Interview: Ralph McGarry

Wonderland Radio advertisement from the Sunday World, 8th December 1985.

Walter Hegarty talks to Ralph McGarry about his memories of visiting Wonderland Radio/Tallaght Community Radio as a teenager in the 1980s. Ralph then describes how he worked in the 1990s pirates before becoming involved in the licensed community station Tallaght FM which went on the air in 1999.

Bandscan: who’s still on air on 31.12.1988?

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./

Interview: Paul Downes – Radio City

On October 20th 2018 over 100 radio anoraks gathered in the Ballsbridge Hotel Dublin. The purpose was to meet and record oral history of the pirate radio era. In this interview, Walter Hegarty talks to Paul Downes about his time as DJ at Radio City on Capel Street. Radio City went on the air in late 1979 and broadcast on 1145, 1161 and 1165 kHz.

Interview: Gerry O’Reilly, transmitter Man

On October 20th 2018 over 100 radio anoraks gathered in the Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin. The purpose was to meet and record oral history of the pirate radio era.

In this interview, Walter Hegarty talks to Gerry O’Reilly, a transmitter man from the border regions. Gerry worked on transmitters for almost 50 stations including the following: Kandy Radio, Galway District Radio (GDR), Hometown Radio, Big M, Erneside, NWCR, CCR, Breffni Radio, Midwest Radio. East Coast Radio (Louth), Melvin Radio, Radio North, Riverside Radio, Boyneside Radio, DCR Letterkenny, Radio West, Rainbow Radio, Star Radio, North Star, KISS FM, KITS, North Atlantic Radio and many more.

Airchecks: Heartbeat FM

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.

Ads into 6pm news from 30.08.88. The newsreader is Maurice Nevin.
Ads and a jingle from 1988.
Aircheck and ads from 1988. The presenter is Maurice Nevin.
Heartbeat jingle from 1987.

Interview: Tom O’Brien – Radio City

On October 20th 2018 over 100 radio anoraks gathered in the Ballsbridge Hotel Dublin. The purpose was to meet and record oral history of the pirate radio era. In this interview, Tom O’Brien talks about his time on AM Dublin pirate Radio City. Radio City went on the air in late 1979 and broadcast on 1145, 1161 and 1165 kHz.

Airchecks: Signal 106

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.

Link 1
Link 2

Airchecks: CAU FM

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.

Advert: The Red Corner Shop

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.