‘Radioactive’ – A Four Month Review of Irish Radio Playlisting

We can finally reveal the update on Nationwide radio support within Irish Radio since the publishing of the Gender Disparity Radio Data Report.

This report update covers the last 4 months – from June 24th 2020 to Oct 24th 2020.

In late June, while Ireland was gearing up to return to some semblance of normality, many people were hoping that the pandemic would remain the major news story of the year. This wasn’t to be the case, as we have seen with the recent upsurge in human rights, domestic abuse, and racism concerns. Issues of inequality have come once again to the forefront of our collective conscience.

The Gender Disparity Data Radio Report released on June 24th, gained the attention of many major publications and ultimately reached over 20 million people, trended 5 times across social media and moved over to the UK where Womxn In CTRL and Linda Coogan Byrne carried out a UK Radio report that has been viewed and shared to over 40 million audience reach, starting a National movement towards Gender Parity on the airwaves in the UK & Ireland in the Summer of 2020.

If the appetite for such a study could have been doubted before, it certainly cannot now. 

The analysis of airplay in the Irish report showed a dramatic disparity between the broadcast of male and female-identifying Irish artists in the Top 20 most played songs by Irish artists in Ireland from June 2019 to June 2020.

Four stations, FM 104, LMFM, WLR FM and South East Radio, had no female artists whatsoever in their Top 20 in an entire year. Of the remaining stations that did feature a female artist, most had just one woman in the Top 20. Womxn accounted for only 8% of the top 20 most played Irish artists across 27 music-oriented radio stations in the past year. The most played female act was also the only black artist featured in the entire report: Soulé. Yet her white male counterpart Dermot Kennedy received 80% more airtime that she did.    

Those with the power in radio stations have been asked a simple question: what can be done to implement change across Irish Radio? Change that creates a level playing field for both male and female acts.

In the months since the report was published, we have seen a considerable groundbreaking rise in Irish radio playing Irish Womxn on air. The landscape of Irish music has considerably shifted. But how much?

Let’s take a look….

Read below for the full update and percentages of airtime across Irish radio.

We have seen some significant historic moves from Irish radio in their support of domestic female acts and we applaud this!

Denise Chaila

Across National radio we see:

RTe Radio 1 are still the leaders on Irish radio at 50/50 split of Gender Parity! Well done!

Let’s move on to the others….

Irish Womxn being played on RTE 2FM is up by 35% to 45% ! And the increase of plays by the National broadcaster has truly seen a huge change for womxn in music across the country. The 6 womxn featured on heavy rotation include: Denise Chaila, Fia Moon (x 2 songs) , Wyvern Lingo (x 2 songs), Irish Women In Harmony, Soule, Aimee & Laoise

Irish Womxn being played on Today FM is up by just 5% to 10% with Irish Women In harmony and Soule being the only 2 womxn played on the stations Top 20. They never got back to us when questioned about their lack of support and our request for them to do better.

On the Dublin Stations we see:

Irish Womxn being played on SPIN 1038 was originally only 5% and is now up by 35% to 40%!!! Irish Women In Harmony, Kehli, Jessica Hammond, Tara Walsh, FiCat, Gemma Bradley, Ruthanne & Aimee being the female additions to their Top 20 heavily playlisted.


Irish Womxn being played on 98FM is up by 10% to 20% – they have played 4 womxn over the last 4 months on their heavy rotation playlist – Irish Women In Harmony, Aimee, Soule and Tara Walsh.

FM104, for the first time in a 5 year period, have 2 womxn on their Top 20 most played Irish acts on heavy rotation across the playlist which brings their typical 0% of Irish females on their top 20 highest played acts on their playlist to 10%, with the remaining 90% being still predominantly homogenised male acts. The two female acts being Irish Women In Harmony and Sophie Doyle Ryder.

Irish Women In Harmony

Regionally we see:

Irish Womxn being played on SPIN South West are up by 30% from 5% to 35% – playing Irish Women In Harmony, Jessica Hammon ft Marty Guilfoyle, FiCat, Kehli, Gemma Bradley, Ruthanne & Aimee.

Irish Womxn being played on Beat 102 103 was originally only 5% and is up by 25% to 30%!!! playing Irish Women in Harmony, Sophie Doyle Ryder, Aimee, Jessica Hammond ft Marty Guilfoyle, Stephanie Rainey ft John Gibbons & Denise Chaila, Sorcha Richardson & co.


Irish Womxn being played on Corks RedFM 104-106 is up 10% to 15% – they have 3 womxn on their Top 20 most played Irish acts on their heavy rotation playlist; Irish Women in Harmony, CMAT and Stephanie Rainey Ft John Gibbons.


Irish Womxn being played on Highland Radio is up 5% to 15% – they have 3 womxn on their Top 20 most played Irish acts on their heavy rotation playlist; OLivia Douglas, Una Healy & The Cranberries.


Irish Womxn being played on LMFM is up 15% to 15% (they were at 0%) they have 3 womxn on their Top 20 most played Irish acts on their heavy rotation playlist; Irish Women in Harmony, Una Healy and Sophie Doyle Ryder.

Sophie Doyle Ryder


Irish Womxn being played on Radio Kerry is up 5% to 10% they have 2 womxn on their Top 20 most played Irish acts on their heavy rotation playlist; Irish Women in Harmony and Roisin O.


Irish Womxn being played on C103 Cork is a non change at 5% – playing Irish Women In Harmony and no other female acts on their Top 20. They don’t seem to think here is an issue of gender disparity do opted not to change and be part of the solution.


Irish Womxn being played on Galway Bay FM remains at 15% with no change- playing Irish Women In Harmony, Cathy Davey & Clannad ft Bono.


Irish Womxn being played on Cork’s 96FM is up 15% to 20% playing Irish Women in Harmony, The Cranberries (x 2 songs) and Moloko


Irish Womxn being played on Limerick’s live 95fm is up 15% to 20% playing The Cranberries (x 2 songs), Sharon Shannon Ft Mundy and Sophie Doyle Ryder.


Irish Womxn being played on WLR FM are up 25% to 25% (they were at 0%) they have 4 womxn on their Top 20 most played Irish acts on their heavy rotation playlist – Irish Women in Harmony, Carrie Baxter (x 2 songs), Luz and Rachel English.


Irish Womxn being played on Shannonside FM & Northern Sound is still at 5% – Irish Women In Harmony being the only womxn on the Top 20.


iRadio are up 5 % to 20% – playing only 4 female acts on heavy rotation. – Irish Women In Harmony, Kehli, Jessica Hammon ft Marty Guilfoyle & Fia Moon.


Irish Womxn being played on Midwest radio drops 5% from 20% to 15% – The three womxn being Carmel McLoughlin, Lorraine McDonald and Brid Shaughnessy on their heavy rotation playlist.


Irish Womxn being played on Clare FM rises by 5% to 10% – playing Heathers and The Cranberries old catalogue releases.


Irish Womxn being played on Tipp FM remains at 5% – Sinead O Connor being the only womxn on the Top 20.

Irish Womxn being played on South East Radio rises 5% from 0% – Mary Black Ft Rte National Orchestra is the only woman on their Top 20.


Irish Womxn being played on EAST COAST FM remains at 5% – Sinead O Connor being the only womxn on the Top 20.


Irish Womxn being played on Midlands 103 rises 5% up to 10% – Irish Women in Harmony and Trudi Lalor ft Mick Foster being the only two womxn on the Top 20.


Irish Womxn being played on Kfm Radio Kildare is up 5% to 10% – playing Irish Women In Harmony and Sinead O Connor.


Irish Womxn being played on KCLR96FM is up 5% to 10% playing Irish Women In Harmony and Ruthanne.

Editors notes: For all future reporting: The term Womxn, used by some feminists, especially in the intersectional feminist movement, is one of several alternative spellings of the English word woman. It is used to avoid the spelling woman, and to foreground transgender, nonbinary, and women of colour.

Published by lindacooganb

I am an entertainment publicist, social media expert, activist, artist, and writer. Besides the obvious love for music, art and words; I hold great passion for gender equality, diversity, film, food, psychology, theatre, travel, health & fitness. I also have a diploma in nutrition.

%d bloggers like this: