Kildare Community Radio (KCR) was a long-running station broadcasting from Naas in Co. Kildare from 1979 until 1988. This tape is of an afternoon show featuring a mixture of music including ballads, traditional, country and oldies presented by DJ John. There are plenty of requests and dedications from listeners, including a few who call in on crackly phone lines. It’s a bare bones style of presentation with no station idents or adverts and a few technical problems.
No times are given but the recording is airchecked. It is dated 6th November 1983 and the frequency of 1404 kHz (214 metres) noted, but this is more likely to have been KCR’s long-running channel of 1413 kHz to which it had moved by December 1982. Logs by DX Archive from before that time record it off-channel on 1400 kHz. KCR never broadcast on FM. A visit by DX Archive in 1981 recorded that the station was located in a large house called St. Martin’s at Naas Harbour and that the building was dilapidated like so many pirate premises. KCR is listed in an Anoraks Ireland log from April 1988 but closed soon afterwards in advance of the December deadline for pirates to leave the airwaves.
This tape was made originally by Kieran Murray and is from the Anoraks Ireland Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.
More than a decade after the new broadcasting laws came into effect, pirate radio continued to be heard across Ireland, although not on the scale of the 1980s. The Monaghan pirate Radio Star Country was among those stations that carried on broadcasting into the new millennium, continuing to attract listeners and advertisers on both sides of the border. In this recording from 2001, there are plenty of commercial breaks and requests from Belfast, Down and Derry as well as nearer to home. An advertising promo gives a number in the North and news from IRN in Britain refers to the foot and mouth crisis that was raging at the time. There is evidence of increased religious influence on Radio Star Country with gospel and religious music, notices for religious businesses and a guide to daily gospel programmes including one by station owner Albert Chambers.
This recording was made from 981 kHz in Scotland on 24th October 2001 from 1105-1205. The DJ is the late Patsy Jordan (McDonald). Thanks to Ian Biggar for the donation.
Radio Ringsend was one of several temporary community stations under the umbrella of the Community Broadcasting Co-operative (CBC) in the 1980s. Set up by Dave Reddy, the pop-up stations went on air to coincide with local community festivals in Dublin and surrounding counties. Based in the southeast inner city, Radio Ringsend broadcast for the first time during the Ringsend and District Community Festival in 1982 and continued each year until summer 1988.
This recording from 1982 is of part of the final day of Radio Ringsend’s first run. Up first is Victor Ryan with music, a copious number of requests and community notices. He is followed at 4pm by Al O’Rourke and at 6pm by Mick Nugent who hosts the final show until 8pm. There’s a real community feel with local kids interviewed in studio between the records. Adverts for local businesses such as corner shops, chippers, garages and pubs are aired. The airchecked tape begins before 3pm on Sunday 18th July 1982 and was recorded from 1512 kHz (199 metres). Radio Ringsend also broadcast on 104 FM. This recording is from the Anoraks Ireland Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.
Tony Allan (1949-2004) was one of the most iconic broadcasters of the pirate era, whose distinctive voice was heard on offshore and Irish stations from the late 1960s, including Radio Caroline, Sunshine Radio and Radio Nova. This is a recording of Tony presenting a mid-morning show on Radio Nova offshoot KISS FM. The music is an eclectic mix of chart sounds, rock and even country but is linked effortlessly by the flawless presentation. Commercial breaks feature many agency adverts, reflecting the station’s impact on the Dublin market. News is read by another Radio Nova veteran, the late Bob Gallico.
Part 1 above runs from 1002 and Part 2 below from 1053.
The recording was made from 102.7 FM on Thursday 10th October 1982 and is from the Anoraks Ireland Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.
There is relatively little coverage of Radio Star Country in local press in Co. Monaghan after the initial warnings and raids in the early 1990s. One bone of contention locally was the relationship between the small number of pirates that remained on the air and the new licensed local station. The licence for Counties Cavan and Monaghan was awarded to Northern Sound Radio, and there are occasional reports about the perceived threat posed by the pirates to the new independent station. The Northern Standard on 7th January 1993 reported a claim that the pirates were damaging Northern Sound’s revenue. On 28th January, the paper carried a report that a meeting of the County Council was told that there were still two pirates on air in Co. Monaghan. However, the Standard itself carried an advertisement for Radio Star Country’s religious programme, ‘Showers of Blessings’, on 6th May 1993, the first of many over the years.
There have been sporadic references over the years in local press to Radio Star Country, often in relation to the station’s involvement in local events, awards or concerts or in the form of advertisements for the growing number of religious programmes. On 17th July 1997, the Anglo-Celt newspaper in Co. Cavan reported that Radio Star Country was presenting the Ulster Line Dancing Championships, reflecting a popular musical trend at the time. In March 1998, the Northern Standard reported that Radio Star DJs appeared at heats of the Blackwater Talent Contest in northern Monaghan. On 13th May 1999, the Standard carried an advert for another Christian programme on Radio Star Country and exactly a year later on 13th May 2000, another advert referred to station DJs at the Cookstown Gala Night in Co. Armagh. Similarly, the Standard of 13th March 2003 reported that Radio Star Country would provide live coverage of a Special Olympics World Games benefit night from the Lakeside Hotel, Monaghan. On 7th February 2008, there was a report in the Standard that the Radio Star Music Award would be presented to local musician Tony Cannon at a concert in the Kelly’s Inn Hotel in Omagh. From 2014, the Northern Standard reported an annual live broadcast by Radio Star Country from a vintage rally in Clontibret, Co. Monaghan. On 10th September 2015, the newspaper reported that Monaghan Vintage Club thanked Radio Star Country, Northern Sound and the Standard for promoting their event – the ironic equivalence between the different types of local media apparently unnoticed!
This recording of Radio Star Country was made on 11th May 1999, more than a decade after the Monaghan station first defied the new broadcasting laws that were supposed to silence the pirates. On air is Country Girl Claire, who continues to broadcast on the station to this day. News on the hour is from INN in Britain and the recording also includes a Radio Star Country noticeboard. Part 1 of the tape above runs from 1003 and Part 2 below from 1048.
The tape was made by Rodney Neill from 981 kHz AM. Many thanks to Ian Biggar for the donation.