Three temporary community stations came on air in 1984 to celebrate local festivals in Dublin. Radio Sandymount, Radio Ringsend and Radio Donnybrook were all set up by Dave Reddy and broadcast on 981, 1116 or 1134 kHz. David Baker, who worked in a variety of Dublin stations in the 1980s, was also involved. In this recording from June or July 1984, David chats with Gerard Roe of Radio Annabel about the Dublin radio scene in 1984. Audio quality is poor as the recording is of a weak AM signal received in north Dublin on 981 kHz but we are unaware of any other recording of these community stations. You can hear separate recordings of Radio Annabel at http://pirate.ie/archive/the-radio-annabel-free-radio-campaign/ and an interview with David Baker at http://pirate.ie/archive/interview-dave-baker-klas/
Via AM radio off air on Soundcloud: Energy 103, Q102 and Sunshine 101 in 1986.
Centre Radio (94.2 FM from Bayside in northeast Dublin) was one of the few stations to remain on air until the final deadline of midnight on the 31 st of December. In this recording Bobby Gibbson (Brian Greene) and Dave Evans (Eamonn Roe) discuss who is still on air in the early hours of the morning of the 31 st . We then hear another bandscan from just before 8.00am and a very optimistic prediction about the availability of new licences in 1989. You can read about the history of Centre here./
Heartbeat FM was a popular love song station in Dublin broadcasting from 1986 until 1988 on 1116 kHz AM and 95.5 FM, although it dropped the AM transmitter towards the end of its run. It was an example of one of the niche stations of the era and featured a format that would be copied in later years by Radio Dublin. These recordings from the 30th August 1988 include links by John Keogh and Maurice Nevin, ads, jingles and news.
Signal 106 was a hobby station from the southside of Dublin which broadcast at the end of the pirate era. It was set up by the very youthful Kevin Branigan and Mike Ormonde and broadcast from Rathfarnham during the summer and Christmas school holidays of 1988. Because its antenna was on a height the station got out well despite its low power on 106 FM, as indicated by the good reception across the city in Bayside where these recordings were made.
In the first clip we hear Graham Turner (aka Justin Leonard) and Dave Adams (aka Andrew Mangan). The top of the hour jingle is by Seán Ashmore who did many station idents in the late 1980s. The second and third clips feature Graham Turner. The date is 29.12.88, the day before Signal closed down.
CAU FM was a short-lived station broadcasting on 103.5 FM from Foxrock in south Dublin from the summer of 1987 until the summer of 1988. Although more a hobby than a commercial station, it had a professional sound and slick jingle package and was run by Locky Butler who still works professionally in audio and sound recording. This is an aircheck of a longer recording from 1988 (unfortunately we have no date) featuring Locky Butler on air.
Sometimes the ads ran for so long they became famous. The Red Corner Shop on Dorset Street advertised heavily on the Dublin pirates. This recording is from Radio Dublin in 1987.
Capitol Radio/Nitesky 96 specialised in indie and alternative music and was one of the last stations in Dublin on air on New Year’s Eve 1988, broadcasting live from Side’s nightclub. This recording is from the 30th December 1988 and features Conor Brooks promoting the listeners’ all-time Alternative Top 30 that was to be broadcast the following day, the final day. The suggested bands and songs give a good indication of Capitol’s unique musical style. The Alternative Top 10 based on listeners’ votes was a popular weekly feature on the station.
Dusty’s Trail was a popular programme on Radio Dublin presented by Gerry Jones aimed at teenage listeners. Trailers, as they were called, wrote into the programme requesting music and even met up at organised gatherings every weekend at the band stand at Stephens Green (it wouldnt be allowed nowadays with GDPR and all the regulations of safety). In this extract from 1985, a listener sends in a copy of a response she received from Minister of State for Broadcasting Ted Nealon to her letter expressing concern that stations such as Radio Dublin would be shut down. Audio quality was never great on Radio Dublin but is worse on this recording due to a loud heterodyne.
Centre Radio in Bayside was one of the last stations to close at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Rumours abounded that Radio Dublin was going to defy the new legislation and continue broadcasting so early on the morning of the 31st of December 1988 Bobby Gibbson (Brian Greene) decided to call Radio Dublin live on air. In this recording, he speaks to breakfast presenter Robbie Prior who says that all presenters have been told that this is their final day. However he adds that station owner Eamonn Cooke could well have something up his sleeve. The recording includes poor quality live audio from Radio Dublin’s AM broadcast on 1188 kHz.