'O'Donnell Abú' Becomes 2RN Station Identification Signal 1936

EXHIBITION : HISTORY OF RTÉ

About this Item

Listeners choose 'O'Donnell Abú as the identification tune signal for the Irish national station.

  • Title
    'O'Donnell Abú' Becomes 2RN Station Identification Signal 1936
  • Production Year
    1936
  • Clip Duration
    00:41:00
  • Material Type
    Audio
  • Clip title
    'O'Donnell Abú' Becomes 2RN Station Identification Signal 1936
  • Extended description

    Over several days in February 1936, Twenty tunes were played for listeners to Radio Athlone. The purpose was to let the listeners select a suitable identification tune signal for the Irish national station. By a large majority, the tune selected was 'O'Donnell Abú'.

    In all, 968 letters were received. There were 260 votes for 'O'Donnell Abú'. This was by far the highest number of votes. The second favourite tune was 'Fáinne Geal an Lae' with 151 votes. 'The Blackbird' received 88 votes, 'My Lagan Love', 58, and 'Brian Boru's March', 52.

    Dr T.J. Kiernan, Director of Broadcasting, placed an order with a German firm to have the electrical device for recording the signal installed. Wavebands were crowded and electrical interference was a common problem, which meant that these "tuning signals" were very useful for finding a station at a time when Radio Athlone was on air for only part of the day.

    'O'Donnell Abú' remains the station identification signal for RTÉ and can be heard each morning at 05.30 on RTÉ Radio 1, just before the daytime programmes begin.

    Listen here to 'O'Donnell Abú'.

  • Information

    The image accompanying this clip is taken from the television documentary 'A Road 50 Years Long' broadcast 22 April 1976.

  • Local keywords
    O'Donnell Abú, Music, Radio Athlone, 2RN, RTÉ, Broadcasting, Radio, 1930s
  • Geographical coverage
    Ireland
  • Topic
    The Media
  • First broadcast channel
    2RN
  • Country of production
    Ireland
  • IPR restrictions
    Rights Reserved - Free Access
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  • Item type
    part/extract
  • Item sound
    Mono
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