RTÉ Des Cahill welcomed into the PPI Radio Awards Hall of Fame
The PPI Radio Awards today welcomed four new inductees to their Hall of Fame. Joining previous recipients such as Marian Finucane, Tony Fenton, Candy Devine, Larry Gogan and more, the PPI Radio Awards Hall of Fame is held in the highest esteem within the radio industry of Ireland.
The inductees are chosen by the PPI Radio Awards committee and their peers, for skills in broadcasting plus love and dedication to radio in Ireland. Nominated for their services to the radio industry, this year they come from both in front of and behind the mic and from both the North and South of Ireland. They will be officially welcomed into the Hall of Fame at a ceremony to be held on Friday 18th September at the BAI, Dublin Offices, at 5.30pm.
Congratulations to our very own RTÉ Radio 1 Des Cahill and the following inductees Gerry Anderson RIP – BBC Radio Ulster, Pat Balfe – Today FM, Communicorp and Henry Condon RIP – Independent Broadcasters of Ireland.
Des joined RTÉ more than three decades ago in 1984 as a News Reporter. In 1987 he moved to Radio Sport and reported on many major sports events including the World Cup, the Olympic Games, the Tour De France, the Ryder Cup and the GAA Championships.
He deputised on radio programmes such as Liveline; The Gerry Ryan Show; and proved to be a popular summer replacement on The Gay Byrne Show.
Since 2009 he has been presenter of the evening edition of “The Sunday Game” on RTÉ television and is co-host, with Gráinne Seoige, of the ever popular ‘Up for the Match’ on the eve of All-Ireland GAA Finals.
Currently, Des still presents the flagship “Saturday Sport” on RTÉ Radio 1 where he also contributes sports bulletins and updates to “Morning Ireland” and “Today with Sean O’Rourke”.
For a generation Des Cahill has brought knowledge, experience and humour to sports journalism in Ireland. His talent for describing sporting events and occasions in a colourful and interesting manner gives the listener a premium seat at any event.
Des Cahill was a mainstay of the development, promotion and coverage of the World Special Olympic Games from Dublin in 2004. On an ongoing basis, he continues to be a tremendous advocate for and supporter of the Special Olympics ideal.
In 1985, listeners to BBC Radio Ulster were greeted by a new voice broadcasting live from the studios of Radio Foyle. “Good morning people, God’s in his heaven, Elizabeth’s on the throne and the dole office is open.” Gerry Anderson, was a proud native of the place that he would famously re-christen Stroke City.
In the 70’s and 80’s, Derry was more renowned for its bitter and often tragic experiences during the Troubles than a home for what would become Radio Ulster’s longest running daily entertainment show.
For the next thirty years, bar a short break when he dabbled with the BBC’s network Radio Four, Gerry invited listeners into a world inhabited by people like themselves.
What distinguished Gerry Anderson was that he was always on the side of the ordinary man and woman. Ever alert to both the oddities of life and its trials, he related his own experiences to remind listeners that there was nothing wrong with being who you are.
He was proud to represent the broadcaster and was a fierce public advocate of its purpose and values.
Gerry tragically passed away on August 21st 2014 after a long illness. Gerry’s family will be accepting the Award posthumously.
Very few people can be described as having dedicated their life to radio but Pat Balfe is one. Pat is the technical power-house in Communincorp and regarded as one of the best technical experts in the entire industry. A radio nut at heart, Pat commands huge respect from his peers and fellow professionals. “Ring Pat Balfe” is shorthand for all and any emergencies in radio land. In the midst of any crisis you will often see a calm Pat Balfe walk into the room as chaos ensues. No problem is too big or too small for Pat and his impact and influence on the radio sector cannot be over-stated. He is one of life’s true gentlemen.
Henry Condon was born in Cork and worked in radio in Ireland, North and South, and was at one time programme director for Virgin Radio in the UK. In the radio industry Henry was best known as Henry Owens. He was was one in a million. His drive and enthusiasm for radio was infectious, he was charismatic, funny and positive.
Henry began his illustrious broadcasting career in the early 1980s with South Coast Radio as DJ Alan Reid. He worked with some of the super-pirate radio stations in Dublin before moving to Britain in 1989 to broadcast on Atlantic 252, where he won a Sony Radio Award, rising to become its programme director.
He moved to Chrysalis Radio, where he was appointed boss at Manchester’s Galaxy 102, before becoming the programme director on Virgin Radio at the time Chris Evans was its flagship breakfast show star.
Henry returned to Cork to launch youth station RedFM on Jan 16, 2002. Subsequently he consulted with Cork’s 96FM and C103.
Henry didn’t just live the dream – he shared it – and we can never thank him enough for that gift.
Henry sadly passed away on September 16th 2013. Henry’s family will be accepting the Award posthumously.