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 Eamon Cooke could well have something up his sleeve. The recording includes poor quality live audio from Radio Dublin’s AM broadcast on 1188 kHz.
The Dublin pirates were not all about pop and some stations served niche audiences or specific demographics. One station playing easy listening and classical music was KLAS which broadcast on 98.5 FM from late 1986 until the end of 1988. The station was established by Radio Carousel boss Hugh Hardy from his home in the suburb of Sutton but after a change in management it changed its name slightly to Class Radio and moved to the city centre.
Dublin station Radio Annabel featured a popular weekly Free Radio Campaign programme presented by Gerard Roe. This recording from 1985 features an interview with Chris Cary taken from Radio Nova in which he criticises the notion of community radio. It is followed by a reference to a newspaper article about one of the failed attempts to introduce legislation to regulate the radio sector during the 1980s.
Broadcasts of Dublin station Q102 were disrupted in July 1986 by a mysterious ‘phantom’ who managed to break into the VHF link to the AM transmitter and disrupt normal programming on 819 kHz. Anoraks UK reported receiving anonymous calls from Dublin to say that the ‘ghost’ of Radio Nova was to return and later that day, Radio Nova jingles were broadcast on Q102’s AM frequency (Radio Nova had closed in March 1986). A person on a bicycle with a rucksack and home-made dipole was spotted near Q’s transmitter site but escaped before engineers could catch up with him. The ‘Phantom’ also called Radio West’s Sunday Anoraks’ Hour to threaten further disruption. This mysterious recording includes references to that programme and also cheekily edits a Capitol Radio jingle, changing it from ‘Move over to Capitol’ to ‘Move over Capitol’. This was apparent hint that Capitol would be the next target!
This recording is of the main 6.00 evening news from Drogheda-based Boyneside Radio on 30 August 1988 and includes an interview with a representative of local residents in Clonlyon in Co. Meath protesting against the erection of a high longwave mast for Radio Tara in nearby Clarkestown. RTÉ’s proposed joint venture with Radio Luxembourg, Radio Tara went on the air as Atlantic 252 in September 1989. It was aimed at the large and lucrative British market at a time when the UK had no national commercial radio station. Atlantic 252 was very successful in the first half of the 1990s but closed in 2002.
Aircheck of northeast Dublin Pirate Centre Radio recorded from 23:on 30 30.12.88 to 05:30 on 31.12.1988. On air overnight is Bobby Gibbson (aka Brian Greene). Centre had just finished broadcasting a live variety concert from its studio location at the Mid Sutton Community Centre from 8pm-11pm. The decision was taken to broadcast through the night for the last time before the closedown at midnight on the 31st.