Dusty’s Trail was a popular programme on Radio Dublin presented by Gerry Jones aimed at teenage listeners. Trailers, as they were called, wrote into the programme requesting music and even met up at organised gatherings every weekend at the band stand at Stephens Green (it wouldnt be allowed nowadays with GDPR and all the regulations of safety). In this extract from 1985, a listener sends in a copy of a response she received from Minister of State for Broadcasting Ted Nealon to her letter expressing concern that stations such as Radio Dublin would be shut down. Audio quality was never great on Radio Dublin but is worse on this recording due to a loud heterodyne.
Centre Radio in Bayside was one of the last stations to close at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Rumours abounded that Radio Dublin was going to defy the new legislation and continue broadcasting so early on the morning of the 31st of December 1988 Bobby Gibbson (Brian Greene) decided to call Radio Dublin live on air. In this recording, he speaks to breakfast presenter Robbie Prior who says that all presenters have been told that this is their final day. However he adds that station owner Eamon Cooke could well have something up his sleeve. The recording includes poor quality live audio from Radio Dublin’s AM broadcast on 1188 kHz.
The Dublin pirates were not all about pop and some stations served niche audiences or specific demographics. One station playing easy listening and classical music was KLAS which broadcast on 98.5 FM from late 1986 until the end of 1988. The station was established by Radio Carousel boss Hugh Hardy from his home in the suburb of Sutton but after a change in management it changed its name slightly to Class Radio and moved to the city centre.
Dublin station Radio Annabel featured a popular weekly Free Radio Campaign programme presented by Gerard Roe. This recording from 1985 features an interview with Chris Cary taken from Radio Nova in which he criticises the notion of community radio. It is followed by a reference to a newspaper article about one of the failed attempts to introduce legislation to regulate the radio sector during the 1980s.
Broadcasts of Dublin station Q102 were disrupted in July 1986 by a mysterious ‘phantom’ who managed to break into the VHF link to the AM transmitter and disrupt normal programming on 819 kHz. Anoraks UK reported receiving anonymous calls from Dublin to say that the ‘ghost’ of Radio Nova was to return and later that day, Radio Nova jingles were broadcast on Q102’s AM frequency (Radio Nova had closed in March 1986). A person on a bicycle with a rucksack and home-made dipole was spotted near Q’s transmitter site but escaped before engineers could catch up with him. The ‘Phantom’ also called Radio West’s Sunday Anoraks’ Hour to threaten further disruption. This mysterious recording includes references to that programme and also cheekily edits a Capitol Radio jingle, changing it from ‘Move over to Capitol’ to ‘Move over Capitol’. This was apparent hint that Capitol would be the next target!