Another big Cork station from the early 1980s was South Coast Radio which broadcast from 1982 to 1984. Its AM frequency was 1557 kHz (announced as 194 metres), using a powerful 10kW transmitter situated near Cork airport. The station had many high-profile broadcasters including Tony Allan, Nick Richards, John Kenny, Peter Madison, Henry Owens and Hugh Browne. Here are some of the South Coast jingles.
You can hear an interview with Nick Richards here about his involvement in other stations.
ERI (Eastside Radio Ireland) became Cork’s biggest pirate in the late 1980s. Beginning in the village of Ballycotton east of Cork City in 1982, it broadcast on 1305 kHz and 102 FM. This jingle package includes several references to 225 metres which corresponds to 1332 kHz, another frequency used for a while. ERI’s dominance in Cork was assured when it installed a powerful 5kW AM transmitter on the outskirts of the city and boosted its FM signal. It closed down at the end of 1988.
There were several stations calling themselves Capital or Capitol Radio at various times during the pirate era but one favourite of ours was Capitol Radio/Nitesky 96 which evolved from playing album tracks to indie and alternative music. Nitesky 96 was launched as a ‘sister station’ to Capitol in April 1986 and initially featured specialist programmes before settling into its own style of niche music drawing on the lively Dublin band scene. Its ‘Alternative Night’ at McGonagle’s nightclub in South Anne Street was highly popular towards the end of the station’s existence in 1988.
Capitol broadcast on 1017 kHz until early 1986 before selling its AM TX to the new Liberties Local Community Radio which took up position on 1035 kHz. For the remainder of its existence Capitol/Nitesky broadcast on 94.1 and 95.8 FM. Capitol’s jingle package was from the station of the same name in South Africa. Here’s a selection of those jingles along with some idents featuring Tony Allen and a Bill Mitchell ident for Nitesky.
Here is Capitol’s news sting. Like many others, Capitol downgraded its news service in later years and read a weather forecast at the top of the hour, using this sting.
There’s plenty of Radio Nova material available online already and we don’t intend to compete with that. Here is a selection from our own collection of airchecks of Radio Nova Dublin from 1984 to 1986. We also include two recordings from the Nova satellite service from the UK in 1988 which was relayed on FM in Dublin and used as an overnight service by some stations.
Listen to interviews with former Nova presenter Tom Hardy here and newsreader Bryan Dobson here. You can hear historian Eddie Bohan describe the growth of Radio Nova here.
Liberties Local Community Radio (LLCR) began broadcasting in March 1986 from Weaver Square in Dublin 8. It was run by Sammy Prendergast who was well known for installing aerials for pirate stations. LLCR broadcast on 1035 kHz AM using the old Capitol Radio rig which had been on 1017 kHz until shortly before then. It was also heard on 104 FM at a later stage.
There was some variation in the station’s name as these idents indicate, from LLCR to Liberties Radio to Liberty Radio. It also announced Liberty 104 at one stage. Although LLCR began by emphasising its community roots in the Liberties, it never sounded like long-standing community stations such as BLB and NDCR. One of its most popular programmes was a hip-hop show presented by Tony Christie.
Boyneside Radio from Co. Louth was one of the largest and most successful regional stations in Ireland during the 1980s. It broadcast for 10 years from 1978 to 1988 from Drogheda. During that decade Boyneside developed a series of additional transmitters and opt-out services in Navan, Kells, north Dublin and along the border aiming into Northern Ireland. Here’s a selection of airchecks and promos from 1986-1988, including one seeking a new transmission site in Kells.
You can hear a panel discussion on the Louth pirates here and a separate interview with local veteran broadcaster Eddie Caffrey here. We also have a recording of how Boyneside covered the controversy about Radio Tara (to become Atlantic 252) in Co. meath.
KITS was one of the many ‘border blasters’, stations which popped up along the border during the 1980s and beamed their signals north in the search for advertising and listeners. KITS went on air at the era of the pirate era in 1988 and broadcast from Monaghan town on 837 kHz AM and 101 FM.
Although less powerful than its audacious neighbour KISS FM – which aimed unashamedly at the Belfast market – KITS had its own strong local following. Here’s its jingle package.
North Dublin Community Radio (NDCR) began broadcasting from Coolock in northeast Dublin in 1983 and was one of the leading community stations of the time, broadcasting on 1008 kHz AM and 100 FM. Many of those involved in NDCR went on to establish NEAR FM, the current licensed community station for northeast Dublin. Here’s a selection of NDCR jingles and promos from 1987 and 1988.
You can hear an interview with NDCR founder Jack Byrne here and with former presenter Declan Ralph here.
Radio City went on the air in late 1979 and broadcast from Capel Street in Dublin on 1145, 1161 and 1165 kHz. In this jingle package from the early 1980s, the legendary Tony Allen announces 257m. These jingles were donated by David Baker, who begins this interview by describing his time at Radio City.
You can listen to other interviews about Radio City here and here.
Q102 launched in 1985 with all the knowledge of Nova & Sunshine and a lot of investment. Starting with a clean slate. This was the imaging for Q102. These files were donated to the archive on 01.01.2019. If you have similar tapes/carts/reels/files consider donating the audio to the archive here via email@example.com