Irish up in arms in Rochdale and Greater Manchester!

March 9, 2006 12:45 AM

The Irish Community in Manchester have responded with fury after it emerged that England's longest running Irish Radio Programme is being axed in a money saving measure by the BBC. The Parlour, that has been running for 22 years and has interviewed dozens of celebrity guests including Pesident of Ireland Mary McAleese, former Leader of the SDLP and Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize - Rt. Hon. John Hume, Housewife's Favourite Daniel O'Donnell and Manchester United Legend Denis Irwin.

Greater Manchester Town - Rochdale is up in arms and local MP, Paul Rowen, whose family hail from County Limerick said, "This cost-cutting exercise is wrong, the BBC has always prided themselves in being the voice of Britain. I am afraid that if The Parlour is dropped, alongside 2 other community radio shows - BBC GMR can longer claim this. If the cuts were across the board then you might understand slightly. It's not - some communities in Greater Manchester will retain their specialist shows. All we want is a level playing field!"

3 Greater Manchester MP's have signed an Early Day Motion (EDM) against axeing 'The Parlour' Paul Rowen MP (Rochdale), Mark Hunter (Stockport, Cheadle) and John Leech (Manchester Withington) have joined forces to oppose the cuts. A number of MP's from all parties have agreed to sign the Motion, designed to gained MP's support for particular issues.

Tony Hennigan, the director of Irish Promotions, Manchester based 'Young, Gifted and Green' Company from Levenshulme for over 10 years said, "The Parlour has been an integral part of the community for over 20 years and I can not believe what is happening. The show has been run by dedicated team of volunteers for all the time it has been broadcasting. We are forever indebted to the support given to us by the programme.

It was ground breaking in its time and its success has led the way in promoting the great Irish Tradition the length and breadth of the country. It has exclusively told the world of great talents like James Keegan (Principal dancer with Lord of The Dance & three times world champion), successful musical exports like Dezi Donnelly (RTE Musician of the Year), Michael McGoldrick (BBC Folk Musdician of the Year) and John-Joe Kelly (BBC Award winner). If my memory serves me correctly they were the first radio show to predict that Irish-Descent Comedian Peter Kay would be a force to be reckoned with in comedy!"