A NEW radio show dedicated to honouring the life and work of former UH columnist and one of Omagh’s most creative characters, Stephen McKenna, has had its first broadcast.
Stephen, who was 76 when he died last year, contributed the ‘As the Man Says’ column for over 50 years.
Appropriately, the new broadcast of the same title, will go out on the first Saturday of each month at 12 noon.
It is the brainchild of Omagh man, Eugene Floyd. He wants to perpetuate the memory of Stephen and ensure that the immense body of work completed by one of the town’s most loved characters is brought to new audiences in the coming years.
“Stephen McKenna was an inspiration to myself and many others over the years. His knowledge of Omagh and the surrounding area, and his work as a writer, poet, singer and playright and in other areas as well was absolutely amazing,” Mr Floyd said.
“Our first broadcast at the start of this month featured a pre-recorded interview with Stephen’s cousin, Roddy Hackett. He spoke about the Stephen McKenna he knew.
“It also featured a recording of Stephen singing the ‘Treacherous Waves of Lough Muck’ and my intention is to broadcast further recordings like that from the rich vein of archive material relating to him.
“I hope to interview many others who knew Stephen so well over the years and our next broadcast will feature interviews which Stephen did as part of a show called ‘Alive and Well’ in Gallows Hill’.
Mr Floyd also hopes to showcase the work of new local singers, songwriters, musicians, poets or anyone else with artistic talents and would like to see a Stephen McKenna Festival along the same lines as the Benedict Kiely Weekend.
“The response to the inaugural broadcast has been very positive and hopefully we can continue to grow and develop it as the months go on in 2020,” he added.
The broadcast can be accessed on the mobile phone app listen2myradio.com.