#WhyNotHer@whynother Ire 

(some excerpts below from the latest report)


Gender bias and a lack of diversity, be it unintentional, is a huge issue across Irish radio and in particular Regional Radio. It reaches out into every crevice of Irish society and our culture, preventing the voices of women and diversity from being heard.

All we have to do is turn the dial or switch the television on and it is predominantly men in suits, men in sporting attire, men speaking (even if it’s about women’s issues – there are no women present); it’s men everywhere.

From our previous Gender Disparity Data Reports we can see clearly that those who are given a platform to be heard on the airwaves equates to those who gain access to positions of power. The person that is heard is afforded the chance to grow in their career, craft or art, and to shape the society that we live in: is typically a white cis male.

For a country that was so ahead of the race with Marriage Equality and the Abortion Referendum, there seems to be a lot of work yet to happen until we reach one of the biggest challenges we face in this country; Gender Inequality. It is only if we work together that we will be able to shift unconscious bias and replace it with what works for us all: equality, inclusion and diversity.

It’s a real shame that there’s a muted desire to genuinely create change and represent a balanced view of Irish music and essentially the storytelling and culture of Irish people. What we have discovered is that Irish radio chooses to proactively amplify, promote and essentially employ one section of society to the detriment of another. Womxn and people of colour contribute to society just as much as white men. Plus, our music is just as good, we are just as talented, we get gigs, we get streaming, we have fans, and outside of Ireland we get radio play, but the Irish radio part of the music industry ignores us. Just as a radio listener, it gives the impression that if you aren’t a white man, you aren’t important.

As a curator, it’s one thing to fall into an unconscious habit. Once you’re aware of it and you continue, I think it means that you either don’t care about the impact that your role has in shaping national culture or you think that white men should be the authors of Irish culture with only space for footnotes by womxn or people of colour. It feels very 20th century and we’re in the 21st.

Our radio curators are hitmakers, game-changers, the editors of our national soundtracks. The Why Not Her? Collective hope that they move to consider that radio has a responsibility to promote a balanced version of Irish society that includes all its facets and flavours.


The Women Making Waves On The Radio

Irish radio stations need to get in tune with the times and give greater airplay to more female musicians, reveals a scathing report by campaigner Linda Coogan Byrne. By Lauren Murphy

You can now read the full interview with Linda Coogan Byrne, founder of Why Not Her? in the Sunday Times by clicking this link.

Irish Radio Finally Starts to Shift Towards Parity, Diversity & Inclusion

>>>Rte 2fm finally reached 50/50 Gender Parity after 9 months, following the footsteps of sister station Rte Radio 1, the only Radio Station with total parity and diversity from the get go. 

>>>Galway Bay FM & KCLRFM become the first 2 Regional Radio Stations in Ireland to have an Irish female act as #1 in their Top 20 Playlist charts. 

>>> Dublin Station SPIN 103.8 becomes the first-ever Irish radio station to play 60% Irish female acts on their heavy rotation Top 20 Airplay charts and 40% Male. 

>>> Dublin stations 98fm almost reach Gender Parity at 35% Gender Parity!

>>> TIPP FM shift from 100% all Male artists on their heavy rotation playlists to 25% female!

>>>Today FM finally include the voices of Irish women in their Top 20 heavy rotation charts, reaching 15% female artists and #1 artist in their Top 20 is Lea Heart!

This gives us so much feel-good vibes posting this! 

Nationally: Rte 2fm finally reached 50/50 Gender Parity after 9 months, following the footsteps of sister station Rte Radio 1, the only Radio Station with total parity and diversity from the get-go. The parity also has reached superb diversity with 5 songs from the bipoc community included in the Top 20.

Today FM finally include the voices of Irish women in their Top 20 heavy rotation charts, reaching 15% female artists, still a long way to go, it signals positive change towards parity and inclusion with Soule still receiving plays on her hit ‘Love Tonight’, Elaine Mai receiving support on her new song ‘No Forever’ and Lea Heart leading with her song ‘Older’.

Regionally: Well done to Galway Bay FM & KCLRFM! They’ve become Ireland’s first Regional Radio stations to have an Irish female act – Lea Heart – as their #1 most played Irish artist on heavy rotation across their playlist in 2021, shifting the spotlight away from Dermot Kennedy, Niall Horan, Picture This and Gavin James along with predominantly 85% of male acts who lead the coveted the positions for the past number of years.  TIPP FM also made the shift from 100% all Male artists on their heavy rotation playlists to 25% female! Beat FM continue to shift towards change with 40% gender parity, WLRFM who were 100% Male are now at 35% Female and iRadio are now at 30% Female.

Irish Women In Harmony graced the Top 5 and Top 10 positions last year in a groundbreaking shift towards Irish radio including the voices of domestic female acts from Ireland on their heavy rotation playlists. But this groundbreaking shift signals big changes to come for the shift towards inclusion and parity among Regional radio. 

Why Not Her? welcomes the change and shift towards parity, diversity and inclusion across Irish Radio.

Founder and leader of the campaign Linda Coogan Byrne comments: 

“It has been 9 months of phone calls, zooms and emails back and forth with Irish Radio Programme Directors, Presenters, Producers and Heads of Music and it is so wonderful to see all the conversations that have been happening back and forth leading us to this historic point in Irish Music where the female voice and the voices of the bipoc community are now being heard across the gate-keeping platform of the Irish Music Scene; Irish radio. 

I know I haven’t been looked upon as anyone’s best friend in radio, and yes I have had some blacklists, threats and unsavoury messages, but it has all been worth it. After all, the only thing we are asking for as a collective, and me as a campaigner for Gender Equality and Diversity, is that womxn/women and the bipoc community of Irish citizens get the same fair and equitable opportunities white cis men of the Irish music scene have always got.  

Thank you for beginning to see sense and realising that equality and diversity is the core of any evolving Culture and choosing to be agents of change now and for the generations of emerging artists to come. What you have done here will always be remembered and long may it last. However until we have proper legislative and policy changes this can stop and go back to 100-90% all white male artists on Irish radio, and we can not let that happen. We look forward to working with our Ministers and TD’s in order to secure this change is lasting”. 

Legendary Irish Artist Jim Fitzpatrick Gives Solidarity to WhyNotHer? Campaign in Beautiful Art Piece

Legendary Irish Artist Jim Fitzpatrick, best known for elaborately detailed work inspired by the Irish Celtic artistic tradition, has given Why Not Her? a beautiful piece of art to use for the Solidarity Campaign that is being led with the simple hashtag #WhyNotHer which aims to elevate the voices of women and female-identifying people and reach a more diverse and inclusive landscape across Irish media, broadcasting and music.

Says Jim of the campaign:

I support #WhyNotHer and the efforts to end pay and gender inequality. It is ludicrous that in so many of our media outlets including RTE, our national broadcaster, a male presenter earns much more than any female presenter, that a male reporter get paid more than his female counterpart.

This ridiculous situation is not unique to RTE but applies also to so many of our national television and radio stations- and our other media outlets. I worked in advertising in the 60 and 70s where all were paid on their talent and ability, male or female.

Time to apply this logic to all media too. It’s way overdue.

Jim Fitzpatrick
Deer Goddess, associated with forests, the doe and fawn along with the arts, she is one of the most ancient of the Celt Goddesses.

Founder of Why Not Her? Linda Coogan Byrne says:

What a stunning gesture of solidarity from one of our most celebrated and beloved artists in Ireland. Sadv, The Deer Goddess, associated with forests, the doe and fawn, is one of the most ancient of the Celt Goddesses and is also associated with the Arts, which makes this so much more symbiotic. Her symbols are late-blooming flowers, red and gold items and rings. It is our honour to be given such a beautiful piece of art for the campaign from Jim.

Linda Coogan Byrne


Editors notes on Jim:

During a period of childhood sickness, Fitzpatrick read and drew in bed, as well as his mother and great-aunt telling him stories of the Tuatha Dé DanannCú Chulainn and Fionn MacCumhaill.

Fitzpatrick’s earliest work was the graphic portrait of Che Guevara, which was based on the photograph by Alberto Korda, entitled Guerrillero Heroico, was taken on 5 March 1960. Fitzpatrick met Guevara 5 years earlier in Kilkee  during Guevara’s visit to trace his Irish ancestry.  Having initially tried to distribute the poster himself, Fitzpatrick chose to remove copyright from the image so that is could be used freely by left wing groups, stating that “I literally wanted it to breed like rabbits. I wanted it to spread.”

In 1978, he wrote and illustrated a book called The Book of Conquests, the retelling of a cycle of Irish myths, the Lebor Gabála Érenn. The book is a retelling of the legends of the coming of the Tuatha dé Dannan to Ireland and their fight with the Fir Bolg. The illustrations include intricate Celtic scroll work and knotwork, for which Fitzpatrick has become known. A second book, The Silver Arm, is based on the deeds of Nuada of the Silver Arm and Lugh in their fight with the Formor.

Fitzpatrick has produced artwork for bands such as Thin Lizzy including their Jailbreak album in 1976, for Sinéad O’Connor‘s 2000 album Faith and Courage, for The Darkness‘ 2003 single “Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)“, Norwegian black metal band Darkthrone‘s 2013 album cover The Underground Resistance, and took the photograph for the cover of Louise Patricia Crane‘s 2020 album Deep Blue. He was commissioned by CityJet in 2007 to create images reflecting Ireland’s culture, mythology, history and landscapes.

An Invitation to Action Plan for Radio

Invitation to Action Plan 2021: WNH? by WhyNotHer?

‘Led by music industry consultant Linda Coogan Byrne, global development executive Bernadette Sexton, and researcher and academic Dr Brenda Donohue, Why Not Her has now launched an action plan for Irish radio stations to implement in order to tackle the inequality.

Audiences want to hear more womxn on the radio, and artists want and need it too.

Irish radio stations now have an “exciting opportunity to become a global leader” by playing more high-quality music by womxn, and by including more diversity across their playlists.

In order to do so, radio organisations need to commit to equal representation on air, regular reporting of reliable data with measurable targets, and a commitment to be leaders and champions of change within organisations.

We implore radio stations and broadcasters to avail of the plan and incorporate it into their every day, committing to change.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

Irish Times Run Exclusive on New Gender Disparity ‘6 months on’ Report

You can check out the exclusive coverage that the Irish Times published on the latest Gender Disparity Report right here:

We would like to thank the Irish Times for their continued support and being on the right side of Gender Equality.



>>> Diversity on the rise in the music scene as we go from just 1 artist of colour to 11 featured in Airplay charts across Irish Radio in the last 6 months. 

>>> National & Dublin Radio Stations lead the changes in gender parity as Regional Radio Stations lag behind…Please find a viewable link to the report

STATEMENTS: reactions attached from Game-changing Women in Music, Activism and Gender studies in Ireland on the report and its finds for use in all press circulation or for quotes in articles CAN BE FOUND HERE:

Top 100 artist on Irish radio.jpg

Please use the hashtag

The latest report findings outline the Gender Disparity that is still present on the Top 20 most played songs by Irish artists on each individual radio station in Ireland over the period of June 24th 2020 to Dec 24th 2020. It also shows the Top 5 most played songs on each station and the Artists and Songs in that Top 5 within the six month period of the report. 
The same homogenised male list that we viewed in the last report: Picture This, Gavin James, Dermot Kennedy, Wild Youth, Niall Horan and a new addition to the male echelons of the Irish scene Robert Grace dominate the Top 5 Chart positions on Radio. With only Denise Chaila & Wyvern Lingo appearing once in the Top 5 most played tracks across Irish Radio on Rte2fm. An all-female supergroup of 38 womxn: Irish Women In Harmony appear multiple times but still remain outnumbered by mostly solo-male acts.  

The findings are a staggering and shocking display of an industry model that still needs drastic changes, especially in Regional Radio. Variety and Diversity exists. 
Let us all work to embrace that. 

We would like to applaud those in National Radio and some individual stations who have made considerable strides towards a game-changing moment in Irish music history, some stations went from 0% to 20% and more. Thank you for being part of the solution: RTE 2FM, SPIN 103.8, SPIN SOUTHWEST, BEAT FM & 98FM. And for the first time in 5 years, Fm104 have increased by 10% on the inclusion of womxn on their Top 20 Airplay charts spanning the last 6 months, a small but certainly significant change towards parity.

This is not an opinion-based report. It is based on data compiled by Radio monitor. This Report is based on ‘Irish only artists’ and those whose songs are registered on Radiomonitor. Radiomonitor is the industry standard music airplay monitoring service used by all Record labels, Management companies and PR companies to evaluate the airtime allocated to artists/bands who have commercial releases in the Irish market and whose music is issued to Irish radio seeking radio airplay. You can find out more about Radiomonitor at

We at Why Not Her? ask what can be done to implement changes across Irish Radio that creates an equal opportunity playing ground for both male and female-identifying Irish acts? 
YOU can be part of the solution. Never be afraid to ask the question…WHY NOT HER?




Clash Magazine Interview with Linda Coogan Byrne “2020 Is The Year Irish Women Stood Up For Radio Equality And Representation”

Thank you so much to Cailean at Clash Magazine for including some of what our founding member Linda Coogan Byrne had to say about the historical breakthrough in the music scene in Ireland this year.

Thanks so much for the platform and highlighting what Linda had to say about this years work carried out by herself, Áine Tyrrell and our team at Why Not Her? as well as Ruthanne who did so many interviews we sent her way over the last number of months, as part of our National media campaign this year to dismantle the oppressive system that silenced womxns voices from the airwaves for far too long across Irish radio. Linda, Aine and Ruthanne did the bulk of media interviews and we want to say a huge thank you.

We are all in this together and it’s important to lift each other up. There is no I in teamwork. We all want equality, diversity & inclusion because we all deserve it.

There is no-one pitted against one another. Would also like to shine a light on FairPlé & Mise Fosta as they were indeed mentioned in the interview Linda did with Clash, as the support and connection with these two incredible collectives has been instrumental in advancing equality for Womxn in music – and covers all genres – however in the nature of interviews many parts of the interview Linda did and invaluable activists mentioned didn’t make the final edit for what was published. But we wanted to say THANK YOU AND WE ALL APPRECIATE YOU and the work countless other organisations and collectives are also working at.

It’s so important to all work together as a team and to support each other as we strive for equality and a safer industry for everyone.

It’s been my honour to have worked tirelessly this year to try advance womxns voice in radio and the music industry both in Ireland and the UK. None of it would have been possible without the support of so many people in media from journalists to radio DJs and fellow activists. Nobody at Why Not Her was paid a cent – it’s a passion and we love what we do and despite it being so hard at times battling it out with radio for justice and equality – it’s been worth it seeing the changes in the music landscape as it’s never been this way before! Much love and respect – thanks again for the opportunity and platform CLASH. ~ 🤍#womensrights#blm#diversity

Linda Coogan Byrne, Dec 2020

Read the full interview here: