A Tipperary man who is one of Sydney’s best-known Irish radio veterans this week hung up his microphone at the city’s popular network 2SER FM.
Speaking this week Michael Lyons, the producer and presenter of The Sydney Irish Radio Show on Sunday mornings said he believes it is time to step down after working with the station for more than three decades. Mr Lyons, who is originally from Killenaule, has been associated with the station since its launch in 1979.
He said - “I have been working with the station for 32 years and producing it for the last 17 years, so I think it is time to move on,” he said. “You lose some of that energy after doing it for so long, and I feel that I was neglecting the show because my time is being divided between it and doing a degree in aged care. I had to make a choice between the two, and I think that at 66 years old, it is right that my studies in aged care win out.”
Throughout his years with the station, Michael had some high-profile interviewees, including one of the first radio interviews with President Mary McAleese after she was elected. “We were told that President McAleese would be able to speak with us for just 10 minutes, but she stayed chatting for close to 30 minutes, which was wonderful, ”he said.
“We were first on the scene with our live cross to Co Tyrone on the morning of the Omagh bombing, and as the Good Friday Agreement news broke we crossed live to Barry McElduff in Belfast.”
Michael added that he believes radio has become very important to the Irish living in Australia today because of the need to maintain a connection to the Irish community. “When the station started in the 1970s we had no email or Twitter, so people living in Australia needed that connection to Irishness. The internet made radio less relevant, but now with all the changes in Ireland I think people are coming back to it.”
He confirmed that fellow Irishman Barry Mack would be taking over the reins now that he has retired.