Gerard Roe on Radio Dublin Channel 2 (15 December 1982)

Gerard Roe on Radio Dublin Channel 2 (15 December 1982)
Radio Dublin in Inchicore c. 1985 (courtesy Andy Carter).

Gerard Roe presented the Free Radio Campaign (FRC) show on Radio Dublin Channel 2 from 1982-1984. The FRC quickly became popular with watchers of the Irish radio scene at home and abroad. It was broadcast on a Wednesday evening from 2000-2100 on Channel 2 and repeated on Sunday morning from 1100-1200 on the shortwave station Westside Radio International.

This edition of the FRC begins with Gerard’s usual recap of news items from a year before, when many Dublin stations were off the air due to a snow storm. Gerard notes that Big D is back on AM after a break and plays a recording of a discussion about local radio between James Dillon of Big D and Jim Kemmy of Radio 257 on 1st January 1980. There is news about the offshore Radio Caroline and Dublin pirates using the same name and KELO is said to be behind the relay of Radio Nova on 298 metres. The start of Christmas station Radio Snowflake on 199 metres is also noted.

Gerard Roe on Radio Dublin Channel 2 (15 December 1982)
Original cassette label from Anoraks Ireland Collection.

Channel 2 was established in April 1982 on FM only as a specialist opt-out service from Radio Dublin. It began on FM only but later added AM. There were technical problems due to lack of investment and poor audio quality because of bleedthrough from the powerful transmiters in close proximity. The signal was often weak on AM and FM was limited to the Inchicore area. Interference from Radio Dublin Channel 1 can be heard clearly on this recording, which was made from 98.8 FM from 2001-2110 on 15th December 1982.

This recording is from the Anoraks Ireland Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson. Listen here to Pirate.ie Podcast #10 featuring our interview with Gerard Roe about his memories of pirate radio.

Album tracks with Nick Richards on South Coast Radio

Album tracks with Nick Richards on South Coast Radio
Nick Richards in summer 1982 (courtesy Lillian O’Donoghue).

This is a recording of Nick Richards on South Coast Radio from the summer of 1982. Nick is sitting in for Keith York on his Saturday evening slot and plays tracks from the station’s albums of the week. South Coast was on the air for almost three months at this stage, so it is surprising that no adverts are broadcast, although a promo encouraging businesses to advertise is aired a few times.

The recording was made from 104 FM on 23rd May 1982 and runs from 1843-1928. Thanks to Ian Biggar for the donation.

First test broadcasts on Royal County Radio

First test broadcasts on Royal County Radio
RCR envelope (Anoraks Ireland Collection).

Royal County Radio broadcast from 1982 to 1984 from Navan in Co. Meath and was managed by the late Don Allen, a stalwart of the offshore and Irish pirate scene. The station launched on 8th October from the Trimgate Arcade in the centre of Navan, announcing 245 metres although the cassette label records the actual wavelength as 254 metres (1179 kHz although it is unlikely that the station was so close to Radio Dublin on 1188). Royal County Radio moved around the medium wave band before settling on 355 metres (846 kHz).

This recording is of the first test broadcasts of Royal County Radio and is undated but seems to be from more than one day, so we estimate 8th and possibly 9th October 1982. The voice of station manager Don Allen is heard on promos and a single advert and other DJs include Lynsey Shelbourne (Dolan), John Stevens and Fab Ollie. Audio levels are uneven and a heterodyne is heard at night, suggesting that the transmitter was slightly off channel. To the strains of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Don Allen closes down the station at midnight. RCR was in direct competition with Radio Carousel Navan and left the airwaves by the middle of 1984.

This recording was made by Kieran Murray and is from the Anoraks Ireland Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.

Mid-morning on South Coast Radio

Mid-morning on South Coast Radio
Pete O’Neill with a furry friend at South Coast in 1982 (courtesy Lillian O’Donoghue).

This is part of Pete O’Neill’s popular mid-morning show on South Coast Radio in Cork on June 18th 1982. There’s the usual birthday file, which includes the news that Paul McCartney was 40 on that day. Other regular features include the What’s On In Munster slot. The recording begins after the 10am news and is partially airchecked. It was made from 104 FM but quality is only fair in places due to the age of the cassette. Thanks to Lillian O’Donoghue for the donation.

South Coast Radio from June 1982

South Coast Radio from June 1982
Nick Richards at South Coast in 1982 (courtesy Lillian O’Donoghue).

This is a selection of short recordings of Cork’s South Coast Radio from a week in June 1982. First up is Nick Richards from just after midnight on Tuesday 15th June, who includes a request for number one South Coast fan, Lillian McCarthy (O’Donoghue). Then we hear extracts from Pete O’Neill’s mid-morning show from Thursday 17th June. Pete says that the schedule will be different the following day because breakfast DJ Alan Reid (Henry Condon, also known as Henry Owens, RIP) will be celebrating his birthday that night. At the end we hear a snippet of the late Hugh Browne from his afternoon show on the same day.

These recordings were made from 104 FM and are courtesy of Lillian O’Donoghue.