Raidió na Life is a community radio station which was first founded in 1993. The station provides an Irish language radio service in the Dublin area on 106.4FM and to listeners across the globe on raidionalife.ie with the support of Foras na Gaeilge.
Raidió na Life history
In September 1988 a work group came together to discuss the viability of providing an all-Irish radio service for the greater Dublin area. The new broadcasting Act had just come into force at the time and the Independent Radio and Television Commision (IRTC) (now the BCI) were to award broadcasting licences in the commercial, community and special interest fields. The group decided that a co-operative was the best structure to organise themselves by and would be most suitable for their aims and the philosophy behind the type of service they would create. As a result of this, Comharchumann Radió Átha Cliath Teoranta was set up and it was registered with the Registrar of Friendly Societies in July 1989. They then immediately set about selling shares in the society among the Irish speaking community at £25 per share and began looking for support from other Irish language organisations. This support was readily available and gradually the amount of shareholders increased. It was then decided that the on-air name for the service to be provided would be ‘Raidió na Life’.
The general aim of the co-operative was to provide “a comprehensive Irish language radio service for the greater Dublin area, on an educational and community basis.” Not only would this provide people with an essential cultural service but it would also provide the basis for unprecedented awareness and enthusiasm for the language throughout the area.
The society began a publicity campaign and did listenership research to try to determine the demand for an all-Irish radio service in Dublin. A comprehensive request for a special interest broadcasting licence was then sent to the IRTC in 1990.
The society received a provisional licence for a fortnight, to broadcast during the Oireachtas festival in October 1991, and it was a great success. Efforts were intensified afterwards to obtain a long-term licence. In December 1992 the Commission announced that they intended to award a licence for an Irish language radio service in Dublin. The society submitted a proposal and were duly awarded the licence. Raidió na Life went on air on the 25th September 1993 and has been broadcasting live ever since. The station is situated in the Foras na Gaeilge building at 7 Merrion Square.
Thousands of people from the Greater Dublin Area have gained broadcasting experience in the station and many of them are now working professionally in this area. Among the station’s former broadcasters are: Sharon Ní Bheoláin (RTÉ News), Sinéad Crowley (RTÉ News), Aedín Gormley (RTÉ Lyric FM), Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin (RTÉ’s The Panel), Aoife Nic Cormaic (RTÉ Radio One), Deirdre Ní Dhálaigh (RTÉ Radio One), Fachtna Ó Drisceoil (RTÉ Television and RTÉ Radio One), Ciarán Leonach (Nuacht TG4/RTÉ), Ruairí Mac Con Iomaire (Nuacht TG4/RTÉ), Joe Reddington(Nuacht TG4/RTÉ), Brian Páircéir (RTÉ Television), Michael McCormack (RTÉ Television), Aedín Conlon (RTÉ Television), Seán Ó hÉanaí (RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta), Cearbhall Ó Síocháin (RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta), Dónal Ó Maolfabhail (Independent Television Producer), Sonia Nic Giolla Easbuig (Independent Television Producer), Rónán Ó Muirthile (Independent Television Producer), Gráinne Faller (RTÉ Television/Irish Times), Diarmaid Mac Mathúna (Producer, Agtel), Róisín Saxe (MTV/VH1), Barbara Nic Dhonnchadha (Presenter, iRadio), Dáithí Ó Dáibhín (presenter Top 40 Oifigiúil na hÉireann) Daragh Ó Tuama (Presenter, Newstalk), Colm Ó Mongáin (Producer, Newstalk) and many many more besides.
In 2017, the studio left the studio at 7 Merrion Square after twenty fours years and moved to new studios in the office of Foras na Gaeilge at 63-66 Amiens Street.