On July 29th 2017, East Wall History Group held the Sarah Lundberg Summer School, an event set up to commemorate the life of Sarah Lundberg, an activist, historian and scholar who was involved in the group. One of Sarah Lundberg’s interests was pirate radio and that was the focus of the 2017 Summer School.
In this edited interview Alan MacSimoin (RIP) talks to Maureen Maguire about her memories of political pirate radio in Ireland, including the unique Galway station Radio Pirate Woman, run by left-wing activist Margaretta D’Arcy from the 1980s.
Maureen Maguire was also involved with Radio Sinn Féin which broadcast on 298 metres (1008 kHz) in 1983. The station was one of several set up by the party as a protest against Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act which banned interviews with members of certain organisations including Sinn Féin.
There were several such stations during the 1980s including many supporting Republic prisoners on hunger strike who stood in the general election of June 1981 under the Anti H-Block banner. A short recording of Radio H-Block based in Dublin can be heard here (courtesy Skywave Collection) It also broadcast on 298 metres.
On October 20th 2018 over 100 radio anoraks gathered in the Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin. The purpose was to meet and record oral history of the pirate radio era, as the 30th anniversary of the 1988 closedowns approached.
At the event we met Eddie Caffrey (aka Heady Eddie), one of the best-known people in radio in the northeast stretching back over 40 years on both pirate and licensed stations. We spoke to him about the 1980s shortwave radio scene in Ireland, in particular his own stations Radio Rainbow International and Radio Fax. The interviewer is Brian Greene.
We thank Eddie for his generous donations without which our series on the northeast pirates could not have taken place.