Community Radio Kilkenny City (CRKC) was in the winners’ enclosure once again last week. Hot on the heels of its McNamee Award for the Best GAA Related Radio Programme, the station scooped two more gold awards at the recent National Community Radio Awards, hosted by Community Radio Ireland (CRAOL).
The awards are an annual national event, held to recognise the talents of broadcasters and producers involved in community radio stations around the country. Awards are bestowed for a wide variety of categories including documentaries, music and drama.
The 2023 awards ceremony was held in Athlone and proved to be a night to remember for the local community station.
Eugene Doyle, John Dreelan and Leo Quinlan were honoured for their extraordinary ‘Kilkenny Today’ programme about Jadotville.
Through his military background and his journalistic endeavours, CRKC’s Eugene Doyle discovered the extraordinary story of John Dreelan, a hero living in our midst. John hadn’t spoken about Jadotville for over 50 years after the event. All that his two children knew of his extraordinary military exploits was that he had previously served in The Congo. John Dreelan’s interview on CRKC on May 5 was the first time that he had spoken in public about the siege and the petrol raid.
Following our interview with John, and Leo Quinlan, son of Comdt Pat Quinlan, the commander of A Coy in Jadotville, the Mayor of Kilkenny, Cllr Joe Malone and Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr Michael Doyle honoured John for his service and bravery at an event in City Hall on Monday, June 26. Appropriately, CRKC’s Eugene Doyle was asked to MC this event.
The programme received a Gold award in the Access and Inclusion category.
The CRAOL Awards also delivered success for CRKC’s Kay Brennan (Kay B). In 2021, the music presenter came up with the idea to make a programme featuring solely Kilkenny artists. They could be from Kilkenny or Kilkenny artists based elsewhere. In honour of the 1994 albums, she called it ‘Kay B’s Kilkenny Greats’. The programme includes all of the artists that featured on the original albums, as well as a range of Kilkenny artists, established and emerging.
The programme from 12 to 2pm every Thursday has proved very popular and has earned a large and loyal following among older listeners, the veteran singers and musicians and among new artists. It’s a valuable outlet for all.
Building on the success of the series, it was decided to get the gang together from the original albums and hold a live concert at Kilkenny’s community theatre, the Watergate. In March, 2023, no fewer than ten artists from those albums appeared on stage for the ‘Kilkenny Greats’ concert, ably backed by the ‘Station Band’, specially assembled for the night.
The event was a complete sell out, capably MC’d by Kay B. The goodwill for our station from the audience was palpable. Since that night, the series has just got better and better. The Kilkenny Greats is now a Kilkenny institution, presented by a legend, Kay B.
The programme and concert was awarded a Gold award in the Social Benefit Music category.
In addition, Kay B and the Kilkenny Greats were recognised with the presentation of an ‘Outstanding Submission’ award, granted to a chosen few projects across the country.
CRKC Station Manager Declan Gibbons said: “I am thrilled for CRKC and our very talented team to receive not one, but two gold awards again this year at what is regarded as the ‘Oscars’ for national community radio. Each of these programmes in very different ways, tapped into something very strong, reflecting the best of people in our community.
“These awards are very special and well deserved by Kay and Eugene. They reflect the excellence that all of our volunteers and staff strive for and deliver for our community.”
Community Radio Kilkenny City broadcasts locally every day on 88.7FM or via its website on www.crkc.ie