HOUSE PRICES IN DONEGAL ARE UP BY 12% WITH FURTHER HIKES EXPECTED

property

NEWS

 July 4, 2016

property

A House Price Report issued by Daft.ie yesterday shows that house prices in Donegal have risen by 12% in the past year.

The well-known property website reports that the average house price is now just over €138,000, 22% above its lowest point.

Although Dublin’s house prices remain stable but outside the capital, the average house price increase has been €43,000 since the end of 2013.

Economist Ronan Lyons, author of the Daft.ie report said that the recovery which began in Dublin in 2012 is now going ‘country-wide’, and reflects ‘increased employment’.

He also noted that people are not holding back from buying houses anymore due to fear that the prices may fall lower.


FORMER DJ TO SUE AFTER HIGHLAND FAIL TO PAY FOR CONSTRUCTIVE DISMISSAL CASH

Highland Radio

NEWS

 January 7, 2016
Highland Radio
Highland Radio

A former Highland Radio DJ is to take the station to court after they failed to pay him €26,000 in compensation he won in a constructive dismissal case.

Former afternoon show host Steven Lynch obtained a determination against the Letterkenny station on 20th October 2015 at an Employment Appeals Tribunal.

This has not been paid by Highland Radio despite the fact that a six week period for an appeal has since passed.

Mr Lynch has now referred the matter to the workplace relationship commission to have the determination enforced through the courts.

Mr. Lynch told Donegal Daily that he is “extremely disappointed” that he has had to embark upon these further proceedings against his former employer.

Asked if Highland may have lodged an appeal in the case, Mr Lynch said he has checked with his legal team and no correspondence has been filed.

“I honestly thought that after all I had been through that this was the end of the matter. But even after winning the case, I am still no better off,” he said.

Former Highland Radio DJ Steven Lynch.
Former Highland Radio DJ Steven Lynch.

The well-known Inishowen broadcaster took the case for constructive dismissal at an Employment Appeals Tribunal held at the Silver Tassie Hotel on four separate dates last year.

Both sides set out their cases at the tribunal which gave details of Mr Lynch’s working conditions and arrangements at the station.

Mr Lynch claimed he was forced to leave the station in April 2013 claiming he could no longer survive on his salary after the use of a company car and a sales position were taken from him.

The Employment Appeals Tribunal found that Highland’s behaviour justified Lynch resigning and claiming constructive dismissal saying there had been a “fundamental breach of contract.”

The tribunal found however, that Mr Lynch’s attempts to find alternative employment was mainly limited to broadcasting which they said was too restrictive an approach at the time.

They then found in favour of Mr Lynch and recommended the awarding of €26,000 by Highland to their former presenter.

BACKGROUND TO THE CASE

Lynch, 37, from Carndonagh, had been employed by the Letterkenny-based station since 2004 until before he left in May 2013.

He quickly became a popular presenter on its afternoon show and his show’s listenership was second only to the flagship Shaun Doherty Morning Show.

He earned a basic wage of €394 for presenting his show but also had the use of a company car from Monday until Friday and was also on 20% of any adverts he sold to a list of between 40 and 50 clients.

The car was one of a pool of three cars which were sponsored by Inishowen Motors in return for €10,000 worth of advertising on the station each year.

When the company was sold to the Rabbitt family in 2008, a series of cost-cutting measures were introduced.

Former station manager Collins told the tribunal that the business had turnover of €2.5 million with a profit of €750,000 at the time.

However, despite a turnover of €2 million in 2009, this was the year the recession started to bite and staff were asked to take a 10% pay cut.

Mr Collins said he thought this was excessive as the station was still in a very healthy state.

He added that during 2009, the company paid more than €700,000 in bank debt as well as €100,000 to agents for the sale of the station.

Local auditors were also replaced by outside agencies leading to another substantial cost.

In his evidence, former station manager Collins told how marketing manager John Clancy, who joined the company in 2012, was constantly raising the issue of Mr Lynch and how he had become “obsessed” with him.

His client base on the Inishowen peninsula was eventually reduced to 15 and the use of the company car was taken from him and taken over by Mr Clancy.

Mr Collins said he told the radio presenter to go and spend time with his father who was dying at the time saying “Highland Radio will still be here when you get back.”

The tribunal was told that Mr Lynch was looking for an extra €200 to compensate him for the loss of both the car and his position within sales.

Mr Collins took this to the board but they rejected it.

Solicitor Ciaran McLaughlin said his client estimated he was at a loss of €67,294 since leaving the station in May 2013.

The tribunal was told that Mr Lynch was immediately replaced by another presenter Gary Gamble who was still employed at the station.

HIGHLAND Radio has had hundreds of thousands of euro pumped into it to save it from closure, its owners have said.

Members of the Galway-based Rabbitte family spoke out as they gave evidence in an employment tribunal held at the Silver Tassie Hotel in Letterkenny yesterday.

Gerry Rabbitte and his son Tim both told the tribunal that claims by former manager Charlie Collins that they had taken huge amounts of cash out of Highland when staff were hit with ten per cent pay cuts were wrong.

Former DJ Steven Lynch is suing for more than €75,000 in lost income since he left the station in May 2013.

Mr Lynch has alleged that Gerry Rabbitte’s son-in-law and marketing boss John Clancy had “chipped away” at him until he quit.

He claimed his wages were cut from an average of €611 per week to €390 after most of his advertising sales clients were taken off him in January 2013.

He also had access to a pool car stopped, increasing the cost of driving to and from his home in Carndonagh.

Mr Lynch left saying he could not support his wife and children on the €390 he received for presenting his popular afternoon show.

However Tim Rabbitte said that while Mr Lynch was a good presenter “it was clear his sales were not good enough but I wanted him to remain as a presenter”.

Tim Rabbitte told the hearing: “I offered him €450 and suggest he think about it; a lot of our DJs would do other things outside work using the Highland name and thought that would help.”

Highland claimed that Mr Collins had already made his mind up to leave the station and launch a rival bid for the franchise and that Mr Lynch was part of this.

“It was clear his mind was elsewhere,” said Tim Rabbitte.

He said the station had expected a response to an offer given via Mr Collins of €450 plus a €50 fuel allowance.

“We would have considered it had he come back asking for more,” said Tim Rabbitte.

But the company didn’t get a response, he said. Instead Lynch quit.

“If Mr Collins came back with a compromise figure we would have looked at it; but he never came back – that was the point at which it perished; that was the end of it,” said Tim Rabbitte.

He said the station was in a difficult position. Revenue was down forty per cent.

He denied claims that €700,00 a year taken out of the company was for other companies or the family.

“My family have never taken a penny out of that company – this was an attempt to blacken the name of Highland radio,” said Tim Rabbitte.

“The money all went back to pay loans.”

Gerry Rabbitte repeated this in his evidence in the case.

He said they had paid too much for the station and had bank loans to pay.

He accused Mr Collins of making claims that money was taken out of Highland for other companies.

“I want to categorically deny this. This was planted out there by Mr Collins that we were taking money out of Highland to pay off another company; we were paying nothing other than the loan we took to buy Highland Radio.

“We are there seven years now and we’ve never taken a cent out. We have put hundreds of thousands of euro into the station otherwise it would have been gone,” he said.

Mr Rabbitte said he didn’t know at the time that Mr Collins was planning to launch a bid for the radio license.

“In hindsight we were very gullible at the time. Mr Collins later tried to take our business off us.”

He also refuted claims by Mr Lynch that he got a phone call from a member of staff at Highland Radio on the day his dad died asking him to leave the pool car to Buncrana for use by another DJ.

“Nobody from our company made that call and the member of staff wants an apology for that,” said Gerry Rabbitte.

Mr Lynch’s solicitor Ciaran McLaughlin responded: “It happened and I can assure you she won’t be getting one.”

Mr Rabbitte confirmed his son-in-law was no longer with Highland Radio.

Mr McLaughlin asked him if this was because of his role in this case.

Mr Rabbitte denied this, saying Mr Clancy had taken up a better paid position elsewhere.

Mr McLaughlin then asked why there had been no negotiation with Mr Lynch who had been offered €450 at that stage plus €50 diesel allowance.

“I told Mr Collins he could negotiate. A child of eight could understand that,” said Gerry Rabbitte.


HIGHLAND RADIO BOSS CLAIMS: ‘WE PUMPED CASH INTO STATION TO SAVE IT FROM CLOSURE’

Highland boss Gerry Rabbitte

NEWS

 October 7, 2015
Highland Radio
Highland Radio

HIGHLAND Radio has had hundreds of thousands of euro pumped into it to save it from closure, its owners have said.

Members of the Galway-based Rabbitte family spoke out as they gave evidence in an employment tribunal held at the Silver Tassie Hotel in Letterkenny yesterday.

Gerry Rabbitte and his son Tim both told the tribunal that claims by former manager Charlie Collins that they had taken huge amounts of cash out of Highland when staff were hit with ten per cent pay cuts were wrong.

Former DJ Steven Lynch is suing for more than €75,000 in lost income since he left the station in May 2013.

Mr Lynch has alleged that Gerry Rabbitte’s son-in-law and marketing boss John Clancy had “chipped away” at him until  he quit.

He claimed his wages were cut from an average of €611 per week to €390 after most of his advertising sales clients were taken off him in January 2013.

He also had access to a pool car stopped, increasing the cost of driving to and from his home in Carndonagh.

Mr Lynch left saying he could not support his wife and children on the €390 he received for presenting his popular afternoon show.

Yesterday however Tim Rabbitte said that while Mr Lynch was a good presenter “it was clear his sales were not good enough but I wanted him to remain as a presenter”.

Tim Rabbitte told the hearing: “I offered him €450 and suggest he think about it; a lot of our DJs would do other things outside work using the Highland name and thought that would help.”

Highland have claimed that Mr Collins had already made his mind up to leave the station and launch a rival bid for the franchise and that Mr Lynch was part of this.

“It was clear his mind was elsewhere,” said Tim Rabbitte.

He said the station had expected a response to an offer given via Mr Collins of €450 plus a €50 fuel allowance.

“We would have considered it had he come back asking for more,” said Tim Rabbitte.

But the company didn’t get a response, he said. Instead Lynch quit.

“If Mr Collins came back with a compromise figure we would have looked at it; but he never came back – that was the point at which it perished; that was the end of it,” said Tim Rabbitte.

He said the station was in a difficult position. Revenue was down forty per cent.

He denied claims that €700,00 a year taken out of the company was for other companies or the family.

“My family have never taken a penny out of that company – this was an attempt to blacken the name of Highland radio,” said Tim Rabbitte.

“The money all went back to pay loans.”

Gerry Rabbitte repeated this in his evidence in the case.

He said they had paid too much for the station and had bank loans to pay.

He accused Mr Collins of making claims that money was taken out of Highland for other companies.

“I want to categorically deny this. This was planted out there by Mr Collins that we were taking money out of Highland to pay off another company; we were paying nothing other than the loan we took to buy Highland Radio.

“We are there seven years now and we’ve never taken a cent out. We have put hundreds of thousands of euro into the station otherwise it would have been gone,” he said.

Mr Rabbitte said he didn’t know at the time that Mr Collins was planning to launch a bid for the radio license.

“In hindsight we were very gullible at the time. Mr Collins later tried to take our business off us.”

He also refuted claims by Mr Lynch that he got a phone call from a member of staff at Highland Radio on the day his dad died asking him to leave the pool car to Buncrana for use by another DJ.

“Nobody from our company made that call and the member of staff wants an apology for that,” said Gerry Rabbitte.

Mr Lynch’s solicitor Ciaran McLaughlin responded: “It happened and I can assure you she won’t be getting one.”

Mr Rabbitte confirmed his son-in-law was no longer with Highland Radio.

Mr McLaughlin asked him if this was because of his role in this case.

Mr Rabbitte denied this, saying Mr Clancy had taken up a better paid position elsewhere.

Mr McLaughlin then asked why there had been no negotiation with Mr Lynch who had been offered €450 at that stage plus €50 diesel allowance.

“I told Mr Collins he could negotiate. A child of eight could understand that,” said Gerry Rabbitte.

A decision of the tribunal is expected in six to eight weeks.

Gerry Rabbitte
Gerry Rabbitte

FORMER HIGHLAND RADIO BOSS DENIES HARASSING PRESENTER

NEWS

 July 9, 2015

The former advertising and marketing manager at Highland Radio has denied that he pressurised or harassed a DJ at the station.

Highland Radio
Highland Radio

John Clancy was giving evidence on the second day of a case of constructive dismissal taken by former afternoon show presenter Stephen Lynch.

Mr Lynch, had earlier claimed at the Employment Appeals Tribunal in the Silver Tassie Hotel in Letterkenny, that he was put under significant pressure in his job weeks before his father’s death in October, 2012.

As well as having the use of a company car taken from him, Mr Lynch, a father-of-three from Carndonagh, said his list of advertising clients was reduced from 29 to 15.

He said he had been left with no option but to resign after his wage had been cut from €611 to €390.

However, Mr Clancy, the son-in-law of Highland radio owner Gerry Rabbitte who joined the station in 2012, completely denied all claims made against him by Mr Lynch.

He said he repeatedly tried to encourage Mr Lynch to improve his sales performance and offered him several ideas and ways of looking after his clients on the Inishowen Peninsula.

He said the station’s Inishowen sales, of which Mr Lynch was in charge of, were in “cardiac arrest” and needed to be addressed.

One included the idea of Mr Lynch taking off two weeks from his afternoon radio show to concentrate on improving his relationships with his existing clients and building new clients but he refused claiming his show would suffer.

He also said an idea of having an outside broadcast featuring the station’s most popular presenter Shaun Doherty for two weeks in Inishowen was also rejected by Mr Lynch.

On another occasion he picked up the local newspaper in Inishowen and went through all the adverts in the paper from businesses which did not advertise with Highland.

He then suggested to Mr Lynch that they were potential sales which could be followed up on.

Mr Clancy said that despite trying repeatedly to address the issue of falling sales, Mr Lynch would not return his emails for a number of days.

He said his job was to drive the sales team and that in 2012, when other radio stations were dropping revenue by 9%, Highland had actually increased their sales by 8.5%.

“That was unheard of,” said Mr Clancy.

When he heard that Mr Lynch’s father was seriously ill, he completely backed off Mr Lynch.

He added that if he realised how ill Mr Lynch’s father was then he would have suggested he take a six month sabbatical.

And he denied earlier claims that he had a path worn to Mr Lynch’s door.

“I was trying to help him out. I was trying to create a bit of a buzz. All radio stations were finding it difficult but I was offering to help Stephen,” he said.

Mr Clancy also claimed that Mr Lynch would telephone other staff members to see if he was about and would leave directly for home instead of having to met with him.

The tribunal heard the only employment contract between Highland and Mr Lynch was a handwritten piece of paper.

Mr Clancy said he was not aware of the terms of Mr Lynch’s work contract.

The tribunal also heard how the board finally decided to take the use of the company car from Mr Lynch.

It also heard how there was a confrontation between station manager Mr Charlie Collins and Mr Clancy when the sales manager reduced the car pool from three cars down to two.

Mr Collins then warned Mr Clancy not to go over his head again, the tribunal heard.

Solicitor for Mr Lynch, Mr Ciaran Mac Lochlainn asked Mr Clancy if he used the pool car after it was taken from his client.

He said he might use it once a week at most saying he had his own car.

He added that he felt the cars were not being used properly and then introduced a log-book system so it could be recorded who was using the cars and at what times.

Programme manager at the station Ms Linda McGroarty also gave evidence and refuted earlier claims by Mr Lynch that it was she who asked him to return his company car when he could not come into work during an outside broadcast in Buncrana.

Ms McGroarty said she was very friendly with Mr Lynch and all the presenters but that he must have been mistaken.

She said she had no recollection of any such conversation and that her first concern was for Stephen and the second was that she had to organise a presenter to fill in for him that afternoon.

She told the tribunal “With respect I would not have done that (asked for him to leave the car back) as cars mean nothing to me. It would not have been something I would have said. I never mentioned car to Stephen.”

The case was adjourned until October 6th next when it is expected to hear from Highland owner Gerry Rabbitte and his son Tim.


EX-HIGHLAND DJ DENIES CONSPIRACY THEORY OVER QUITTING STATION

Former Highland Radio DJ Steven Lynch.

NEWS

 July 8, 2015

steven lynchA FORMER DJ on Highland Radio has denied claims he quit the station because he was involved in a rival bid for the license for north Donegal.

Carndonagh man Stephen Lynch is taking a constructive dismissal case against the radio station over the circumstances of losing his job in May 2013.

Mr Lynch was giving evidence yesterday at the hearing at the Silver Tassie Hotel in Letterkenny at an Employment Appeals Tribunal.

He told how he was left devastated when his role as an advertising sales rep – which was used to supplement his income – was put under pressure in the weeks before his father died in October 2012.

The father of three told the tribunal panel that he had been involved in radio since the age of 12, working on pirate stations before landing a role on Highland in 2004.

He had reached an agreement with then manager Charlie Collins to sell advertising in Inishowen in the mornings, for which he was paid commission, before taking up his afternoon show.

However he said the atmosphere at Highland changed significantly when it was bought by the Galway-based Rabbitte family in 2008.

A 10 per cent pay cut followed as the recession kicked in.

Pressure grew on sales staff to deliver more revenue, but in the middle of 2012 his father had a relapse in his battle with cancer.

Mr Lynch said Mr Collins was very understanding of the situation. The Carndonagh man said that as his father got worse, he would spend the mornings helping his mother and his father before driving to the station in Letterkenny to do his show.

He would return to Carn to help them in the afternoons.

He accepted his advertising sales in 2012 – at €70,000 – was down from €79,000 the previous year.

However he said ad sales manager John Clancy – son-in-law of owner Gerry Rabbitte – didn’t understand the market.

He said Inishowen was being hit hard by the downturn with the building trade gone and this was having a serious affect on the rest of the economy.

At one meeting he was asked to chase advertisers from 2009 but Mr Lynch said at least eight of them had closed.

“He (Mr Clancy) was chipping and chipping away at me and I finally broke,” said Mr Lynch.

When his father died on October 11, 2012, he alleged one of the station production staff Linda McGroarty had asked him to drive his pool car to Buncrana so it could be used by Oisin Kelly. Mr Lynch’s wife Helena had been delivered the car instead.

He said he was given a week’s annual leave but a week after returning Mr Collins had met him to tell him the station was planning to take his pool car off him – which he used Monday to Friday for sales work and travelling to the station. This was implemented in January 2015 when Mr Clancy reduced his advertising client list from 60 to 70 to just 15.

This, he claimed, severely curtailed his ability to earn commission to supplement his €390 DJ wages.

He quit the station in April, formally resigning on May 3.

He said he had asked for a pay rise for his DJ work but was offered just €50 extra which wasn’t enough.

“The wages they left me with wasn’t enough after they stripped away my sales,” said Mr Lynch.

“I could not make ends meet. I was driving a 1997 car; the amount of money on fuel was high. I couldn’t make ends meet. I loved the show – it was going well and was successful but I had no choice but to go and they knew it.

“John Clancy had an issue with me and I knew that,” he alleged in his evidence.

“It was a choice between Highland and a roof over my head and I chose the roof over my head for my family. There was no way I could pay all my bills and drive 85 miles a day on that wage.

“I had many sleepless nights over Highland and worring about what was going to happen. My wife Helena is very supportive and a great listener which was just as well as I did a lot of complaining at the time.

“I would never had taken on a mortgage if I had known this was going to happen. I felt I was well liked at Highland. I got on with them all – they are a good bunch. I neer thought I would be sitting here today chatting about Highland Radio in a negative light.”

He said he spent the next months applying for jobs but with no success. He had considered moving to England and applied – but was rejected – for positions with British Airways and Virgin Media.

He did eventually get part-time work at the surgery in Carndonagh – where he had left a full time job to join Highland.

Solicitor for Highland Radio Alistair Purdy put it to Mr Lynch that the timing of his resignation was no coincidence.

Mr Lynch, he said, had left formally on May 3 and Mr Collins left a month later and both men had appeared in a radio licence application at the end of September.

But Mr Lynch’s solicitor Ciaran Mac Lochlainn interjected: “This serves a purpose to label this as a conspiracy theory. It’s not.”

For his part Mr Lynch said: “I was out of work and if there was a chance of work I would have been there (at the proposed new station).”

He said he was unaware of Mr Collins’ role in the license bid application until June.

Earlier Mr Collins said Mr Lynch was the second most popular presenter on Highland, filling all his advertising slots.

“And there was never any bother getting sponsorship for it,” said Mr Collins.

He said the loss of advertising revenue left Mr Lynch on just €390 a week. The station had offered an extra €50 – some way short of Mr Lynch’s average earnings, including ad commission, of €611 per week.

 


LOCAL JOURNALIST REACHES SETTLEMENT WITH CLLR McBREARTY AND HIGHLAND RADIO

Journalist CJ McGinley with sons Patrick and Shaun outside the High Court in Dublin today.

NEWS

 June 25, 2015
Journalist CJ McGinley with sons Patrick and Shaun outside the High Court in Dublin today.
Journalist CJ McGinley with sons Patrick and Shaun outside the High Court in Dublin today.

A leading local newspaper reporter has settled his legal action with county councillor Frank McBrearty Jnr and Highland Radio.

Charlie Joe McGinley of the Donegal News issued High Court legal proceedings which were heard today.

Mr McGinley had claimed that during an interview on Highland Radio, Cllr McBrearty had described him as a liar who had engaged in dirty journalism.

This was emphatically denied by the journalist.

Highland Radio had earlier reached a settlement with Mr McGinley arising out of the issue.

And today, Cllr McBrearty apologised for the claims which he made during an interview on the Shaun Doherty Show on October 29th, 2010.

Mr McGinley told Donegal Daily “I feel vindicated that my good name and reputation has been restored – that’s all I ever wanted.

“This has been a very distressing time for myself and my family and I just want to put it behind me now.”

When contacted by Donegal Daily, Cllr McBrearty declined to comment.

 


HIGHLAND RADIO PRESENTER CLAIMS STATION BOSSES FORCED HIM TO LEAVE

Former Higland Radio presenter Steven Lynch leaving the tribunal yesterday. Pic by Northwest Newspix.

NEWS

 April 18, 2015

A former Highland Radio DJ claims he was constructively dismissed from the station after the use of a company car and a sales position were taken from him.

Former Higland Radio presenter Steven Lynch leaving the tribunal yesterday. Pic by Northwest Newspix.
Former Higland Radio presenter Steven Lynch leaving the tribunal yesterday. Pic by Northwest Newspix.

Steven Lynch was the second most popular radio host on Highland after presenting the lunchtime show for many years.

However an Employment Appeals Tribunal heard claims yesterday that he was forced to leave his position because it made no financial sense to remain.

The tribunal, held at the Silver Tassie Hotel, heard how Mr Lynch, 37, had been employed by the station since 2004 until before he left in May 2013.

Mr Lynch, of Strath, Carndonagh, had worked at a doctor’s surgery until being head-hunted to join the station after he had been heard presenting a show on another local station.

He quickly became a popular presenter on its afternoon show and his show’s listenership was second only to the flagship Shaun Doherty Morning Show.

He earned a basic wage of €394 for presenting his show but also had the use of a company car from Monday until Friday and was also on 20% of any adverts he sold to a list of between 40 and 50 clients.

The car was one of a pool of three cars which were sponsored by Inishowen Motors in return for €10,000 worth of advertising on the station each year.

Station manager Mr Charlie Collins also used a car as well as the sports-team at the weekend.

When the company was sold to the Rabbitt family in 2008, a series of cost-cutting measures were introduced.

Former station manager Collins told the tribunal that the business had turnover of €2.5 million with a profit of €750,000 at the time.

However, despite a turnover of €2 million in 2009, this was the year the recession started to bite and staff were asked to take a 10% pay cut.

Mr Collins said he thought this was excessive as the station was still in a very healthy state.

He added that during 2009, the company paid more than €700,000 in bank debt as well as €100,000 to agents for the sale of the station.

Local auditors were also replaced by outside agencies leading to another substantial cost.

In his evidence, former station manager Collins told how marketing manager John Clancy, who joined the company in 2012, was constantly raising the issue of Mr Lynch and how he had become “obsessed” with him.

His client base on the Inishowen peninsula was eventually reduced to 15 and the use of the company car was taken from him and taken over by Mr Clancy.

“The car was also taken off him. That decision was made because Mr Clancy who felt we were not getting value and it did not make sense to supply him with a car. At every meeting it seemed that he was obsessed with Steven and he would say it was not god enough. This went on and on and he decided to take it off him. I think it would be fair to say that he targeted him,” said Mr Collins.

Mr Collins said he told the radio presenter to go and spend time with his father who was dying at the time saying “Highland Radio will still be here when you get back.”

The tribunal was told that Mr Lynch was looking for an extra €200 to compensate him for the loss of both the car and his position within sales.

Mr Collins took this to the board but they rejected it.

Solicitor for Mr Lynch, Ciaran McLaughlin, asked Mr Collins if he would have paid his client the money.

“I felt we should negotiate with him but the board felt it was too much. I would have paid him close to it as I felt the show was so important to station,” added Mr Collins.

Solicitor McLaughlin said his client estimated he was at a loss of €67,294 since leaving the station in May 2013.

The tribunal was told that Mr Lynch was immediately replaced by another presenter Gary Gamble who was still employed at the station.

The tribunal will continue on July 7th next.


HIGHLAND LOSES ‘MOST POPULAR STATION’ TITLE TO MIDWEST RADIO

midwest

NEWS

 November 11, 2014

midwestMidwest Radio is now the most popular local radio station in Ireland, the station has said today.

“The latest JNLR figures reveal that for the first time in our 25-year history, Midwest Radio has surpassed all other stations – including Highland Radio in Donegal – to claim the top rating,” said Midwest Radio’s Managing Director Paul Claffey.

“Midwest Radio’s listenership is now at 62% during weekdays, while our market share has increased to 60% – which relates to the amount of time people stay listening to the station.

“We are delighted to claim the number one spot during the station’s 25th anniversary year.”

 


BREAKING NEWS: HIGHLAND RADIO TO KEEP BROADCASTING FOR ANOTHER 10 YEARS

Charlie Collins

NEWS

 June 23, 2014
Ten more years: Highland Radio managing director Shaun Doherty.
Ten more years: Highland Radio managing director Shaun Doherty.

BREAKING NEWS: HIGHLAND Radio is to stay on air for another decade after winning its Broadcasting License for north Donegal despite a rival consortium bid headed by its former station manager.

It follows a ruling from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland after an expensive bidding process.

Former Highland stalwart Charlie Collins had led a consortium hoping to launch DLFM.

Both sides in the bidding war had submitted lengthy applications for the license.

A full public hearing was also held at a Letterkenny hotel with both Charlie Collins and Highland Radio’s managing director Shaun Doherty making passionate presentations on why they should win the 10-year license.

A large crowd had heard both Highland Radio and DLFM present the reasons why they both thought they should win the radio license for the North Donegal area.

Today the BAI Contract Awards Committee voted by a majority to let Highland stay on air.

 


DECISION ON DONEGAL RADIO LICENSE EXPECTED ON MONDAY

NEWS

 June 21, 2014

The nerves are tingling between the two consortiums bidding for the North Donegal radio license.radio

The license is, of course, held by Highland Radio which has the biggest local listenership across Ireland.

But they are now under pressure by DLFM, a consortium fronted by former Highland boss Charlie Collins.

It is now expected that an announcement on the license will be made on Monday.

Both sides presented their pitch at the Radisson Hotel earlier this year.

But there is no indication from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland as to how the license will go.

 


HIGHLAND AGREE TO ‘FIXED FEE’ FOR NEW BINGO GAME WITH DONEGAL HOSPICE

Chairman of the Donegal Hospice, Dr James McDaid.

NEWS

 June 9, 2014

Chairman of the Donegal Hospice Dr James McDaid has said Highland Radio will now only get a fixed fee from a new fundraising venture between the two parties.

Chairman of the Donegal Hospice, Dr James McDaid.
Chairman of the Donegal Hospice, Dr James McDaid.

Chairman of the Hospice, Dr McDaid, today gave evidence in court as he applied for a license for a new bingo game.

Dr McDaid revealed that the local radio station will now get a fixed fee for the game which will not exceed 40%.

The well-known local GP said there had been previous controversy when Highland had an agreement with Rehab.

He said local people were concerned that money being raised locally was not being spent locally.

He said the Hospice committee had met with Highland and had come to an agreement.

Under the new agreement Highland will get a fixed fee which will not exceed 40% of the first 1,600 bingo books sold.

However, he said the Donegal Hospice now hoped to increase the sale of bingo books from 1,600 to 2,500.

Dr McDaid also referred to the fact that the Hospice was in “dire need” of financial assistance.

Highland ended their association with Rehab on May 2nd.

The radio station had applied to the Letterkenny District Court for a bingo license several weeks ago, with the station saying it wanted to earn €52,000-a-year profits from “running costs” and giving the rest to the Donegal Hospice.

Judge Paul Kelly had asked radio station director Hazel Russell at a previous hearing to provide a break-down of its proposed figures.

He also told her that no more than 40 per cent of cash generated could be spent on administration.

Ms Russell revealed the station would charge €25 every time bingo numbers were read out, and this happened eight times per day. This would amount to €1,000 per week – or €52,000 per annum – as bingo was played five times per week.

But Ms Russell later returned to the same court to say the license application was being withdrawn.

At today’s court sitting, Judge Paul Kelly granted the new license and wished Dr McDaid and the Donegal Hospice the best of luck with the new venture.

 


LAST CALL FOR HIGHLAND RADIO BINGO

NEWS

 May 1, 2014
Last call: Highland
Last call: Highland

HIGHLAND Radio is axing its bingo game, the station has announced.

In a statement yesterday the Letterkenny-based station says it is dropping its long-running Rehab Radio Bingo.

“Friday 2nd May 2014 is the last day of Rehab Bingo on Highland Radio,” said the station.

“However, we are in the process of preparing a new Bingo venture with a local charity in the coming weeks.”

The north Donegal radio station had applied to the Letterkenny District Court for a bingo license several weeks ago, with the station saying it wanted to earn €52,000-a-year profits from “running costs” and giving the rest to the Donegal Hospice.

Judge Paul Kelly had asked radio station director Hazel Russell at a previous hearing to provide a break-down of its proposed figures, telling her that no more than 40 per cent of cash generated could be spent on administration.

Ms Russell told the court that the station would charge €25 every time bingo numbers were read out, and this happened eight times per day. This would amount to €1,000 per week – or €52,000 per annum – as bingo was played five times per week.

But Ms Russell later returned to the same court to say the license application was being withdrawn.

Ms Russell did not give an explanation for Highland’s decision to stay with Rehab at the time, but it now appears the company has changed its mind again.

It will now have to re-submit its application to the courts.

No-one from Rehab was available for comment last night.

 


BREAKING NEWS: MICHAEL O’LEARY’S DONEGAL RADIO STATION BID AXED

NEWS

 April 1, 2014
Wants to go on air - O'Leary
Off air – O’Leary

BREAKING NEWS: A bid by Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary to win the radio license to broadcast to north Donegal has been axed…

It was, of course, an April Fool.

Some of you realised that.

We think the gold miner from Carndonagh was the giveaway? Or the heavy metal loving granny from Ardara?

http://www.donegaldaily.com/2014/04/01/shock-last-minute-bid-for-donegal-radio-license-from-ryanair-boss/

 

 


HIGHLAND RADIO’S CAR SHOW ‘DID NOT BREACH RULES’

NEWS

 

highlandradioTHE Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has dismissed speculation that Highland Radio had breached its rules when the station parked two cars outside the venue for yesterday’s oral hearing.

Two cars – branded with the Highland Radio logo – were parked in the drop-off zone of the Radisson Hotel in Letterkenny on Monday.

The zone is close to the front door of the premises and the cars remained parked there whilst the BAI took oral evidence from both Highland Radio and rivals DLFM.

Under BAI rules, companies bidding for radio franchises are banned from displaying logos and branding at venues for oral hearings.

However the BAI said that Highland Radio was not in breach of the letter of the regulations as the cars were parked outside the venue.

We understand a decision on who should get the 10-year franchise will be taken at the end of May or early June.

The new license to broadcast runs for ten years from this September.

 


BOTH SIDES PRESENT THEIR CASES IN BATTLE FOR DONEGAL AIRWAVES

The audience gathers to hear both Highland and DLFM battle it out today. Picture by Brian McDaid.

NEWS

 March 31, 2014
The audience gathers to hear both Highland and DLFM battle it out today. Picture by Brian McDaid.
The audience gathers to hear both Highland and DLFM battle it out today. Picture by Brian McDaid.

A large crowd has heard both Highland Radio and DLFM present the reasons why they both think they should win the radio license for the North Donegal area.

Movers and shakers from across Donegal and further afield heard both sides present their cases to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland at the Radisson Hotel in Letterkenny.

Highland were up first and their presentation panel included Shaun Doherty, Lee Gooch and Linda McGroarty.

Managing Director Shaun Doherty assured those present that despite their huge success to date, they will not sit still.

“While Highland is proud of its 24 years of leadership in broadcasting we are not standing still.

The Highland team are delighted with how things went today. Pic by Brian McDaid.
The Highland team are delighted with how things went today. Pic by Brian McDaid.

“We remain fresh, relevant, exciting and dynamic with our listeners always at the heart of every decision we make,” he said.

Highland’s financial controller Hazel Russell has said management have given a commitment of €2.5 million of investment in the expansion of the station.

She added that due to the downturn meant that she did not envisage staffing levels will increase in the immediate future.

Owner Gerry Rabbit called Highland a gem and gave a commitment going forward to expanding the station.

After a series of questions by the BAI, the Highland presentation received a huge round of applause.

DLFM, led by former Highland boss Charlie Collins were next up and didn’t pull any punches.

Charlie Collins of DLFM has promised more female presenters and not a "snoozy' afternoon. Pic by Brian McDaid.
Charlie Collins of DLFM has promised more female presenters and not a “snoozy’ afternoon. Pic by Brian McDaid.

He claimed his consortium’s application, if selected, will “not ignore female presenters between 7am and 7pm” and will also not go into “snooze mode” in the afternoon.

He added that DLFM will invest €1 million and also create 60 new jobs if chosen by the BAI with their catchline “Listeners first, local first.”

Among the other DLFM delegates included Lisa Burkett, Paddy Simpson and Damian Blake.

Financial controller Damian Blake stressed that DLFM are debt free and investors will not take a return for at least three years.

CEO Paddy Simpson said the new proposed station will be the “people’s station.”

“Listeners first, local first is our is our promise and it is one which we will keep.

“DLFM will ensure our listeners’ views and opinions are represented, informed an entertained by local news and current affairs programmes as well as programmes for special interest groups,” he said.

The BAI also asked questions in relation to music policy and promotion of Irish talent.

DLFM also received a huge round of applause following their presentation.

The BAI will now assess both applications and oral presentations and will make their decision in the coming weeks.

The revised radio license will become operation across North Donegal in September.


HIGHLAND RADIO AND DLFM BATTLE IT OUT FOR RADIO LICENSE TODAY

radio

NEWS

 

Today is D-day for the two applicants competing for the radio license for the North Donegal franchise area.

Highland and DLFM go head-to-head today.
Highland and DLFM go head-to-head today.

Both sides, Highland Radio and the new applicant DLFM, will make their pitches to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) in Letterkenny’s Radisson Hotel at 10.30am.

The presentations are completely open to any members of the public who wish to attend.

The showdown will see former Highland Radio boss Charlie Collins, now part of the DLFM consortium, come face-to-face with his former employers.

The oral presentation will be conducted by the Contract Awards Committee, a statutory committee of the BAI which has responsibility for the assessment of any applications received in a licensing process.

The purpose of the oral presentations is to provide each applicant with the opportunity to make a presentation to the Contract Awards Committee.

The presentations, which will both last fifteen minutes, will be based on the application already submitted by both Highland and DLFM.

After their presentations, both sides will have to answer any questions or clarify any matters if asked by the Contracts Awards Committee.

Following completion of the oral presentation process, the Contract Awards Committee will then assess and score both applications received.

Once assessment and scoring is completed, a recommendation will be made for the award of the license to the Authority of the BAI.

It is expected that an announcement will be made on the awarding of the license in the coming weeks.

 


HIGHLAND RADIO IN DRAMATIC U-TURN OVER REHAB BINGO

NEWS

 March 1, 2014
Highland: Hoped to make €1,000 per week from proposal
Highland: Hoped to make €1,000 per week from proposal

HIGHLAND Radio has dropped its bid to ditch the charity Rehab from its radio bingo slot.

The north Donegal radio station had applied to the Letterkenny District Court for a bingo license, with the station keeping €52,000-a-year “running costs” and giving the rest to the Donegal Hospice.

Judge Paul Kelly had asked radio station director Hazel Russell at a previous hearing to provide a break-down of its proposed figures, telling her that no more than 40 per cent of cash generated could be spent on administration.

Ms Russell told the court that the station would charge €25 every time bingo numbers were read out, and this happened eight times per day. This would amount to €1,000 per week – or €52,000 per annum – as bingo was played five times per week.

But this week Ms Russell returned to the same court.

When the case was called, she told Judge Kelly: “We’d like to withdraw that application.”

Ms Russell did not give an explanation for Highland’s decision to stay with Rehab.

 


JUDGE ADJOURNS HIGHLAND BINGO BID TO SEEK CLARIFICATION OF COSTS

Highland Radio

NEWS

 February 10, 2014

highlandradioA JUDGE has adjourned a bid by Highland Radio for a new bingo license which will see the station end its partnership with the charity Rehab.

Letterkenny District Court heard the station wants to form a new partnership which would see some of the money from a new on-air game go to the Donegal Hospice instead.

Highland Radio would earn €52,000 per year from the joint venture, Judge Paul Kelly was told by Hazel Russell from the station.

Ms Russell told the court that the station would charge €25 every time bingo numbers were read out, and this happened eight times per day. This would amount to €1,000 per week as bingo was played five times per week.

She said that due to the recession current bingo book sales have been “diminishing” and she felt that partnership with a local charity may increase this again.

Ms Russell told Judge Kelly that a new company would be established to run the bingo game. This would have charitable status.

The current bingo license, she said, was owned by Rehab, and the new company wanted to take it over from April.

Judge Kelly said however that he needed a reassurance that no more than 40% of the money raised from the bingo could be spent on administration.

“I need some more clarity to see how this is going to work,” said the judge.

He adjourned the application, asking Highland Radio to provide a breakdown on how much money would actually go to the Donegal Hospice after the costs of reading out the bingo numbers and printing and distributing bingo books were added up.

 


HIGHLAND TOPS LATEST RADIO SURVEY

NEWS

 January 31, 2014

The country’s only official survey of listeners to radio in Ireland has delivered great news for Highland Radio.

Highland Radio managing director Shaun Doherty.
Highland Radio managing director Shaun Doherty.

The latest JNLR/MRBI survey shows that Highland Radio has retained its position as Ireland’s No1 most listened to local radio station in Ireland.

The station has recorded a weekday increase in Market Share and a double digit increase in listeners at the weekend.

Highland Radio’s Managing Director Shaun Doherty said ‘We are delighted at these results as it effectively means thousands more radio listeners chose Highland Radio since the last set of figures were released. I am particularly pleased for our weekend team which delivered a massive increase in listeners.

“Our listeners remain the most loyal in the country and survey after survey choose Highland and that’s what drives us as a very close team to provide a service the listeners want.

“And while the figures cover Donegal, I want to give a mention to give our many thousands in Derry and Tyrone and all those listening online on our website or APP for their continuing loyalty.

“Finally, a big thank you to all our advertisers and many staff for making it all possible.”

 


BATTLE FOR DONEGAL RADIO LICENSE TO BE HEARD IN MARCH, 2014

NEWS

 December 19, 2013

The battle for the Donegal North radio license is set for a showdown in March of next year.radio

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has decided that the decision will now go to an oral hearing.

This means that both Highland Radio and the DLFM consortium, led by Charlie Collins, will have to make presentations to the BAI.

It is understood the process could be held in public.

The presentations and questions will be based on the submissions made to the BAI by both Highland and DLFM earlier this year.

Both parties will be allowed to make their presentations and will also be asked to take supplementary questions.

A decision on who will get the license will then be made.

A statement issued by Donegal Highland Radio Ltd said it accepts the decision by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland for an oral hearing into the application for a ten-year sound broadcasting licence for the North Donegal franchise.

“We look forward to the opportunity to demonstrate to the BAI Awards Committee how Highland Radio will continue to serve the people of North Donegal with the same pride, professionalism and passion that they enjoy and expect from us.

“Since change of ownership in 2008, Highland Radio has increased market share and listenership while diversifying its business model to ensure profitability through the economic recession. Highland Radio looks forward to maintaining our position as Ireland’s number one local radio station and increasinginvestment in the North West.”

Meanwhile a spokesman for DLFM said it also accepts the decision of the BAI.

“We accept an welcome the decision of the BAI and look forward to the oral hearing in March.”