COUNTRY music star Nathan Carter has added his name to the chorus of supporters for radio presenter Sean Donnellan, who is losing his popular C103 slot.
Donnellan was told recently that his Mon-Fri country music programme would be replaced, after 27 years. The show runs on local radio station C103 from 7pm til 11pm and Sean is something of a legend in the industry.
Writing in the Sunday World last week, Carter said he was saddened to hear that Sean was losing the five-night slot.
‘Sean will now have a Sunday morning slot, but the fans and country artists are really going to miss his nightly shows,’ he wrote, adding: ‘I’ve met Sean many times and he has been a massive support to everyone in the business. It’s hard to believe that a province of Ireland renowned for its love of country music is losing such a great show.’
Sean’s son Michael told The Southern Star this week that he has been hugely touched by the reaction to the news. ‘People have stopped me in the street to say they have been listening in their milking parlours, in tractors, in taxis, and the Tuesday mart report was very popular too. Dad had over 25,000 listeners,’ he said.
‘He was the first to play Nathan Carter in the south – and he has been a huge supporter of Irish music. He was initially told he will be finishing at the end of May, but now has got a stay of execution until the end of June.’
Michael Donnellan wants C103 to reverse their decision and ‘allow the man to go when he wants, and hand over the country and Irish music scene to the next person who will carry it forward. Even a superstar like Nathan Carter is frustrated and at a loss as to this decision,’ he added.
And in an open letter to C103 chief executive Kieran McGeary, Michael Donnellan asked him: ‘Why take a winning horse off the track? I don’t think you realise the impact that this is going to have on so many.’
Singer Paddy O'Brien posted on his Facebook page this week that he was disappointed too. ‘But it’s not too late to do the right thing by leaving an invaluable DJ and his show on the airwaves,’ he said.
Kieran McGeary of C103 told The Southern Star that Sean Donnellan would be getting a new slot on Sundays. ‘He will present Irish Sunday on our North Cork transmitters between 10am and 2pm while John Greene will continue to present the equivalent programme in West Cork,’ he said.
He added that Eric Griffin will present a new programme of Irish music between 8pm and 11pm Mon-Fri.
He said the station also has The Jimmie Reidy Show on Saturdays from 12-2pm; Irish Sunday 10-2pm and Tim Coughlan on Sunday evenings from 8pm-11pm. There will be a new ‘C103 Country’ show hosted by Michael Dennehy, on Saturday from 6pm,’ he said.
‘Sean Donnellan will continue to be a fixture on the C103 schedule and I wish him every success with his new programme,’ Mr McGeary concluded.