Liberties Local Community Radio (LLCR) began broadcasting in April 1986 from Weaver Square in Dublin 8. It was run by Sammy Prendergast who was well known for installing aerials for pirate stations. LLCR broadcast on 1035 kHz AM using the old Capitol Radio rig which had been on 1017 kHz until shortly before then. It was also heard on 104 FM at a later stage.
Although LLCR began by emphasising its community roots in the Liberties, it never sounded like long-standing community stations such as BLB and NDCR. There was a lot of chopping and changing in Weaver Square during its two years on air but the station had its followers nonetheless. One of its most popular programmes was a hip-hop show presented by Tony Christie.
There was a lot of variation in the station’s name as these jingles and idents indicate, from LLCR to Liberties Radio to Liberty Radio. The station also announced Liberty 104 for a while and was known as Gold 104 in the second half of 1988. The poor-quality jingles for ‘Super Rock 104’ seem to be from that period.
You can hear an aircheck of Teena Gates reading news on Liberty 104 here.
There were several stations calling themselves Capital or Capitol Radio at various times during the pirate era but one favourite of ours was Capitol Radio/Nitesky 96 which evolved from playing album tracks to indie and alternative music. Nitesky 96 was launched as a ‘sister station’ to Capitol on 1st July 1986 and initially featured specialist programmes before settling into its own style of niche music drawing on the lively Dublin band scene. Its ‘Alternative Night’ at McGonagle’s nightclub in South Anne Street was highly popular towards the end of the station’s existence in 1988.
Capitol broadcast on 1017 kHz until early 1986 before selling its AM TX to the new Liberties Local Community Radio which took up position on 1035 kHz. For the remainder of its existence Capitol/Nitesky broadcast on 94.1 and 95.8 FM. Capitol’s jingle package was from the station of the same name in South Africa. Here’s a selection of those jingles from our own collection along with some idents featuring Tony Allan and a Bill Mitchell ident for Nitesky.
Here is Capitol’s news sting. Like many others, Capitol downgraded its news service in later years and read a weather forecast at the top of the hour, using this sting. Other stations using this sting also included CBC in Clonmel and City Centre Radio in Limerick.
KITS was one of the many ‘border blasters’, stations which popped up along the border during the 1980s and beamed their signals north in the search for advertising and listeners. KITS went on air towards the era of the pirate era on 19th December 1987 and broadcast from Monaghan town on 837 kHz AM and 101 FM. The station closed on 31st December 1988 in line with new broadcasting legislation.
Although less powerful than its audacious neighbour KISS FM – which aimed unashamedly at the Belfast market – KITS had its own strong following on both sides of the border and marketed itself as ‘Ulster’s favourite music station’. Here is its jingle package from our own collection. Listen to an interview with Gareth O’Connor about KITS here.
Radio Anita was a hobby station operated by Frank Williams (aka Frank Decker) from Howth in north Co. Dublin and broadcast sporadically in the late 1980s, taking advantage of the height offered by its site on Howth Head. Frank was also involved in Centre Radio in Bayside and Baldoyle, a youth station that operated mostly during school holidays from 1986 to 1988.
Here’s a short aircheck of Radio Anita from 1987 or 1988 (we don’t have a precise date) recorded from 94.6 FM. This is from our own collection.
North Dublin Community Radio (NDCR) began broadcasting from Coolock in northeast Dublin in 1983 and was one of the leading community stations of the time, broadcasting on 1008 kHz AM and 100 FM. Many of those involved in NDCR went on to establish NEAR FM, the current licensed community station for northeast Dublin. Here’s a selection of NDCR jingles and promos from 1987 and 1988.
You can hear an interview with NDCR founder Jack Byrne here and with former presenter Declan Ralph here.