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2RN and the Origins of Irish Radio
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220pp. 2001
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2RN and the Origins of Irish Radio

Richard Pine

In 1924, following the Irish civil war, the Postmaster-General of the Irish Free State decided to establish a national radio service. In a society exhausted by war and eager for reconstruction, it was a divisive and volatile proposal. The D�il committee appointed to examine the various options for granting a broadcasting license uncovered a major political scandal involving accusations of bribery and corruption, and leading to calls for a tribunal of enquiry.

This book introduces readers for the first time to an early episode in the history of the Free State that featured many of its most colorful and controversial characters and precipitated a political crisis including resignations and suicide. It describes the establishment of '2RN' (as it was known from its call-sign), the preparations leading to its inauguration by Douglas Hyde on 1 January 1926, and the reaction of politicians and listeners to its initial schedules. The aspirations of those who created 2RN, including its first Director, S�amus Clandillon, are explored extensively and the fortunes of the fledgling station are discussed.

This is an important introduction to a major period of debate and dissension during the founding years of the Irish Free State.

Richard Pine, who is general editor of Broadcasting and Irish Society, worked in RT� from 1974 to 1999 and is now Director of the Durrell School of Corfu and a frequent broadcaster on RT� radio and television. He is the author of books on Brian Friel, Oscar Wilde, Lawrence Durrell, Brendan Kennelly, the Dublin Gate Theatre and the Royal Irish Academy of Music, of which he is an honorary Fellow.

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