Aircheck: Christian Community Radio

St. Andrew’s Church, Westland Row where Christian Community Radio often recorded prayers. Photo credit: Wikipedia/DubhEire/CC0.

This is a recording of one of the more eccentric pirate stations in Dublin in the 1980s, Christian Community Radio which operated from the leafy Merrion Square district in the south city centre. Christian Community Radio was run by the Catholic solicitor Gerry O’Mahony who was a leading campaigner against the liberalisation of Irish society in the conservative 1980s. Anoraks UK first reported the station in November 1985 so we estimate that this recording is from around that time. It begins with a quick bandscan down the dial to 90.2 MHz FM, where Christian Community Radio could just about be picked up in our corner of the northeast of Dublin. O’Mahony can be heard leading prayers and then introducing the rosary from a city centre church with a large crowd providing the responses. Even allowing for the weak FM signal the sound quality is very poor but low production standards were one of the hallmarks of the station.

The recording is as much a reminder of the terrible technical standards of some of the pirates as it is of the socially conservative nature of Irish society during that time. Most of the Dublin pirates challenged that status quo but some like Christian Community Radio wanted to maintain it. An infamous row live on air between O’Mahony and Ireland’s foremost radio broadcaster Gay Byrne in 1987 hastened the station’s demise in October of that year.