Bradford

At the end of February, Near FM were delighted to welcome Claire Kearns and Ann Morgan from Bradford Community Broadcasting to the station. Claire and Ann were on a week-long visit to Dublin as part of a EurEval Exchange Programme.

They managed to squeeze a lot into their short stay including visits to Kilmainham Jail, Glasnevin Cemetery, Moore Street and The GPO, The Guinness Storehouse, and Howth. They also attended a recording of our Women and 1916 series in Coolock Library (more on this series further on in the newsletter) where our guests on the night, Donna Cooney and Padraig Yeates, gave them interviews to take back and use as part of their programming on BCB.

The second half of the exchange will be happening in April when Conor Doyle and Mark Finnegan will be travelling to the UK to spend some time at BCB. We look forward to hearing about their trip.

Mercy College Broadcast

On 4 March, Near FM did a Live Broadcast from Mercy College Coolock. The school is  working towards achieving the Yellow Flag, which celebrates inclusion and diversity in schools. If awarded, they will be the first secondary school in the Coolock/Artane region to earn the flag.

Noel McGuinness of the Northside Today show, presented a full programme from the school. The broadcast included a showcase of students’ work, some special guests, and some music. Among the interviewees were staff and students from Mercy College.
This OB was supported by Members First Credit Union.

Near FM and 1916

Near FM is also in the process of marking the centenary of The Easter Rising.
This week, Near 90.3fm is broadcasting a unique 1916 series entitled ‘Lost Easter Voices’, which offers listeners a chance to hear what is purported to be the last interviews recorded with the executed proclamation signatories, starting with Patrick Pearse and concluding with James Connolly.

At the time of the 1916 executions, social historian, Richard Maxwell, a nephew of General Sir John Maxwell, Commander in Chief of British Forces in Ireland, obtained permission to bring his early Edison recorder into Kilmainham jail to record interviews with the seven Proclamation signatories shortly before their capital punishment. During the turbulent weeks that followed the executions, Richard Maxwell returned to England with his recordings. Eventually, in ill health, he moved to Estuarios in Spain to live with relatives. Apparently, these unique recordings have lain in an attic in Spain for 100 years.

Now a great-granddaughter of Richard Maxwell, Senora Maxwell-Hogan, has returned to Ireland with these historic recordings and has offered to donate them to the National Archive. But first, she has permitted Near FM to digitise and clean these unique recordings and the community station presents them as part of the centenary commemorations.

Each programme will be followed by a panel discussion expanding on the topics raised by the rebels. The entire production was handled by the Near Drama company. Are these authentic recordings? Are these the final words of such iconic figures? Listen and make up your own mind.

The series continues until Sunday, 27 March, and will be broadcast daily at 1pm. For those episodes that you have missed, you can listen back to them at
Near FM, in partnership with the Coolock Library and in association with the Northside Community Law Centre, present a three-part series abo ut women and social justice in 1916.

The series called ‘Women of 1916’ reflects on women in the era of the 1916 Rising, how they lived and worked, and what roles women played in society with topics including living conditions in the tenements, the suffragettes and more. Each event features a speaker and songs from the era performed by An Góilín Singers Group.
Programmes one and two are now on Near FM’s soundcloud page – you’ll find the links below with the programme details.

Programme 1
Presenter: Debbie Hutchinson
Guest speakers and singers: Niamh Murray, Conor McCabe & Fergus Russell

Programme 2
Presenter: Debbie Hutchinson
Guest speakers and singers: Donna Cooney, Padraig Yeates & Fergus Russell

Programme 3
This will be available on soundcloud shortly -
The full series will be available on our website at:

Presenter: Felicity Kearney
Guest speakers and singers: Dr Aoife O ‘Donoghue, Rhona McCord & Fergus Russell
This series was made with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland Sound and Vision scheme.

Near FM in partnership with Dublin City Council invite you to join them for the following drama reading and seminar on 30 March next from 12.45-2pm in the conference room 1, Northside Civic Centre, Coolock.

This public event will combine the original one-act stage play, ‘Killing Connolly!’, written by Jack Byrne (approximately 15minutes) and the talk ‘Who owns the Easter Rising’ (approximately 30min) by Dr Roisín Higgins, a Senior Lecturer in History at Teesside University, UK. The seminar will be followed by a Q&A debate (approximately 30min) from the audience on the issues raised by the play and lecture.

The actors are Michael Sharp, Peter Prior and Joe Murphy. The piece is directed by Declan Cahill.

This event is funded by Dublin City Council and will be broadcast by Near FM at a future date. We look forward to seeing you there next Wednesday!

Drama at Near

'Rivitin History', which aired last year, as a  four-part satirical drama, will be taking to the airwaves again this year. Written by Pat Meehan, rehearsals for two more episodes will commence shortly. These will be directed by Declan Cahill.

FC Barcelona live on Near FM

As part of Near FM’s Northside Football 2 series, we will have live coverage from St Kevin’s Boys Academy Cup this Saturday, 26 March, from 9.45am. This elite competition from the home of St Kevin’s Boys Football Club is a unique underage tournament featuring the cream of European teams at this age level.

Join our commentary team of Dave Hooper, Neil McDonagh and Fergus Carroll as we broadcast two matches along with  interviews with coaches, players and fans.

Match 1 – 10am – Olympique Lyonnais v West Bromwich Albion

Match 2 – 11.30am – FC Barcelona v St Kevin’s Boys

Northside Football 2 is the follow up to the FAI award-winning Northside Football series. This series is made with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland Sound and Vision scheme.

Update on You Edit EU

 â€˜YouEditEU’ (Young Editorial Teams Europe) is one of the Erasmus+ projects Near FM has been working on in 2015 and 2016. Our partners are Tilos Radio in Budapest, Hungary, Radio Valekas in Madrid, Spain and Radio Wüstewelle in Tübingen, Germany.

This month, Near FM together with four participants of the Irish Girl Guides Ireland went to Radio Vallekas in Madrid to collaborate on programmes in international teams. You can visit the YouEditEU website here. For further information, contact (Pictured above are participants Lucy O’Donovan and Aoife Leamy).

New programmes at Near FM

Country Legends Corner, a country-and-western music show, airs on Sundays at 2pm with Donie Tarrant. And Peter Gaynor brings us classic and alternative rock music on his show, The Full Deck, which airs fortnightly.

Returning to the Fold

From 27 March, Mark Finn will return with Dig Deep at 8.30pm, bringing you the best in deep house music. He will alternate every Sunday with The Crooked Button Show.

On hiatus

Keen listeners will have noticed that Pure Phase with David Bryan is on a break from Tuesday nights. Stephen Egan, who also presents Roots Highway, is currently presenting Night Moods in its place. We hope to hear David back on Tuesday nights soon.

Farewell and thank you…

Soundtrack, presented by Peter Cunningham has come to the end of its run. The programme featured well-known local guests speaking about and playing their favourite music. Thanks to Peter, and don’t forget the past programmes are still available at

Classic Rock Radio which has been alternating with The Grove Show on Friday nights has also come to an end – thanks to Dave O’ Connor for helping us rock out going into the weekend.

Upcoming programmes at Near TV

Science Investigators is a 10-part science series for primary school children, which is currently in post-production and will be released soon, so please keep an eye on updates.

Near TV have started working with a group of young people from Sphere17 to produce a Media Literacy series Edit/Delete (3 x 30mins), so there’ll be more on that series in the coming months.  

Welcome to Near FM

Céad Míle Fáilte to Maurice Newman, Gary Kirwan, Christine Farrell, David Cullen and Donie Tarrant who have started on our CE scheme. And also welcome to Vivien Matthias who has joined us on an internship.

Programming and Contents Committee

The committee would like to express its thanks to Aileen Lee who has stepped down from the committee after two years. Aileen’s contribution over this period has been invaluable.
The committee would also like to welcome Pádraig Naughton who now joins the committee. Pádraig is presenter of Arts Disability Radio which is broadcast fortnightly on Tuesdays at 3.30pm.

Committee of Management

The Committee of Management are delighted to welcome its newest member, Sabrina Ryan. Sabrina has been volunteering with Near FM for three years across a number of programmes, primarily current affairs/magazine. A journalism graduate of DCU, Sabrina is currently teaching English as a foreign language and has previously volunteered and worked with Dublin South FM.

The Committee meets every month and manages the Co-operative, which owns Near FM and Near TV. Volunteers are always welcome to attend. If you would like to attend a meeting, contact Dave O'Connor, Secretary (

Near FM Training

Near FM is currently running a six-week radio induction training course for new volunteers and we are looking forward to hearing new voices on air soon!

Near FM delivers Coláiste Dhálaigh Degree module

As part of the Coláiste Dhúlaigh Broadcast Journalism degree, 15 students completed the Radio Production module with Near FM. This welcome collaboration is as a result of our partnership with Coláiste Dhúlaigh and the Dublin City Education and Training Board.  The degree is accredited by Wolverhampton University. Two of our volunteers are doing this degree, so if it something that you might be interested in starting this coming September, feel free to drop Ciaran a line at ‘’ to learn more about it.  

Féile 2016

The annual Community Radio Féile is an important event for community radio stations nationwide and offers an opportunity for community radio practitioners to come together, share experience, skills and knowledge through specially designed workshops and networking events.

In 2016 Near FM will be hosting the Féile on Saturday, 28 May, in the Regency Hotel in Drumcondra. In conjunction with the Féile, we will be broadcasting live from the venue and run numerous workshops and seminars. This year’s Féile will also see participation of European Community Radio volunteers and staff coming from the UK, Sweden, France, Italy, Spain, Austria and Slovenia. Further details to come soon, so watch this space!
And last but not least
Beannachtaí na Cásca daoibh go léir! Happy Easter to you all!
Copyright © 2016 Near Media Co-op - Registered in Ireland RFS NO: 4128R, All rights reserved.

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