Donal Dineen, Irish music, and whether radio really matters

Does radio really matter? Does it matter to you, to me, to him, to her, to bands, to venues and listeners and dancers and writers?

Of course it does, you might say.

But does it really? It wasn’t that long ago when the only way you could hear a new track was to tune in to a specific show at a specific time; before Bandcamp and SoundCloud, before blogs and mp3s, you had to wait for music. Now, music is everywhere. Rustle the cyber-branches of the internet and mp3s will fall on your head; two listless clicks and you have a free song in your Downloads folder. With or without the band’s permission.

Radio is an intimate, vital force. The presenter is a curator, handpicking music they love and that they want you to love too. They search and find, paw and poke through shelves and boxes, because they know you like to do that too. They want your feedback; they want to speak to you. With you.

That’s what Donal Dineen does, what all great, talented, special radio presenters do. They invite you in. They open the door, hand you a mug of tea, and sit you down. Or they tuck you in, give you a book, tell you to breathe out. They offer you this chance to escape for an hour, or two, to dive into an aural world with them, to share with them.

Continue reading “Donal Dineen, Irish music, and whether radio really matters”

Two years

My radio show, Sweet Oblivion, has been broadcast on RTÉ 2XM for more than two years now (it goes out at 5pm on Thursdays), but up until recently the only way you could listen back to an old show was if I uploaded the show to That was fine and all – but I can’t afford a costly subscription to the site so I could only fit 12 episodes on there at any given time. So I’m over the moon to say that RTÉ’s recently launched Radio Player features 2XM shows, all broadcast on a high-quality stream. Here’s the … Continue reading Two years