Thanks to Kieran Murray who has edited jingles from Liberties Local Community Radio (LLCR) on Pirate.ie along with images of the station into a video on his YouTube channel. LLCR broadcast from the Liberties area of Dublin from April 1986 until the end of the 1988 and went through several incarnations and name changes. It was known variously as Liberty Radio, Liberty 104 and Gold 104. This jingle sweep contains many well-known voices such as Tony Allan and Gerry Moore.
Waterford Local Radio (WLR) was one of Ireland’s longest-running pirates, broadcasting from 1978 until the closedowns at the end of 1988. It was also one of the few to be granted a county licence under the new regime in 1989, and continues to broadcast to this day, using the same name.
In its pirate days, WLR broadcast on 1197 kHz AM (announced as 252 metres) and 88.8 FM. The origins of the station went back to 1972 when Rick Whelan and radio technician Egidio Giani managed to broadcast over a range of only a few hundred metres within Waterford City. The station began full-time broadcasting on 23rd June 1978 from Rick Whelan’s garage in Butlerstown to the west of the city and soon boosted its signal to cover a 20-mile radius. In September 1979, WLR moved into the city and linked its signal by FM to the AM site in Butlerstown. Rick’s brother Des became manager in 1978 and closed down WLR ten years later on 31st December 1988. The licensed WLR returned to the Waterford airwaves on 8th September 1989 and Des Whelan is still the managing director.
This recording was made from 88.8 FM on 24th March 1986 and is of part of a late night show presented by John O’Shea. It is from the Skywave Tapes Collection. Skywave Radio International was a shortwave station broadcasting from Baldoyle in northeast Dublin. Listen here to an interview with Eoin Ronayne about his memories of the pirate WLR.
KLAS was Dublin’s easy listening station, broadcasting on 98.5 FM from November 1986 until December 31st 1988. It was set up by Hugh Hardy who owned the Radio Carousel network and broadcast from a time from a garage behind his home in Sutton in Dublin. The station was renamed as Class 98 and managed by John May in its final months on air from studios in Harcourt Street in the city centre. It applied unsuccessfully in 1989 for one of the two Dublin city licences.
One of the founders of Pirate.ie, John Walsh, was involved in KLAS while still at school. Here is an aircheck of his programme between 1320-1400 on 21st December 1986 which includes agency ads and an ad for the Sunday World voiced by John himself.
Tony Christie was a familiar voice on many pirates in the 1980s including Liberty 104, Radio Dublin and KISS FM in Co. Offaly to where he moved in 1987. Here he is on Radio Dublin from 105 FM on Sunday 24th August 1986 from 1512-1600 with a show sponsored by the No Name Fashion Depot in Walkinstown. Along with regular live promos for No Name, the voices of Robbie Robinson and Tony Allan can be heard on ads. Tony Christie is now a broadcaster on Midlands 103.
This recording is from the Skywave Tapes Collection. Skywave Radio International was a shortwave station broadcasting from Baldoyle in northeast Dublin.
Because radio technology was so accessible in 1980s Dublin, all sorts of groups could get involved including youth clubs and community associations. Another station which began under the Community Broadcasting Co-operative (CBC) banner was St. Teresa’s Youth Club Radio (STYC) in the Dublin suburb of Mount Merrion.
Following the usual CBC model, STYC Radio came on the air first in August 1983 to coincide with a local festival and was due to return the following summer but never did so. The station was back on 17th August 1986 from the old Stella Cinema under the direction of John Marren and Greg Manahan.
There was a still a link with CBC through the FM transmitter which was supplied by Dave Reddy. Although output was only about 40 watts, the signal on 88 FM got good coverage because of the height of the antenna on the roof of the cinema which was only demolished recently. From 1986 STYC also broadcast on 963 kHz AM using the old Dún Laoghaire Local Radio transmitter, formerly Radio South County from Cabinteely in 1980.
The recording above was made on 24th August 1986 and features the final day of STYC Radio that summer. A giddy presenter at the start has mic problems and is followed by Greg Manahan, one of those running the station. There are references to festival events including a kids’ party, car treasure hunt and double DJ disco that night. It’s an Irish music show and bootlegs of U2 are among the songs played. Given that the destructive storm Hurricane Charley hit Ireland that very night, it was just as well that this was STYC’s final day.
The short airchecked recording below is also from August 1986 and includes Kevin O’Leary & Ken Kelleher with their punk show followed by Greg Manahan. The voice of John Marren is heard on the advert.
The long recording is from the Skywave Tapes Collection. Skywave Radio International was a shortwave station broadcasting from Baldoyle in northeast Dublin. The shorter clip is shared courtesy of Kevin Branigan. Thanks to Dave Reddy, Paul Murray and Kevin Branigan for background information.