Pat Courtenay was a familiar voice on many 1980s pirates including the Portmarnock-based station Sunshine Radio. This recording from summer 1985 features him on Sunshine’s breakfast show. It’s a Monday morning but Pat promises to drag listeners into the working week with the usual blend of music and chat. News at the top of the hour is read by Bob Powell (the headlines at half-past are cut). There are the customary agency adverts and commercials for businesses around Dublin and a promo for a £1,000 giveaway as part of the Sunshine Summer Lotto. Pat Courtenay continues to broadcast on radio in Dublin and Bob Powell went on to become a journalist with RTÉ.
The recording was made from 100.5 FM from 0657-0740 on 15th July 1985 and is from the Anoraks Ireland Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.
This recording of border station Radio Star Country was made in the week before Christmas 2010 when Ireland and the UK were paralysed by a severe cold snap. There was snow on the ground where the station was located north of Emyvale in Co. Monaghan, but DJ Rita plays the usual country and gospel music and shares plenty of seasonal requests from listeners. There are adverts for businesses in Antrim, Armagh, Fermanagh and Tyrone including jarring references to ‘Southern Ireland’. A promo thanks listeners and advertisers for their support during 2010 and businesses are invited to advertise by contacting sales representatives on UK mobile numbers. The religious programme New Life in Christ is broadcast from Killeen Gospel Hall in Co. Armagh and Rita is followed at 4pm by ‘The Cowboy’ on the drivetime programme.
This tape was recorded from 981 kHz from 1435-1640 on 16th December 2010. Made in Blackpool in England, it suffers from worsening co-channel interference and fading as darkness falls. The recording is courtesy of DX Archive.
This recording of Radio Nova offshoot Magic 103 was made in the new station’s first week on air. It features the end of Morning Magic with Bob Gallico (RIP), including a promo for the new Nova Boutique at 144 Upper Leeson Street where the studios were located. The main lunchtime ABC Network News is read by Bob and Mark Weller and is followed by an afternoon talkshow presented by Jenny McIver and Linda Conway. The show includes interviews with guests in studio and promises to bring listeners news and views from around Dublin.
The recording was made from 103.5 FM on 1st May 1985 from 1242-1328 and is from the Skywave Tapes Collection. Radio Skywave International was a 1980s shortwave station operating from Baldoyle in northeast Dublin.
Radio Sandymount was one of several pop-up community radio stations run by the Community Broadcasting Co-operative (CBC) in Dublin and surrounding counties between 1982 and 1988. Set up by Dave Reddy, Radio Sandymount was the first such station and proved so popular that the idea was replicated in other parts of Dublin as well as Wicklow and Meath. The CBC stations coincided with local community festivals and were a regular part of the radio scene on the east coast during the 1980s. Another CBC station was Radio Snowflake, which came on air at Christmas.
Radio Sandymount broadcast each year during the Sandymount and Merrion Community Week in late May or early June. This recording features the last day of the station’s run in 1984 . On air is David Baker, a familiar voice on the CBC stations and on numerous other pirates throughout the decade. There are plenty of requests, competition winners and references to local talent competitions and dinner dances – local radio at its finest!
The recording was made from 103.3 FM on 28th May 1984 between 1048-1135. Radio Sandymount also broadcast on 1116 kHz during the same period. The tape is from the Anoraks Ireland Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.
Radio Star Country marked 20 years on air in 2008 and continued to broadcast in defiance of the strict broadcasting legislation in the Republic of Ireland. Many pirate stations around the country had been raided or chose to apply for licences but the Monaghan station defied the odds and stuck to its winning formula of country and gospel music aimed mostly at a Northern audience. This recording from the run-up to Christmas 2010 gives a good sense of the station as it entered its third decade on air. On air is ‘The Cowboy’ who reads out seemingly endless requests from listeners across a wide area stretching from the border to Belfast and Ballymena and even Stranraer in Scotland. Christmas songs, often with religious themes, are added to the usual country and gospel mix. The adverts are from Northern counties only in contrast to earlier recordings of Radio Star Country, perhaps reflecting a clampdown on businesses in the Republic advertising on pirate radio. Promos inviting businesses to advertise for the Christmas period refer to the recession that was in full swing at the time. Hourly news is from the Sky News Centre in Britain and the Cowboy is followed by Jenny B with her drivetime show.
This tape was made from 981 kHz from 1233-1640 on 14th December 2010, 22 years after Radio Star Country began broadcasting. It was recorded in Blackpool in England and reception deteriorates as darkness falls, with some fading and increasing co-channel interference. The recording is courtesy of DX Archive.