CLOSE to a million people watched different television shows with Limerick at their focus last week.
TV3’s Breaking Crime documentary, which caused much controversy in Limerick due to a perceived negative focus, “reached 256,900 individuals” last Monday, according to a spokesperson for the station.
And an average of 380,000 viewers watched Nationwide’s programme last Wednesday on RTE One, which was entirely devoted to a review of City of Culture.
“The Nationwide programme saw an average of 380,000 viewers watch the programme in full with 527,000 viewers tuning in at some point during the show,” said a spokesperson for RTE, adding that 14,000 viewers an average watch full programme an hour later on RTE One +1.
The well received Building Ireland programme, which focussed on the construction of St John’s Cathedral, drew an average of 158,000 viewers in full on the same night as the TV3 cri me programme, with over 341,000 people tuning in at some point to the architectural documentary.
Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Kevin Sheahan, reacting to the viewing figures, said he “would like to congratulate RTE for choosing to broadcast two quality programmes about Limerick over the last week in Building Ireland, which featured stunning images of Limerick’s architecture, and Nationwide which featured a review of our wonderful City of Culture year”.
“Both programmes had more than 562,000 viewers across Ireland tuning into them at some stage so that was an incredible audience in what was a busy television week.
“Along with the success of the #Limerickandproud hashtag campaign on social media over the last few days, the positive aspects of life in Limerick have been well and truly highlighted and I hope the momentum continues to build over the weeks ahead.”
Eoin Ryan, editor of Nationwide, which broadast four episodes dedicated solely to Limerick’s year of culture at its heart last year, said that the programme has a brief to “celebrate all that is positive about Ireland and Irish life” and that “City of Culture gave us as programme makers the opportunity to celebrate with the people of Limerick and to showcase just how vibrant a place it is”.
“For far too long the city has been weighed down by an unfair reputation receiving headlines for all the wrong reasons,” he said.
“We at Nationwide were very happy to shout about Limerick for all the right reasons.
“The success of the year is a tremendous credit to the organizers, but most especially to the people of Limerick who embraced the whole idea of a City of Culture, and made it their own.”