Panel: Donation of pirate radio archive to DCU

On October 2nd 2018, it was announced that a large collection of press clippings and other documents and material from the pirate era would be donated to Dublin City University’s Media History Collection. The donation was announced at a press conference in Dublin, organised by broadcast historian Eddie Bohan and Brian Greene of this website. The press conference featured some well-known radio and media people who cut their teeth in pirate radio: Stuart Clarke of Hot Press, Declan Meehan of East Coast FM and Kevin Branigan of Radio Nova. This recording also includes Dr Mark O’Brien of DCU and Eddie Bohan. It was first broadcast on Wireless on Flirt FM.

Interviews: launch of pirate radio exhibition

In 2018 broadcast historian Eddie Bohan launched his exhibition of Irish pirate radio history. The exhibition is travelling around Ireland during 2018 and 2019 to commemorate the end of the pirate era and the start of licensed radio.

Here’s an interview with Eddie Bohan about the exhibition and the importance of pirate radio history. The exhibition was launched at the South Dublin County Library in Tallaght in May 2018. The interview was first broadcast on Wireless on Flirt FM in April 2018.

Here’s a selection of interviews with some of those who came along to the launch of the exhibition in Tallaght: Jimmy McCabe (Radio Milinda), Dermot Butler (Radio Dublin and KIC FM), Chris Murray (Radio Dublin and now LMFM) and Eric Moore (LLCR and Smile FM and now RTÉ Gold). This report was first broadcast on Wireless on Flirt FM in May 2018.

Airchecks: Radio Nova

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.

A Radio Nova holiday giveaway from 1985. The presenter is Dave Harvey.
The famous Radio Nova £10 giveaway from 1985. These two examples are followed by the top of the hour ident and a weather forecast from John O’Hara.
A promo for DJ Rick Dees of KIIS-FM in Los Angeles whose Weekly Top 40 was syndicated on Nova. This is from 1986.
A Bill Mitchell ident for the Radio Nova satellite service from the UK, as relayed on 94.9 FM in Dublin in 1988.
A top of the hour jingle and the IRN service followed by an aircheck from the Radio Nova satellite service as relayed on 94.9 FM in Dublin in 1988.

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.

Aircheck: Liberties Local Community Radio

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.

In this aircheck from 30.08.88 Teena Gates announces Liberty 104 and reads the news. Teena can still be heard reading news on radio in Dublin today.

You can hear jingles from LLCR here.

Aircheck: Boyneside

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.

The end of the 6.02 evening news and ads from 30.08.88. The news began at 6.02 to allow time for the Angelus. Boyneside was one of a small numbers of stations to broadcast the Angelus at 12 noon and 6pm.
The opening of the 6.02 news from 30.08.88. The presenter is Áine Ní Dhuibhir (aka Ní Chairbre).
Boyneside broadcaster and engineer Eddie Caffrey seeking a new transmission site in Kells, Co. Meath. We have no date for this recording.
Top of the hour into news from 1984.

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.

Jingles: KITS

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.

Jingles: North Dublin Community Radio

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.

This station ident is from late 1988 when NDCR had dropped its AM service.
A jingle from 1988.
A station promo from 1988.

You can hear an interview with NDCR founder Jack Byrne here and with former presenter Declan Ralph here.

Jingles: Radio City

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 Allan 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.