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Civic reception in recognition of WLR FM’s four in a row ‘Local Station of the Year’ accolade

WLRFM was today (Friday, March 31st) honoured with a civic reception in City Hall recognising the station’s unprecedented success at the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO), winning ‘Local Station of the Year’ consecutively in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.


The motion was proposed by Cllr. Jason Murphy and seconded by Cllr. Lola O’Sullivan.

Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. John O’Leary paid tribute to WLRFM Managing Director, Des Whelan and his team on the station’s accomplishments.

“A pioneer of local radio in Ireland, Des Whelan is the driving force behind the phenomenally successful WLRFM where he has been Managing Director since its inception and WLR has continued to provide a top-quality local sound broadcasting service to Waterford City and County for the last three decades.

“As part of the radio station’s strategy to further immerse itself within the community to which it broadcasts, WLR has developed numerous community initiatives over the years which have all helped to shine a spotlight on all that’s positive about Waterford.”

Addressing the reception, Mr. Whelan said, “The station had humble beginnings. It was started by my brother Rick, and his friend Egedio Gianni. That summer of 1978 was magical. The licensing of local radio was always around the corner and while it was a full ten years coming, in hindsight we were all students of the university of life, studying for a degree in broadcasting.”

Mr. Whelan commended the contribution of Programme Director Michael Byrne who spearheaded the awards’ entries and that of the station’s staff, past and present, recounting fondly those who were an integral part of the fabric of the station, in particular the late Billy McCarthy, Eddie Wymberry, Tony Weldon, Bob Heuston and Kevin Casey.

Acknowledging the stations production, sales, admin teams, and on air presenters including Damien Tiernan, Oliver Carroll, Maria McCann, Kieran O’Connor, Aoibhin Fallon, Geoff Harris and John O’Shea, Mr. Whelan continued, “The common factor that unites us all in the station is that everyone has a passion for Waterford and we believe we are privileged to broadcast to Waterford, a county we have long believed to be the best place to live in Ireland.”

WLRfm continues to attract a large listening audience with 69% of all adults living in Waterford each week and 50% of all adults daily tuning in. (Source: JNLR/Ipsos 2022/3).

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