Full recording: World Music Radio via Radio Dublin

World Music Radio started as a land-based pirate in the north of the Netherlands in the mid 1960s. It continued broadcasting most Sundays on shortwave until it was raided in August 1973. Our colleague Ian Biggar of DX Archive remembers listening to the station: ‘I missed the original WMR, but first heard it in 1976 on 6230 kHz legally, via the transmitters of Radio Andorra. It tried to be a commercial station on shortwave, but the sponsors were just not there and programmes became sporadic as funds run out. There were religious programmes on shortwave, but regular advertisers just did not seem interested in a worldwide audience’.

Ian describes how WMR was broadcast on Radio Dublin: ‘Eventually they tried to get stations to pay for their programming, but I doubt if this brought in much cash either. I am not sure what the arrangement was with Radio Dublin, but doubt if Eamon Cooke paid for the programmes. Originally the arrangement was that WMR was aired early Sunday mornings on shortwave, but programmes were slotted in on other occasions’.

As well as Andorra and Ireland, over the years WMR was heard via transmitters in Italy, South Africa and nowadays in Denmark. You can learn more here. Ian heard WMR many times on both shortwave and medium wave via Radio Dublin and as the QSLs show, both before and after the 1988 act. The recording features DJ Lee Alvin. This professional broadcaster was very much an influence for some young would-be broadcasters in the 1970s with his programmes on WMR as well as Radio Kaleidoscope and Radio Jackie in London.  

This recording was made from 1100-1145 on the 7th of February 1984 from Radio Dublin’s Channel 2 on 98.7 FM. It is from the Skywave Tapes Collection. Skywave Radio International broadcast a shortwave station in the 1980s from Baldoyle in northeast Dublin.

Jingles: Radio Valleri International (Dublin)

Radio Valleri poster courtesy of DX Archive.

Radio Valleri was one of the long-running Irish shortwave pirates of the 1970s and 1980s. Founded by Mike Anderson and Derek Jones, it began testing in 1972 on 1525 kHz medium wave before moving to short wave. The station became a regular operator on Sunday mornings, one of many such pirates from Ireland in the 49 metre band. There’s a detailed history on the DX Archive pages. One of those involved at the beginning was Arno St Jude (Declan Meehan).

This recording from 1985 is of station jingles, voiced by Brian and Dónal Greene. The frequency announced is 6870 kHz.

Interview: Jimmy St. Ledger (Premier Radio International)

Premier Radio International logo (courtesy of DX Archive)

We bring you an interview with Jimmy St. Ledger (Jimmy Howlett) of Premier Radio International, a long-running shortwave pirate station from Ireland. Premier began broadcasting on medium wave in 1976 and went on shortwave soon after. Jimmy’s first transmitter was used to broadcast Radio Cill Dara from Naas. He was also involved with Radio Dublin before the splits of the late 1970s. The interviewer is Eolann Aitken.

Premier continued on and off over the years and was among a small number to return to the air following the closedowns of 1988. It continues to broadcast today on shortwave as a hobby station. Further information is available on its website.

Interview: Declan Meehan (part 1: 1970-1982)

Declan Meehan and John Walsh at the studios of East Coast FM in Bray, where Declan has worked since 1994.

We met one of Ireland’s most experienced broadcasters Declan Meehan recently to discuss his significant contribution to Irish pirate radio history and Irish radio in general over the past 50 years.

In the first part of a long interview, Declan discusses the early years of his involvement in the Dublin pirate scene spanning small stations such as Radio Vanessa and Radio Milinda and larger, more professional operations like ARD. He describes his unhappy move to the new RTÉ Radio 2 in 1979 and how he went on to work for the first of the superpirates, Sunshine Radio, where he met Chris Cary.

The interview includes references to many of the best-known names in Irish radio over the past half-century.

Interview: Derek Jones (Radio Valleri)

One of Ireland’s longest serving DJs and radio operators, Derek Jones sat down to tell his radio story, from AM Raidió Bhaile Átha Cliath (Radio Dublin) in the 1960s, to his long running SW station Radio Valleri, to Christmas FM and Retro FM. Derek also discusses his favourite radio memories including his nine years on Radio Caroline Dublin in Sutton.

Derek Jones – Radio Valleri – Drumcondra Dublin late 70s
image via dxarchive.com

Jingles: Radio Dublin

Radio Dublin was Ireland’s longest running pirate radio station. It broadcast from 1966 until 2003 and was at its peak in the early to mid 1980s on 253m/1188KHz and 6910 kHz shortwave.

Here are a number of station idents and jingles.

Two iconic 253 jingles from the late 70s.
A top of the hour jingle from 1988. The FM transmitter had moved to 105 but the station was still announcing 98.8 also!
Radio Dublin relayed other stations frequently during its long existence including World Music Radio. This recording is from 1987. After midnight on 01.01.89 when it defied the new law, it relied on WMR tapes for the first few days before resuming live programming.

You can hear a recording from Radio Dublin’s popular Dusty’s Trail programme here and an interview with former station manager Joe Rossa (aka Joe Doyle) here.

Interview: Eddie Caffrey (Radio Rainbow International, Radio Fax)

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.

We met Eddie Caffrey (aka Heady Eddie) at the event and spoke about the shortwave radio scene in Ireland, in particular Radio Rainbow International and Radio Fax.