Afternoon music mix on Kandy Radio

Afternoon music mix on Kandy Radio
Kandy Radio poster (courtesy Ian Biggar).

Kandy Radio broadcast from Ballinasloe in east Galway from 1986 to 1988. This recording was made on Monday 13th October 1986 from 1320-1405 from the station’s AM frequency, 1386 kHz. Mark White is on air until 1330 and is followed by Paul Davis for the afternoon show. News is read by Tara and adverts feature local businesses in east Galway, south Roscommon and west Offaly. The music is a mixture of middle-of-the-road, country and chart hits. There is co-channel interference due to congestion on the frequency, suggesting that the recording was made outside Kandy’s core area of east Galway.

This recording is from the Anoraks Ireland Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.

Kandy Radio on fair day in Ballinasloe

Kandy Radio on fair day in Ballinasloe
Kandy Radio in 1987 (courtesy Andy Archer).

Kandy Radio broadcast from the town of Ballinasloe in east Galway from the middle of 1986 until spring 1988. Serving the town and its rural hinterland, Kandy sounded very different to the slicker Galway City stations that aped the ‘hot hits’ format of the super-pirates in other cities. Kandy Radio was initially logged by Anoraks Ireland on 1386 kHz AM and 98.2 FM and although manager John McGrath said it had a radius of 30 miles, he also reported reception reports from Norway and Sweden. An Anoraks Ireland survey from November 1987 recorded a move to 1404 kHz and both 98.5 and 100.9 FM. Hours of broadcasting were 0800-1900 and there were plans for programmes 24 hours a day. A log from April 1988 recorded Kandy on 103.5 FM only and the station closed down that month.

This recording of Kandy Radio was made from 1386 kHz from 1636-1721 on Saturday 11th October 1986, country fair day in Ballinasloe. Paul Davis is on air until 5pm and says that he will be gigging later that night in Hayden’s Hotel where Irish Eurovision star Johnny Logan will also be performing. News at 5pm is read by Tara and she is followed by Steve Jones with more requests and a mix of music. There are plenty of ads for small businesses in Ballinasloe and surrounding areas and the Top 30 is donated by a local record shop. Complete with uneven audio and technical glitches, this is the authentic sound of a small town radio station from the height of the pirate era.

Kandy Radio on fair day in Ballinasloe
Original cassette label from Anoraks Ireland Collection.

The recording may have been made some distance from Ballinasloe because it suffers from co-channel interference due to congestion on 1386 kHz by both Irish and British stations. It is from the Anoraks Ireland Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.

First test broadcasts on Royal County Radio

First test broadcasts on Royal County Radio
RCR envelope (Anoraks Ireland Collection).

Royal County Radio broadcast from 1982 to 1984 from Navan in Co. Meath and was managed by the late Don Allen, a stalwart of the offshore and Irish pirate scene. The station launched on 8th October from the Trimgate Arcade in the centre of Navan, announcing 245 metres although the cassette label records the actual wavelength as 254 metres (1179 kHz although it is unlikely that the station was so close to Radio Dublin on 1188). Royal County Radio moved around the medium wave band before settling on 355 metres (846 kHz).

This recording is of the first test broadcasts of Royal County Radio and is undated but seems to be from more than one day, so we estimate 8th and possibly 9th October 1982. The voice of station manager Don Allen is heard on promos and a single advert and other DJs include Lynsey Shelbourne (Dolan), John Stevens and Fab Ollie. Audio levels are uneven and a heterodyne is heard at night, suggesting that the transmitter was slightly off channel. To the strains of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Don Allen closes down the station at midnight. RCR was in direct competition with Radio Carousel Navan and left the airwaves by the middle of 1984.

This recording was made by Kieran Murray and is from the Anoraks Ireland Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.

Requests and local news on Radio na nGael

Requests and local news on Radio na nGael
Radio na nGael flyer from 1984 (courtesy DX Archive).

Radio na nGael was a specialist station broadcasting mostly ballads and traditional Irish music from a village near Swords in north Co. Dublin between 1984 and 1986. It broadcast on 1350 kHz AM and on low power on 92 MHz FM, presumably to link to the AM transmitter. The station was also heard on 6340 kHz shortwave but the frequency suffered from interference. Radio na nGael broadcast some problems in Irish but was closed down after RTÉ sought an injunction due to the similarity of the name with that of the national Irish language station Raidió na Gaeltachta.

This recording was made from the AM frequency and dates from the end of January 1985. The cassette label refers to 30th January but the 31st is announced on air. Beginning at 1335, we first hear Mairéad with housewives’ requests and she is followed at 1400 by Danny Tobin. Community news for Fingal is also broadcast.

The signal sounds over-modulated, particularly near the end but we do not know if this was due to a transmission issue at the time or is related to the age of the cassette. The recording is from the Skywave Tapes Collection. Skywave Radio International was a 1980s shortwave station broadcasting from Baldoyle in northeast Dublin.

A day on Radio Dublin from 1978

A day on Radio Dublin from 1978
Radio Dublin sticker (courtesy DX Archive).

This unique recording is of an entire day’s programming on Radio Dublin from Monday 20th February 1978, including some DJs who would go on to become household names on local and national radio. Starting just after 8am, DJ Sarge comments on the cold weather and heavy snow outside. He is followed at 9.30 by Gerry Campbell and at 1pm by James Dillon. DJ Sylvie takes over at 4pm and the Mike Eastwood request show begins at 6pm. Denis Murray is on from 8-10pm and the night’s programming is completed by John Clarke from 10pm until midnight.

Radio Dublin had been broadcasting continuously since January 1978 and built up a loyal listenership across Dublin. This recording contains plenty of ads, some pre-recorded and some read live by DJs, and various segments of the day are sponsored by different businesses. The station’s iconic ‘253’ jingles are heard regularly also, an early branding exercise by Irish pirate radio. A separate recording of part of the James Dillon show, undated but also from February 1978, is heard below.

James Dillon show from February 1978.

Two months later, James Dillon led a walk-out of most Radio Dublin staff following allegations that station owner Eamonn Cooke was involved in child abuse. Dillon formed a breakaway station, the Big D, which lasted until 1982. Radio Dublin closed down permanently in 2002 following Cooke’s conviction for sexually abusing children. He was jailed in 2003 and again in 2007 and died in 2016 while on temporary release. If you require support with this issue, you can contact the organisation One in Four.

This recording is from the Anoraks Ireland Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.