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RTÉ lyric fm

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RTÉ lyric fm
Broadcast areaRepublic of Ireland and Northern Ireland
Worldwide (mainly the United Kingdom on satellite)
FrequencyFM 96.7–99.6 (95.2 northeast) MHz
Digital terrestrial television
Language(s)English, Irish
FormatClassical music,Jazz and the arts
OwnerRaidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ)
RTÉ Radio 1
RTÉ 2fm
RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta
RTÉ Pulse
RTÉ Jr Radio
RTÉ Chill
RTÉ Gold
RTÉ Radio 1 Extra
First air date
6 November 1984 (as FM3 Classical Music)
1 May 1999 (as Lyric FM)[1]
Former names
FM3 Classical Music (1984–1999)
WebcastWMA, Real

RTÉ Lyric FM (stylised as RTÉ lyric fm) is an Irish classical music and arts radio station, owned and operated by RTÉ. The station, which is based in Limerick, was launched in 1999 and is available on FM throughout Ireland (in some areas also on DAB), on Sky Digital satellite in Ireland and the United Kingdom, and via the Internet worldwide.

As of 2021, RTÉ Lyric FM attracts a weekday audience share of 2.1%.[2] The current head of the station is Sinéad Wylde.[3]


RTÉ Lyric FM developed from FM3 Classical Music, which began broadcasting on 6 November 1984.[4] FM3 broadcast classical music on the RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta network at breakfast time, lunchtime and in the evenings. The station was rarely marketed, except via promotions on RTÉ Radio 1, and had low listenership ratings. It was probably best known for occasionally simulcasting the stereo soundtrack of movies being shown on the RTÉ television channels prior to RTÉ's deployment of NICAM digital stereo.

As Raidió na Gaeltachta expanded broadcast hours, FM3's service hours changed to 19:30–01:00 and 06:30–08:00. Eventually it stayed on air until breakfast time when RnaG resumed broadcasting.

On 1 May 1999, RTÉ put in place an additional national FM transmitter network, and it was decided to separate FM3 from Radio na Gaeltachta, and expand its remit to include other types of minority music.[5] The resulting station was Lyric FM (currently styled RTÉ lyric fm). It also moved from Dublin to Limerick as part of a policy of regionalisation.[6] At the time of the station's launch, RTÉ lyric fm's digital studios in Cornmarket Row, Limerick, were the most advanced in the country.

RTÉ Lyric FM won PPI National Station of the Year for the second time in 2004.[7][8]

In May 2009, the station celebrated ten years of broadcasting.[1][9] This was celebrated with a concert by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and RTÉ Philharmonic Choir.[10] Current presenters include Marty Whelan, George Hamilton, John Kelly, Liz Nolan, Paul Herriott, Niall Carroll, Lorcan Murray, Bernard Clarke, Aedín Gormley, and Ellen Cranitch.[11][12]

As part of RTÉ's calls for better funding a Prime Time report was produced about the closing of the service, this caused public reaction calling for the service to be saved. RTÉ refuted these claims saying that they planned to move the service from Limerick city and maintain it out of Dublin and Cork.[13] Later RTÉ attended the Oireachtas communications committee were various local representatives complained to RTÉ that the service should not be moved from Limerick City. This was followed by a large debate on funding public service broadcasters/media in Dáil Éireann, as a stop gap measure the Government granted RTÉ an extra €10 million in funding to help them fund services such as RTÉ Lyric FM,[14] in 2020 RTÉ cut funding to Lyric FM by 16%. Funding in 2020 was €5.5m, down from €6.5m in the previous year.[15]


  1. ^ a b "RTÉ lyric fm's 10th Birthday". RTÉ lyric fm. Archived from the original on 8 July 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  2. ^ "RTÉ lyric fm JNLR". RTÉ. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  3. ^ "RTÉ Entertainment: Gay Byrne Interview". RTÉ Entertainment. 17 August 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  4. ^ "RTÉ Radio's New Quality Service (Subscription required)". The Irish Times. 6 November 1984. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  5. ^ "Classic Moves (Subscription required)". The Irish Times. 9 September 1998. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  6. ^ "The Man From Lyric (Subscription required)". The Irish Times. 4 April 1999. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  7. ^ "2002 PPI Radio Award Archive". PPI Radio Award Archive. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  8. ^ "2004 PPI Radio Award Archive". PPI Radio Award Archive. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  9. ^ "A treasure trove of the world's greatest music for the past 10 years". The Irish Times. 1 May 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  10. ^ "BIRTHDAY SALUTE". RTÉ Performing Groups. Archived from the original on 13 March 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  11. ^ "RTÉ Radio new season 2009" (PDF). RTÉ Radio. Retrieved 17 August 2009.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Presenters: Frank McNamara". RTÉ lyric fm. Archived from the original on 21 January 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  13. ^ "RTÉ 2024" (PDF). rte.ie. Retrieved 4 March 2022.
  14. ^ McNeice, Stephen (10 December 2019). "government-announces-e50-million-extra-funding-rte-five-years". Retrieved 4 March 2022.
  15. ^ "RTÉ Annual Report 2020" (PDF). rte.ie.

External links[edit]