Westside Radio following 1983 raids

Westside Radio following 1983 raids
Westside Radio advert in Irish Radio News in 1983 (courtesy Ian Biggar).

Following the raids on Sunshine Radio and Radio Nova, the pirate airwaves of Dublin fell largely silent. Only three stations remained on air: Radio Dublin from Inchicore, ABC Radio from the city centre and Westside Radio from Mulhuddart in the west of the city. This recording is of Westside Radio from the morning of 20th May 1983, the day after Radio Nova’s official closedown. DJ John Martin says that no pirates remain on FM in the city, with just three on AM, including Westside. Listeners are invited to complete a petition in favour of the pirates and send it to Westside or Radio Nova itself in advance of a court hearing the following week.

The recording was made from 1035 kHz, announcing 290 metres. Westside went on the air in early 1983 and later merged with ABC Radio to become Radio Annabel, which began testing in September 1983.

This recording is from the Skywave Tapes Collection. Radio Skywave International was a shortwave station broadcasting from Baldoyle in northeast Dublin in the 1980s.  

ABC Radio following 1983 raids

ABC Radio following 1983 raids
ABC studio (from former tribute site abcradio-dublin.com, no longer online).

ABC Radio was one of the smaller Dublin stations of the early 1980s, operating from 1981 until the autumn of 1983. Broadcasting from the Ivy Rooms Hotel (now the Gate Hotel) on Parnell Street, ABC was an offshoot of Radio Dublin Channel 2 and eventually merged with another small station, Westside Radio, to form Radio Annabel. It was one of three stations that remained on air in Dublin following the infamous raids on Sunshine Radio and Radio Nova in May 1983.

This recording runs from 1123-1143 on Friday 20th May and is from FM in mono, although we don’t have a frequency. ABC also broadcast on 981 kHz AM around this time, announcing 312 metres. Ger Parks jokes that the DJs had been out late the previous night, no doubt related to the raids. There’s also mention of a protest march in favour of pirate radio to be held the following week.

This recording is from the Skywave Tapes Collection. Radio Skywave International was a shortwave station from Baldoyle in northeast Dublin in the 1980s.

Radio Nova official closedown, 19th May 1983

Our montage of the final minute of Nova with photos taken by Joe King.

Here’s the iconic announcement of the official closedown of Radio Nova at 6pm on Thursday, 19th May 1983, following the raid by the Department of Posts and Telegraphs on the station the previous morning. From the afternoon of the 19th as news of the imminent closure spread, a large crowd assembled outside the studios at 19 Herbert Street, Dublin 2 and Nova’s many listeners near and far heard the electric farewell broadcast. Watch a video of the dramatic closedown announcement voiced by Tony Allan, with photographs of the final day courtesy of Joe King. Listen below to the final 40 minutes of broadcasting from 1720-1800.

The final 40 minutes of Radio Nova on May 19th 1983.

This recording is from the Skywave Tipler Tapes Collection. Radio Skywave International was a shortwave station based in Baldoyle in northeast Dublin in the 1980s.

Royal County Radio during 1983 raids

Royal County Radio during 1983 raids
Royal County Radio flyer (courtesy Ian Biggar).

This recording of Co. Meath station Royal County Radio was made during the infamous raids by the Department of Posts and Telegraph on the super-pirates in May 1983. It was recorded on the morning of Thursday 19th May, a few hours after Sunshine Radio in Portmarnock was raided, and a day after Radio Nova was shut down.

Royal County Radio broadcast from Navan from October 1982 until the middle of 1984. In this recording, Al O’Rourke refers to a quiz coming up the following Monday but adds ‘fingers crossed’, a reflection of the nervousness among pirates at the time. Many stations closed down temporarily as a precaution in the days after the raids.

This extract begins at 1117 and is partially airchecked. It was recorded from 846 kHz, announcing 355 metres. Audio quality is fair to poor as the signal is groundwave reception recorded outside the Navan area. This recording is from the Skywave Tapes Collection. Radio Skywave International was a shortwave station broadcasting from northeast Dublin in the 1980s.

Community Radio Fingal during 1983 raids

Community Radio Fingal during 1983 raids
CRF studio in Loughshinny in 1984 (Anoraks Ireland Collection).

This recording of Community Radio Fingal (CRF) was made during the May 1983 raids on Irish pirate radio stations. CRF broadcast from various locations around north Dublin from March 1983 until the end of 1988, focusing on a local listenership but getting its signal out well due to its 1kW AM transmitter. CRF was based in the Castle Shopping Centre in Swords at the time, and many of the adverts feature businesses located there.

Our recording was made from 1575 kHz (announcing 189 metres) from 1040 on Thursday May 19th, just over an hour after the raid on Sunshine Radio less than 10km away in Portmarnock. As fears grew that more stations would be raided, DJ Jimmy Clarke makes an oblique reference to transmitters and laughs nervously.

This recording is from the Skywave Tapes Collection. Radio Skywave International was a shortwave station from Baldoyle in northeast Dublin in the 1980s.