Castlebar radio station celebrates twenty years on the air

It was a very warm sunny evening in Castlebar back in 1995 when the airwaves crackled to the sound of broadcast 'pips' at exactly 6pm.

With a welcome as Gaeilge and then in English, by well-known CRCfm presenter Aidan Crowley, the pioneering station was on air and community radio in Ireland was launched.

Castlebar had led the way with the country's first community radio station and 20 years on CRCfm is still going strong. 

The station celebrated the milestone anniversary on Tuesday, when it broadcast live from Market Square, Castlebar, for the day. 

Station manager Benen Tierney said community radio is a unique medium that plays a vital role in the community.

"It allows everybody to have their say. There is space for every cause, every voice.

"Minority music gets an airing and minority groups host their own programmes. Community radio is truly 'your station' – owned by the community with no shareholders."

The open air broadcast on Tuesday saw a host of current and past presenters, local politicians, former town councillors, business owners, charity representatives, community groups, musicians, and members of the public, talk about the impact CRCfm has had on the town over two decades on the air.

Some of those who played a huge role on the development of the station, but who are sadly no longer here, were also remembered, such as the late Nan Monaghan and Willie 'The Shoe' McNeely.

CRCfm will be broadcasting sound bytes over the next month throughout its regular programming, featuring memorable voices and moments from the past 20 years. 

"Castlebar can be proud of its community radio station and can look forward to many more years of programming that is fast becoming an audio history of our county town," added Mr Tiernan.

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