Breakfast on Community Radio Fingal

Breakfast on Community Radio Fingal
CRF car sticker (courtesy DX Archive).

This is a recording of Community Radio Fingal (CRF) made by Leon Tipler during a visit to Dublin in 1982. It features a short extract from the breakfast show presented by Damien from 0848-0858 on Monday 13th September 1982 recorded from 1584 kHz (189 metres). The local FM transmitter on 96 MHz is also mentioned. CRF would later move slightly up the AM band to 1575 kHz, which was a clearer channel.

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

Visit to Community Radio Fingal

Visit to Community Radio Fingal
CRF sticker (courtesy of DX Archive).

Community Radio Fingal (CRF) broadcast from various locations in north Co. Dublin from March 1982 until the end of 1988. In September 1982, they were visited at the Rockabill Hotel near Skerries by the British radio enthusiast Leon Tipler during one of his Irish trips.

This is the unedited version of the interviews about CRF in Tipler’s documentary series ‘The Irish Pirates’. Speaking in the tiny CRF studio, Pat Young explains that the station emerged from Dublin Community Radio, which by 1982 was struggling with increased competition in the city’s pirate scene. At the time the station broadcast on 1584 kHz AM, announcing 189 metres, with 1 kW of power which gave it good reception all over Dublin. A 25-watt FM transmitter on 96 MHz linked to the AM installation a few kilometres away. CRF had 10-12 presenters and four sales staff and was doing well with listeners and advertisers. Tipler also interviews DJ Sindy who is one of four female presenters and a part-time sales representative.

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

Roland Burke on Radio Leinster

Roland Burke on Radio Leinster
Radio Leinster logo (courtesy of David Baker)

This is an early recording of Radio Leinster made from 1722-1809 on 28th May 1981 from its AM frequency of 738 kHz (406 metres). Roland Burke (RIP) is on air with what he admits himself is a musical mixture, ranging from current pop artists such as Kim Wilde and Toyah Wilcox to the Eagles, Manhattan Transfer and Linda Ronstadt. it’s all a bit confusing and clearly Leinster was still finding its niche and was yet to become the easy listening station which became its hallmark in later times.

Surprisingly there are no ads to be heard in this 45-minute recording even though Radio Leinster was on air for a month at this stage. There’s no sign either of the news service that was promised when the station launched.

Reception is fair as the recording was made in Scotland. We thank Ken Baird for this donation.

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.

Interview with Paul Byrne (Radio Carrick, CBC, WLR)

Interview with Paul Byrne (Radio Carrick, CBC, WLR)
A young Paul Byrne in the CBC studio (courtesy of Jonathan Ryan).

Paul Byrne began working in pirate radio in his native Tipperary in the early 1980s. In this interview with John Walsh, he explains how he got involved with radio and remembers his involvement in various stations including Radio Carrick (Carrick-on-Suir), CBC (Clonmel), NCLR (Mallow), Centre Radio (an offshoot of CBC) and WLR (Waterford). Listen to a documentary about the history of CBC here.

He also speaks about the influence of radio abroad on the Irish pirates, the quest for originality among the young pioneers, the influence of the pirates on local communities and their broader significance for Irish society in the 1980s.

Interview with Paul Byrne (Radio Carrick, CBC, WLR)
Poster for CBC Clonmel (courtesy of Jonathan Ryan).

Paul Byrne has 40 years of experience of the Irish broadcast industry. After the pirates, he worked as a presenter on the licensed WLR and later moved into management, becoming CEO of Tipp FM and then Radio Kerry. In 2020 he became director of Pure Radio, an online station from Tipperary.