Full recording: ABC (Dún Laoghaire)

Full recording: ABC (Dún Laoghaire)

ABC Radio broadcast from Dún Laoghaire in south Dublin in 1982 on 96 FM. This recording is from 1557-1727 on the 27th of February 1982 and features Jonathan Stewart followed by Sid Reade. Hugh Farley presents television highlights. There is a laid back, studenty vibe to the station’s music and style and the lack of adverts suggests a hobby operation.

Information about ABC is scarce but we have pieced together some details. The station may have been linked to the earlier Sonic Independent Radio from Shankill. ABC was run by Ian McDonald from his house in Clarinda Park, Dún Laoghaire, referred to as ‘Broadcasting House’ in this recording! There was a medium wave relay for a time, announced as 297 metres. The Dún Laoghaire station had no connection with the other ABC which broadcast from Dublin city centre from 1981-1984, so there were two ABCs on air for a time within a few miles of each other. This ABC later changed its name to South City Radio in May 1982. An Anoraks UK listing from the 1st of November 1982 lists South City Radio from Dún Laoghaire on 98 FM and 999 kHz AM. South City Radio later became KOVE FM. We thank Ian Biggar for his donation of this recording.

Full recording: County Sound (Dublin)

Full recording: County Sound (Dublin)
Close-up of the cassette featuring County Sound from the Skywave Collection (photo by Brian Greene).

We have featured the popular Galway station, County Sound (1987-1988) elsewhere in this archive, but Dublin also had a County Sound. This seems to have been a short-lived operation in 1986, broadcasting from the Rathgar/Churchtown areas of south Dublin. The station is first listed on 105.7 FM in the Anoraks UK Weekly Report on the 23rd of February 1986, shortly after this recording was made. An Anoraks Ireland list from April 1986 lists County Sound as a full-time station (0700-0300) and gives an address in Churchtown. The same month, Anoraks UK logged the station on 104.7 and then 104.9 and gave an address in Rathgar. It also published a full daily schedule which included Ray Stephens, Stephen O’Rourke, Paul Smith, Mike Evans, Derek Hennessy and John Taylor. Whether these names were real or assumed, we do not know. County Sound announced 1503 kHz AM also but this was not confirmed. The station moved around the top end of the FM band for a few months from February 1986 but there are no references to it in logs from July onwards. Although full-time for a period and using a professional jingle package, it seems to have been one of the many short-lived hobby stations increasingly common on FM at the time.

This recording is from 106.2 FM on the 21st of February 1986 from 1140-1225 and features Dan Malone (whose voice hadn’t yet broken!) followed by Brendan Dowling (who sounds a bit older). It is from the Skywave Tapes Collection. Skywave Radio International broadcast a shortwave station in the 1980s from Baldoyle in northeast Dublin.

Full recording: South Dublin Community Radio

Full recording: South Dublin Community Radio

South Dublin Community Radio broadcast from c. 1982 to 1984 from Dún Laoghaire, one of many southside pirates of the era. The station was linked to Radio South County that first came on air in 1980 and was active on 963 kHz for a time. South Dublin Community Radio was based in Pottery Road in Dún Laoghaire. This recording is from 2155-2240 on the 27th of August 1983 from 102.7 FM and features Bruce Foxton, to be followed at 2300 by Jimmy Cliff. In the time-honoured pirate tradition, these were pseudonyms inspired by the singers of the same names!

An interesting aspect of this recording is the frequency, as 102.7 had been used by Chris Cary’s KISS FM up to the Radio Nova raids of May 1983. KISS would return to 102.7 on the 30th of September. South Dublin Community Radio shifted to 102 MHz but moved down the band to around 91 because of ongoing jamming by RTÉ of Nova frequencies. When RTÉ began broadcasting Radio 2 from the Three Rock transmitter on 90.7 in 1984, that was the beginning of the end of South Dublin Community Radio and it seems to have closed by the autumn of that year. Many of the same people got involved in the popular 1990s pirate DLR 106 which broadcast from the same address in Dún Laoghaire. Thanks to all those who provided additional background information to us.

This recording is from the Skywave Tapes Collection. Skywave Radio International broadcast a shortwave station in the 1980s from Baldoyle in northeast Dublin.

Full recording: KFM (Dublin)

Full recording: KFM (Dublin)

KFM was a part-time hobby station broadcasting from Sandyford in south Dublin in 1986. It was run by well-known anorak Gerard Roe who had previously hosted a popular Free Radio Show on Radio Annabel. This recording is from the 13th of April 1986 from 1420-1505 and features Gerard Roe on air. There is an advert for Anoraks UK and KFM jingles. Frequencies announced are 106 FM and a test transmission on shortwave on 6240 kHz in the 48 metre band.

This recording is from the Skywave Tapes Collection. Skywave Radio International broadcast a shortwave station in the 1980s from Baldoyle in northeast Dublin.  

Full recording: Q107 (Dublin)

Full recording: Q107 (Dublin)

Q107 was one of many small weekend hobby pirates broadcasting in Dublin in the 1980s. In this undated recording it describes itself as a 24-hour weekend station but then refers to test transmissions on Saturday from midnight to midday. It seems the recording was made on a Thursday morning from 3am until the end of broadcasting. There are generic jingles but no links apart from the sign-off which is followed by the famous pirate theme tune ‘Man of Action’ by Les Reed. Q107 may have been based in Ballyfermot in west Dublin and we estimate this recording to be from 1984 as it is the other side of a tape of Radio Zodiac from that year.

The Anoraks Ireland catalogue includes a recording of Q107 from 1988 and the following account: ‘Ray Brennan, boss at Q107 was reported to be a nephew of the famous Doctor Don. We understand Don provided young Ray with the studio gear which was very basic with Realistic turntables and a Phonic 5 channel mixer. Pity young Ray didn’t make much use of the equipment and the transmitter again courtesy of Uncle Don. Q107 spent most of its 6 weeks off the air and when broadcasting programming it was terrible’. We do not know if this was the same Q107 or another station entirely. Thanks to Ian Biggar for research.

This recording is from the Skywave Tapes Collection. Skywave Radio International broadcast a shortwave station in the 1980s from Baldoyle in northeast Dublin.