Full recording: County Sound (Galway)

Full recording: County Sound (Galway)
County Sound logo (thanks for Shane Martin for the enhancement).

This is the second part of a recording of Galway pirate County Sound, recorded from 101 FM on 2nd August 1988. From 0305-0600 the last few hours of Jon Richards can be heard on his overnight show. This is followed from 0600-0900 by the breakfast show presented by Tommy Kaye and by Jeff Collins from 0900-0930. This long recording gives a good sense of the popular Galway station and the styles of various presenters in the last few months of its existence.

For more recordings of this station, click on the County Sound tab. We thank Ian Biggar for his donation of this recording.

Full recording: County Sound (Galway)

Full recording: County Sound (Galway)
Jon Richards in the County Sound studio in 1988 (photo courtesy of Big Sam).

County Sound was one of the bigger Galway pirate stations and built up a considerable listenership during its relatively short period on air. County Sound began broadcasting on St. Patrick’s Day 1987 in the town of Tuam north of Galway before moving into the city in January 1988 where it continued until the end of 1988. There was fierce competition between County Sound and another large station Coast 103, which was located just a short distance away in the city centre. Both were professional operations and covered large areas of Co. Galway and beyond.

Jon Richards was County Sound’s overnight presenter and this recording features a segment of his show from midnight to 0240 on 2nd August 1988. Jon’s voice was also heard on many of the station’s ads and he went on to build a career in local radio from 1989 when Radio West (now Galway Bay FM) was licensed. Jon is currently Programme Director at Galway Bay FM and an interview with him can be heard here. Click on the County Sound tab if you want to hear other recordings of this station.

Tomorrow we’ll bring you the rest of this overnight programme and the breakfast show afterwards. Thanks to Ian Biggar for donating the recording.

Full recording: Dublin Broadcasting Corporation

Full recording: Dublin Broadcasting Corporation

The Dublin Broadcasting Corporation (sometimes Dublin Broadcasting Company) appeared briefly in 1984, broadcasting music and apparently fake adverts and promos. This recording was made from 98 FM from 1925-2010 on 5th March 1984 and features spoof promos sending up Radio Nova voiced by Nova staff as well as repeated use of an ad for Philips audio. The 98 FM frequency is the only one announced but the cassette box also logs 233 metres (1287 kHz). However, no pirate would dare to place itself right next to RTÉ Radio 2, then putting out high power on 1278 kHz. We have no further information about the Dublin Broadcasting Corporation but given the inconsistency with the name and the unusual content, it seems to have been a purely hobby station having a bit of fun in the crowded radio scene of the time.

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: Radio West (Mullingar)

Full recording: Radio West (Mullingar)
Radio West compliments slip, courtesy of DX Archive.

Radio West was one of the large regional stations of the pirate era and even renamed itself ‘West National Radio 3’ in 1988 as it claimed to be broadcasting nationwide. Its 10kW transmitter on 765 kHz (later 702) gave it good coverage over a wide area and an infill AM on 711 kW was added for Galway in 1988. Radio West also had a chain of low-powered FM relays from Dublin to Galway but it was stretching the imagination to claim national coverage.

This recording is of the end of the Mike Young breakfast show from 0918-1003 on 2nd February 1984, recorded from 765 kHz in Dublin. There is some electrical interference with audio dropout from time to time and there seems to be some drift off channel by the end of the recording. Ads are heard from across the midland counties, some of which feature the voice of station owner Shaun Coyne. Idents are voiced by Tony Allan and interestingly the 10.00 news is a relay of Bob Gallico on Radio Nova in Dublin. We don’t know if there was ever a formal agreement with Nova to rebroadcast its news or if this is an example of piracy by one pirate from another – smaller stations were known to relay news from bigger stations and Radio Dublin infamously rebroadcast bulletins from RTÉ for a time.

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: Community Radio Fingal

Full recording: Community Radio Fingal
CRF car sticker (courtesy of DX Archive).

Community Radio Fingal (CRF) broadcast from Swords and then Skerries in north Co. Dublin from 1982 to 1988. It began with a 300 watt transmitter but then increased it to 1 kW, and moving from 1584 to 1575 kHz (announced as 189 metres) improved its reception, particularly on the west coast of Britain. Leon Tipler visited CRF in 1982 on one of his visits to Ireland and you can hear an interview with the owner of CRF Brian Matthews here in which he gives information about the station’s history and technical set-up.

Our recording was made from 1575 kHz from 1922-1952 on 1st July 1983, apparently on the west coast of Britain as it sounds like daytime groundwave reception. Des Lee is on the air with music and community notices. He mentions that CRF is broadcasting from the Castle Shopping Centre in Swords, Co. Dublin and also refers to an FM transmitter on 90 MHz. Audio quality deteriorates towards the end as the cassette has degraded with the passage of time.

This recording is from the Leon Tipler Tapes Collection, donated to us by Steve England.