Highland Radio

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Highland Radio
Highland Radio Logo.png
Broadcast areaDonegal North
SloganIreland's No. 1 Local Radio Station
Frequency103.3 MHz (Letterkenny), 95.2 MHz (Arranmore Island), 94.7 MHz (Ballybofey), 96.9 MHz (Ardara) and 87.9 MHz (Malin) + relays, Online
First air date15 March 1990
FormatMOR, Country & Dance

Highland Radio is the local radio service for the County Donegal (North) franchise, operating under a licence from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). Headquartered at the Mountain Top in Letterkenny, the station may also be received across the border in the city of Derry and the rest of that county, as well as County Tyrone, County Fermanagh and parts of County Antrim.

Highland began broadcasting on 15 March 1990, and is currently franchised until 2024. It is currently Ireland's Number One Local Radio Station, a claim backed up by having both the highest reach figures (88% 7-day, 67% weekday) and market share (65.9%) of any local station within the Republic of Ireland. The station also ranks as the most successful local radio station in Europe.[1] Highland Radio employs 21 full-time and 40 part-time employees, and is home to Shaun Doherty, who, according to analysts, is Ireland's most popular radio presenter, and is considered an institution in the north-west.[2]

On 12 August 2012, Highland Radio received an international exclusive interview with Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt live on air from the Olympics in London.[3]


On 31 May 2005, it was announced that the station was to be purchased by Scottish Radio Holdings for €7 million. However, SRH itself was acquired by Emap 21 days later.[4] The deal was cleared by both the BCI and the Irish Competition Authority. Emap's sole changes to the station were increasing the bandwidth of their web streams from 20 kbit/s to 128 kbit/s, with no format or presenter changes.

Denis O'Brien's Communicorp was the highest bidder for Emap's Irish operations when that company decided to sell its radio stations, buying FM104, Highland Radio and Today FM on 14 July 2007.[5][6][7] In October 2007, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) approved Communicorp's proposed takeover of Today FM and Highland Radio, but not FM104.[8][9] The deal was completed by January 2008.[10] Due to a Competition Authority decision, Communicorp was required to sell-on FM104, which it did (to UTV Media) immediately upon its acquisition. O'Brien offloaded Highland Radio in mid-2008.[11][12]

Orangold, a company owned by the Rabbitt family, completed the purchase of Highland Radio from Denis O'Brien's Communicorp Group in July 2008. Gerry Rabbitt is a founder shareholder of Galway Bay FM and was managing director of Galway Bay FM for 10 years.[13]

The station launched Rehab Radio Bingo on 22 January 2009. The bingo sessions were first broadcast on 9 February 2009. Money raised goes towards supporting Rehab which works for social and economic inclusion among people with disabilities.[14]

Daytime Presenters[edit]

  • Lee Gooch
  • Greg Hughes
  • John Breslin
  • David James
  • Ivan Boreland

'Highland Radio News Team: Greg Hughes, Donal Kavanagh, Catherine Gaffney

Evening Presenters[edit]

  • Tommy Rosney
  • Marty Friel
  • Pio McCann
  • Aidan Murphy
  • Bernard Harper
  • Rory Farrell
  • Joe Deckz
  • Paul McDevitt
  • Jimmy Stafford
  • Caroline McDermott
  • Rosemary Herraghty
  • Colm Fearritear

Daytime Schedule[edit]

Time Monday-Friday
06:30 The Naughty Alarm Clock with Lee Gooch
09:00 'The Nine til Noon Show with Greg Hughes'
13:00 Highland Radio Lunchtime News
13:30 Gary Gamble in the Afternoon
15:30 Drivetime with Lee Gooch
17.30 Highland Radio Evening News
18:00 The Power Hour with Ivan Boreland

Evening Schedule[edit]

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
19:05 "Monday Night with Marty Friel "The Rosemary Herraghty Country Show" "Centre Stage" with Jimmy Stafford" "Sounds Traditional as Gaelige" with Rosemary Herraghty "Power Hour Double Play" with Ivan Boreland
20.30 "Travelling with God" "Ruaille Buaille le Colm Ferritear" "The GAA Programme" with Tom Comack The Club Classic Mashup" with Paddy Friel
21:00 "Monday Night Sessions" with Paul McDevitt "Music of the Night" with Bernard Harper "The Pio McCann Country Show" "Solid Gold" with Aidan Murphy
23:00 "The Country Show" with Tommy Rosney "Rewind" with Rory Farrell "Through Midnight" with Tommy Rosney "Country Show" with Bernard Harper "Country Show" with Tommy Rosney
01:00 The Shaun Doherty Show (Repeat) The Shaun Doherty Show (Repeat) The Shaun Doherty Show (Repeat) The Shaun Doherty Show (Repeat) The Shaun Doherty Show (Repeat)


  1. ^ Highland tops poll with inextricable link to Daniel, Irish Independent, 20 August 2003
  2. ^ Bielenberg, Kim. "The top 10 waiting in the wings". Irish Independent. 22 October 2011.
  3. ^ "Usain Bolt speaks to Myles Gallagher on Sunday Sport". Highland Radio. 12 August 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2012. Today, on Highland Radio's "Sunday Sports" show, Myles Gallagher was speaking to Ricky Simms about his athletes performances in the London Olympics, when he asked about the chances of the star sprinter visiting the county. Myles wasn't expecting what happened next…………[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Scottish to buy Highland Radio for €7m – RTÉ News
  5. ^ "Denis O'Brien's Communicorp to acquire Irish radio stations -Today FM, FM104 and Highland Radio - in €200m deal". Finfacts. 16 July 2007. Archived from the original on 1 June 2015.
  6. ^ "Emap sells radio stations to O'Brien". RTÉ News. 16 July 2007. Archived from the original on 5 March 2015.
  7. ^ "O'Brien buys Emap radio stations in €200m deal". The Irish Emigrant. 18 July 2007. Archived from the original on 1 June 2015.
  8. ^ "Blow for O'Brien's €200m radio bid". Irish Examiner. 9 October 2007. Archived from the original on 1 June 2015.
  9. ^ Beesley, Arthur (9 October 2007). "Denis O'Brien cannot buy FM104 as part of €200m deal". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 1 June 2015.
  10. ^ Hancock, Ciarán (12 January 2008). "O'Brien seals €200m deal for Emap's three Irish radio outlets". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 1 June 2015.
  11. ^ "Denis O'Brien sells Highland Radio". The Irish Emigrant. 11 May 2008. Archived from the original on 1 June 2015.
  12. ^ Hancock, Ciarán (12 January 2008). "O'Brien sells Highland Radio". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 1 June 2015.
  13. ^ "Rabbitt family completes Highland buy". RTÉ. 25 July 2008.
  14. ^ Official launch for Rehab Radio Bingo on Highland Archived 7 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine., Highland Radio, 23 January 2009

External links[edit]