Dublin’s Favourite 50 on Q102

Dublin's Favourite 50 on Q102
Q102 logo from 1987 (Alan MacSimoin collection).

Q102 was one of the largest and most successful 1980s ‘super-pirates’ in Dublin. Priding itself as Irish-owned in contrast with other big stations Radio Nova and Sunshine Radio, it launched on January 23rd 1985 and quickly established a foothold in the Dublin market. In March 1988, Q102 took over the transmitters and equipment of Energy 103 after its sudden closure, given it a range of AM and FM frequencies in the capital. It was relaunched as ‘Super Q 102’ in summer 1988 and closed down on December 30th in line with new broadcasting legislation.

Dublin's Favourite 50 on Q102
Original cassette label from Anoraks Ireland Collection.

This recording was made on Easter Monday, 8th April 1985 and features Dublin’s Favourite 50 with Scott Williams, still a familiar name on the Dublin radio scene. News on the hour is read by Gary Hamill. Part 1 above runs from 1238-1326 and Part 2 below from 1326-1414.

Part 2 from 1326

The recording is from the Anoraks Ireland Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.

Cork’s South Coast Radio Top 40

Cork's South Coast Radio Top 40
Pete O’Neill in the South Coast studio (courtesy Lillian O’Donoghue).

In its first year on air, Cork’s popular new station South Coast Radio broadcast its own Top 40 on Saturday afternoons with a repeat on Tuesday nights. This show from Saturday 19th June 1982 is presented by Pete O’Neill, who is standing in for Mark Lawrence. The usual mix of local and agency adverts is heard throughout, evidence of South Coast’s growing success in the Cork radio market. The Top 40 is followed by the favourite records of the station’s DJs that week. There are no timechecks in the recording, presumably because it would be repeated. The final section below also contains snippets of Nick Richards, Tony Allan and Hugh Browne from what seem to be other editions of the Top 40 show.

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4 and clips of other Top 40 shows

Audio quality is fair to good with some distortion in places. The recording was made from 104 FM and is courtesy of Lillian O’Donoghue.

Steve Marshall on Galway’s WLS

Steve Marshall on Galway's WLS
WLS flyer from 1986/7 (courtesy Ian Biggar).

Steve Marshall was one of the founders of Galway station WLS (1985-1987), along with other ex-offshore DJs Keith York (RIP) and Don Stevens. WLS broadcast on 846 kHz AM and 104 FM, but switched to 102.7 in May 1985 after RTÉ alleged that it was interfering with television reception in Galway. By the summer of 1986, WLS was established as a popular and successful commercial station but it closed in unexplained circumstances in June 1987 after the departure of Don Stevens. Keith York and Steve Marshall went on to form Coast 103, which broadcast until the end of 1988.

This undated recording features Steve Marshall presenting a late night show sometime around October 1986. It was made from 102.7 FM from 2157-2233 and is courtesy of Brendan Mee.

Border-blaster Zee 103 from Co. Louth

Border-blaster Zee 103 from Co. Louth
Zee 103 logo from advertising card (courtesy Ian Biggar).

Zee 103 was a contemporary music station broadcasting from just south of the border in Omeath, Co. Louth from late 1986 until early 1989. It was one of several ‘border-blaster’ pirates from the 1980s, aiming its signal into Northern Ireland. Its origins were in another station, KISS FM, which began broadcasting from Craigavon in Co. Armagh in 1985 but moved south of the border to Omeath following a raid by the British authorities. Internal politics led to a delay in the station getting on air and resulted in a number staff of staff leaving to start their own operation, which would become KISS FM in Monaghan Town.

Border-blaster Zee 103 from Co. Louth
Zee 103 was based in Ardaghy House near Omeath (courtesy Ian Biggar).

Test transmissions using the name ‘Zee 103.3’ were made from Omeath in October 1986 and the station adjusted the frequency slightly to 103.25. Regular programming began on 11th November 1986 and continued until 31st December 1988 when the vast majority of Ireland’s pirate stations closed down in the light of legislation to legalise independent radio. Zee 103 ventured back on the air on 19th January 1989 but closed for good on 7th February as it became apparent that the authorities would crack down on pirates that were defying the new law.

This recording of Zee 103 is of Brendan Mee on an evening show between 1925-2027. Brendan was also heard on Galway pirates including WLS and offshore station Voice of Peace. The tape is undated but is estimated to be from April or May 1988. All adverts are for businesses north of the border, reflecting the fact that the station’s signal was aimed at mid-Ulster. Thanks to Brendan Mee for the donation and to Ian Biggar for background. Read a full station history here.

Dr Don’s final show on ARD

Dr Don's final show on ARD
Don Moore (left) and ARD backer Bernard Llewellyn after a raid on 31.01.78 (photo Eric Luke/Irish Press).

This is a recording of the final show by the late Don Moore on ARD in September 1982, towards the end of the station’s run. Dr Don, as he was known on air, was credited with developing ARD into a serious player in the Dublin radio market at the end of the 1970s and start of the 1980s.

The lunchtime show features Don’s trademark zaniness with comic inserts and jokes, some of which would be off-colour by today’s standards. Don was an irreverant broadcaster, but the fact that ARD was coming to an end probably meant that he was even less concerned about ruffling feathers. Although Don makes no farewell announcement at the end of the show, he doesn’t commit to returning the following day. Taking over at 2pm, the next DJ Seán Hannon hopes that Don will be back sometime in the future. The label on the cassette itself refers to ‘Dr Don final’ so it seems likely that this was his last show.

Dr Don's final show on ARD
Original cassette label from Anoraks Ireland Collection.

The recording was made on Wednesday 1st September 1982 from 99.9 FM between 1301-1413. It is from the Anoraks Ireland Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson. ARD closed just over two weeks later on 15th September.