Tom Hardy on Sunshine Radio

Tom Hardy on Sunshine Radio
A rusty sign for Tamango’s at the current White Sands Hotel in Portmarnock (photo by John Walsh).

Tom Hardy worked in the offshore pirate Radio Caroline before coming to Sunshine Radio in Dublin in 1981. He was also a DJ on Radio Nova and its offshoot KISS FM as well as the other KISS FM in Monaghan in 1988, before going on to licensed radio in the 1990s.

This recording from 1829-1856 on Tuesday 20th July 1982 features Tom on Sunshine Radio. As well as presenting an eclectic mix of music, he reads news headlines and a gig guide. The commercial break includes an ad for Tamango’s nightclub, located next door to Sunshine at the Sands Hotel in Portmarnock. A very young Cathy Cregan, one of Sunshine’s newsreaders, is also heard voicing an ad.

We thank Paul Buckle for this donation. An interview with Tom Hardy is available here.

Final morning of Radio Leinster

Final morning of Radio Leinster
Radio Leinster logo courtesy of DX Archive.

Radio Leinster was one of Dublin’s niche pirates, featuring an easy listening and chat format in contrast with the chart music played on many stations. It began on 29th April 1981 from an elevated site in Sandyford overlooking the city. A professional 1 kW transmitter on 738 kHz travelled well by day but was subject to interference at night.

This recording is of interest because it is from the last day of Radio Leinster, 19th May 1983. Like many other stations, Radio Leinster was spooked by the raids on Radio Nova and Sunshine and closed down suddenly at lunchtime. This recording which begins at 10.20am gives no impression of a crisis, and presenter Mike Moran even announces a competition. The recording is from 93 FM. Sadly, Radio Leinster was never to return but future stations in the same easy listening vein would be Magic 103, KISS FM (for a period) and KLAS.

Radio Leinster presenters included many experienced broadcasters and launched the careers of others. One of the station’s presenters was Gavin Duffy who led the consortium to be awarded the local radio licence for counties Meath and Louth in 1989. Peter Mulryan’s book Radio Radio (1988) reports that in 1982 Duffy announced that he would interview senior Sinn Féin figures including Gerry Adams, in breach of Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act. The station received a warning from the Department of Posts and Telegraphs and Duffy was fired.

This recording is from the Skywave Tapes Collection. Skywave Radio International broadcast a shortwave station in the 1980s from Baldoyle in northeast Dublin.

Punk and reggae on Concord Community Radio

Punk and reggae on Concord Community Radio
Concord Community Radio flyer (courtesy Alan MacSimoin collection).

Concord Community Radio broadcast from the Artane/Coolock area of northeast Dublin from 1982 and would become North Dublin Community Radio (NDCR), which continued until the end of 1988. It was an AM-only station, announcing 337 metres or 890 kHz (presumably 891). This is a recording from 18th May 1983, the day of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs raid on Radio Nova, which sent shockwaves through the pirate world. No time is given, but the choice of music suggests an evening programme. The unnamed presenter plays punk and reggae and takes requests from listeners but there is no mention of the raid that morning. In the following days many pirates closed down temporarily as a precaution.

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

Sunday morning on Radio Nova

Sunday morning on Radio Nova
Radio Nova studio in 1982 (courtesy of DX Archive).

This is a recording of Radio Nova as heard on 88 FM on Sunday morning 12th September 1982 from 0930-1016. It begins at the end of the religious programme ‘Good News Tracks’ and is followed by the late Eddie West, who announces that Nova and KISS FM cars will be racing at the Mondello Park motorsports venue later that day. Ad breaks include regular spots for the Sunday World newspaper and the Red Corner Shop and a request is received from the Isle of Man. News is read by Bryan Dobson, now a well-known RTÉ journalist.

Eddie West worked at many pirates including Capitol and ARD as well as Nova and became Programme Controller at Downtown Radio and Cool FM in Belfast. He died in 2017 after an illness.

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

Peter Madison on Capitol 98 FM

Peter Madison on Capitol 98 FM
Capitol rate card from September 1982 near the end of the station’s run (courtesy of Ian Biggar).

Capitol Radio on 98 FM was a short-lived station specialising in adult-oriented music that broadcast to Dublin on 98.3 FM in 1982. Despite having many big names involved, a good studios and powerful transmitter, the station ran into financial difficulties and closed down after only a few months.

Recordings of the station are rare, so we are delighted to bring you this 45 minutes from Tuesday 20th July 1982 from 1358-1443. Scott Williams signs off and hands over to offshore veteran DJ Peter Madison (RIP), who was heard on many Irish pirates in the 1980s. Peter is clearly in anorak mood and plays songs by the Fortunes associated with the British offshore pirates Radio City and Radio Caroline. Despite Capitol’s promise to provide a news service, there are no headlines at the top of the hour although a news flash is heard about the infamous London bombings that day.

We thank Paul Buckle for this donation.