Interview: Maureen Maguire (Radio Pirate Woman, Radio Sinn Féin)

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.

Interview: Maureen Maguire (Radio Pirate Woman, Radio Sinn Féin)
Undated flyer (possibly 1990) about Radio Pirate Woman (courtesy of Eddie Bohan).

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.

Interview: Maureen Maguire (Radio Pirate Woman, Radio Sinn Féin)
The Woodquay area of Galway from where Radio Pirate Woman broadcast (photo by John Walsh).

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.

Interview: Maureen Maguire (Radio Pirate Woman, Radio Sinn Féin)
Article about Radio Sinn Féin from An Phoblacht/Republican News, November 1983 (Alan MacSiomoin collection).

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.

Final overnight of Centre Radio, 30th to 31st December 1988

Final overnight of Centre Radio, 30th to 31st December 1988
Centre Radio flyer from 1987 (from Brian Greene).

This is an aircheck of the northeast Dublin station Centre Radio recorded from 2300 on 30th December 1988 to 0530 on 31st, the final day of broadcasting before the pirates were silenced. On air overnight is Bobby Gibbson (aka Brian Greene). Centre had just finished broadcasting a live variety concert from its studio location at the Mid-Sutton Community Centre. The decision was taken to broadcast through the night for the last time before the closedown at midnight on the 31st.

Final overnight of Centre Radio, 30th to 31st December 1988
Poster for Centre Radio disco, 1987 (from Brian Greene).

Jingles: Radio Dublin

Radio Dublin was Ireland’s longest running pirate radio station. It broadcast from 1966 until 2003 and was at its peak in the early to mid 1980s on 253m/1188KHz and 6910 kHz shortwave.

Here are a number of station idents and jingles.

Two iconic 253 jingles from the late 70s.
A top of the hour jingle from 1988. The FM transmitter had moved to 105 but the station was still announcing 98.8 also!
Radio Dublin relayed other stations frequently during its long existence including World Music Radio. This recording is from 1987. After midnight on 01.01.89 when it defied the new law, it relied on WMR tapes for the first few days before resuming live programming.

You can hear a recording from Radio Dublin’s popular Dusty’s Trail programme here and an interview with former station manager Joe Rossa (aka Joe Doyle) here.

Jingles: Radio Dublin
Jingles: Radio Dublin

Interview: Paul Allen (Sunshine Radio)

On October 20th 2018 over 100 radio anoraks gathered in the Ballsbridge Hotel Dublin. The purpose was to meet and record oral history of the pirate radio era.

Paul Allen (aka Paul King) was involved in East Coast Radio, BLB, WLR & Sunshine Radio on air. He also worked on the Sunshine Radio Review.

Interview: Paul Allen (Sunshine Radio)
Interview: Paul Allen (Sunshine Radio)
Interview: Paul Allen (Sunshine Radio)