RTE presenter Uaneen Fitzsimons was killed in a car accident at around 1pm this afternoon near Borris-in-Ossory in Co Laois. The accident happened when the car in which she was a passenger collided with an articulated lorry. The car’s driver, a 30 year old man, was taken to Portlaoise hospital. Uaneen was returning from a music bash in Limerick and would have travelled by train, but for a countrywide rail strike. She was 29 years old and presented ‘No Disco’ on Network Two and a late-night programme on 2FM. Her hometown was Co Down and her distinctive voice and presentation style brought pleasure to radio listeners all over the country. Uaneen was due on air on 2FM tonight at 11pm. As a tribute, the station will now broadcast concerts from her three favourite bands:- Beck (Witness), Moby (Slane) and Radiohead. There is also a book of condolences at RTE’s website – www.rte.ie. Comment: Our deepest sympathies go to friends and family.
The first in a series of commemorative events in honour of Uaneen Fitzsimons, the RTE radio and TV presenter killed in a road accident last week, will take place tomorrow night at the Temple Bar Music Centre in Dublin at 11pm.
The event will feature “The Sound In A Light Year” a film by Donal Dineen plus DJs: Johnny Moy, Donal Scannell, Billy Scurry, Hugh Scully, Glen Brady and Philip Boyle.
All proceeds will go to one of Uaneen’s favourite charities.
Following an internal competition, RTÉ Radio have announced that John McMahon has been appointed as the new Head of RTÉ 2FM. The appointment follows John Clarke’s earlier decision not to renew his contract as Head of the station. The news comes on foot of the announcement that RTÉ 2FM’s core target audience would be re-positioned in 2010 from 15-34 years to 25-44 years.
Clare Duignan, RTÉ Radio MD, said: “John McMahon is a true radiohead who migrated to RTÉ Television but is now coming home to Radio. As RTÉ 2FM faces into a challenging 2010, I am confident that John has both the skills and the vision to steer Ireland’s second most-listened-to radio station in a confident new direction. I would also like to take this opportunity to, once again, acknowledge the huge contribution by the outgoing Head John Clarke over his 11 years at the helm of RTÉ 2FM.”
John McMahon said: “After years behind the producer’s desk it’s great to now be getting behind a desk of a different sort at RTÉ 2FM. I look forward to returning to my natural home in radio and tackling the challenges ahead. RTÉ 2FM is Ireland’s most-listened-to music station. I look forward to working with the hugely talented 2FM team to build on this unquestionably solid foundation to re-shape the station for a new generation.”
38 year old John has a Post-graduate in broadcast journalism. He joined RTÉ in 1994, working in RTÉ Aertel, before becoming RTÉ’s first webmaster and launching RTÉ Online in 1996. He moved to RTÉ Radio in 1998 where over the years he worked as a series producer on RTÉ Radio 1’s ‘Today with Pat Kenny’, ‘5 7 Live’, ‘The Sunday Show’ and ‘The Vinyl Curtain’. From 2002 until 2004 he was series producer of RTÉ 2FM’s ‘Full Irish with Ryan Tubridy’. In 2004 he became Editor of Current Affairs and Daily Talk Shows on RTÉ Radio 1. John moved to RTÉ Television in 2006 when he was appointed Deputy Head of Schedule Planning. John has won several awards as a programme maker, including PPI, Justice Media and Meteor Music Awards. He will take up the post later in the year.