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.

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.

Mid-morning on South Coast Radio

Mid-morning on South Coast Radio
Pete O’Neill with a furry friend at South Coast in 1982 (courtesy Lillian O’Donoghue).

This is part of Pete O’Neill’s popular mid-morning show on South Coast Radio in Cork on June 18th 1982. There’s the usual birthday file, which includes the news that Paul McCartney was 40 on that day. Other regular features include the What’s On In Munster slot. The recording begins after the 10am news and is partially airchecked. It was made from 104 FM but quality is only fair in places due to the age of the cassette. Thanks to Lillian O’Donoghue for the donation.

Afternoon show on Radio Carlow

Afternoon show on Radio Carlow
An undated photo of Radio Carlow (courtesy Bill Ebrill).

Radio Carlow broadcast on AM and later also on FM between 1981 and 1984. Local anorak John Dowling logged its first location as Ballyhide, which is just on the Laois side of the border with Carlow but it later moved into Carlow Town. A frequency listing from summer 1984 listed Radio Carlow on 1413 kHz AM (212 metres) and 103.8 FM. The station continued into 1986 but discontinued AM towards the end.

Afternoon show on Radio Carlow
Part of the original cassette label from the Anoraks Ireland Collection.

This is a short recording of Radio Carlow from Sunday 17th June 1984. Pat Scully is on air with an afternoon requests show. The tape runs from 1715-1800 and is airchecked. There is some wobble due to the degradation of the cassette after almost 40 years. The recording was made originally by Kieran Murray and is from the Anoraks Ireland Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.

Afternoon show on Wicklow Community Radio

Afternoon show on Wicklow Community Radio
WCR sticker (courtesy DX Archive).

Wicklow Community Radio (WCR) began broadcasting in the second half of 1982 on 1512 kHz AM (198 metres). Its origins were in temporary festival stations based in Wicklow Town, the first of which was set up by RTÉ in 1980. WCR was renamed WLCB (Wicklow Local Community Broadcasting) in the summer of 1985 and changed its name again to Viking 105 in 1987. The station closed down as the end of 1988 in line with the vast majority of pirates.

Afternoon show on Wicklow Community Radio
Original cassette label from Anoraks Ireland Collection.

This recording is of Willie Naughton’s Sunday afternoon show on 17th June 1984 and is from 97.15 FM. It runs from 1820-1910 and is airchecked. There’s praise for Bruce Springsteen’s new album Born in the USA and a promo for the Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders gig in the SFX Centre in Dublin that night.

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