Two Irish religious radio programmes make shortlist for the Andrew Cross Awards 2005

18 May 2005


18 MAY 2005



Two Irish religious programmes/features produced by local radio in Ireland
have been shortlisted for the Andrew Cross Awards 2005.

Mid West Radio in Co Mayo has been shortlisted for its ‘Thought for the Day’
slot and for its weekly religious magazine programme called ‘Faith Alive’ .

The Thought for the Day item goes out on a Sunday morning as part of a
religious round-up programme. The particular one that has been shortlisted
was entitled ‘Making Room’ and was presented by Fr Brendan Hoban on the
Irish experience of past emigration and present immigration.

Faith Alive is the station’s weekly religious magazine programme which is
co-presented by Fr Brendan Hoban and Monica Morley and goes out also on
Sunday. The Faith Alive programme that has been shortlisted had four elements
to it: (i) a feature on the experience of First Communion from different
perspectives (parent, teacher, parish, children) which ended with a separated
father recounting the experience of attending his daughter’s First Communion;
(ii) Pilgrimage: an interview with Fr Frank Fahey, Ballintubber Abbey dissecting
the notion of pilgrimage; (iii) interview with a Carmelite nun on the ‘inner
pilgrimage’; (iv) comment on issues of the day, including listeners’ reactions.

The Andrew Cross Awards are presented under the auspices of the Churches Media
Council in the UK for local and religious media. The awards aim to recognise
the best in religious local/regional radio and television, video, religious
websites, national and regional press and religious writers and broadcasters.
The awards are presented each year in memory of the late Bishop Agnellus
Andrew and the late Bishop Stewart Cross, former presidents of the Churches’
Media Council, both of whom made enormous contributions to religious broadcasting.

Commenting on the nominations Mr Paul Claffey, Chief Executive of Mid West Radio
said: “Faith Alive has been part of MWR programming since we came on air in 1989
and has always been an important part of our schedule. From the beginning it
set high standards of production and presentation and over the years it has
built up a committed audience every Sunday morning. In recent times its
listenership figures have increased, making it now one of the most popular
Sunday programmes on local radio in Ireland. It is very satisfying that the
prestigious Andrew Cross Awards have now independently confirmed its reputation.
To be nominated in two different categories is a considerable achievement when
you realise the competition from the BBC and others in stations all over the
United Kingdom and Ireland. It is a tribute to the consistency, professionalism
and expertise of presenters/producers, Monica Morley and Fr Brendan Hoban.
We wish them well.”

Fr Brendan Hoban, co-presenter of Faith Alive said:  ‘People who listen to
us continually tell us that they wouldn’t miss Faith Alive on a Sunday morning.
Sometimes we take that with a grain of salt! But to have that opinion confirmed
through the nominations is very encouraging. To tell you the truth, we’re
gob-smacked that we’ve actually been nominated in two categories. Anything
else, as far as we’re concerned, is a bonus after this.’

Speaking on behalf of the Irish Churches’ Council for Television and Radio
Affairs (ICCTRA, Rev Graham Hamilton, said: “We are delighted to hear the
news that two Irish religious radio programmes have made the shortlist for
the Andrew Cross Awards 2005. We offer our congratulations to the team at
Mid West Radio and wish them well.

“ ICCTRA has just completed a survey of religious broadcasting on local radio
in the Republic of Ireland and it’s encouraging to note from the survey the
commitment to religious programming by local radio stations as well as the
dedication of the many priests, ministers, religious and lay people involved
in the production of these programmes.”

The 2005 winners will be announced on 8th June 2005 at an awards presentation
ceremony in The Hayes Conference Centre, Derbyshire.

18th May 2005

Further information:
Brenda Drumm Communications Officer (087 233 7797)

* Mid West Radio has been shortlisted in two categories: Category 1: Thought for
the Day and Category 4: Regular Weekly Programme – Speech based.

* Fr Brendan Hoban is a priest of the Diocese of Killala.

* There were 13 entries from Ireland for the Andrew Cross Awards 2005.

* Further details on this year’s shortlist and the awards presentation
ceremony are available at:

* Further details on Mid West Radio are available on their website

* ICCTRA is the Irish Churches Council for Television and Radio Affairs
– see

* The ICCTRA Survey of Religious Broadcasting in Ireland will be published
in June 2005.