Aircheck: ‘Phantom’ disrupts Dublin pirates

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!

Aircheck: Radio Tara picket reported by Boyneside Radio

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.

Documentary: ‘Pirate in the West Gate’ – telling the story of CBC Radio in Tipperary

CBC Radio started broadcasting in the West Gate, Clonmel in November 1981 and continued until the enforced close down of all pirate stations on New Year’s Eve 1988.

Over 100 volunteers, along with a handful of part-time and full-time staff, contributed on the air, and the station was hugely popular among young and old in Clonmel, Carrick-on-Suir and surrounding towns. 

Over the past three years, former staff member Jonathan Ryan has been researching the station’s history and listening to many audio tapes recorded during that time, along with interviewing former staff members to bring to life this audio history of life in the West Gate.  

With thanks to Jonathan Ryan for an advanced copy of the audio and for a amazing work of journalism in making this radio documentary. First broadcast on South Tipperary General Hospital Radio, December 27th 2018.

Interview: Rosemary Day discusses the transition from the pirate era to community radio

We are delighted to bring you some recordings from 2018 from Wireless Flirt (the radio show about radio in Ireland). In this interview from December 2016, John Walsh speaks with Dr. Rosemary Day, Head of the Department of Media and Communication Studies in Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick. The post-1988 licencing of radio and the community radio space are discussed.

Interview: David Baker (ARD, Radio City, Radio Leinster, Heartbeat, KLAS)

We are delighted to bring you some recordings from 2018 from Wireless Flirt (the radio show about radio in Ireland). In this interview, John Walsh caught up with David Baker who worked for or managed a long list of pirates in Dublin in the 1980s. John worked with David in KLAS from 1986-1988.

image via Wireless Flirt : The garage at the back of 312 Sutton Park. The location KLAS first broadcast from.

Panel: Terry and Dermot Leydon – Northwest Radio

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. Terry and Dermot Leydon talk to John Walsh about Northwest Radio, a station in Drumshanbo in Co. Leitrim. Northwest broadcast on about 1602 kHz but as Terry and Dermot explain, their transmitter would drift up and down the band as the evening progressed!

Interview: Dennis Murray (KISS FM Dublin / Radio Nova / KISS FM Monaghan)

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. 

John Walsh interviews Dennis Murray about his pirate radio past including KISS FM in Dublin and Monaghan and Radio Nova.