Radio Ringsend was one of several temporary community stations under the umbrella of the Community Broadcasting Co-operative (CBC) in the 1980s. Set up by Dave Reddy, the pop-up stations went on air to coincide with local community festivals in Dublin and surrounding counties. Based in the southeast inner city, Radio Ringsend broadcast for the first time during the Ringsend and District Community Festival in 1982 and continued each year until summer 1988.
This recording from 1982 is of part of the final day of Radio Ringsend’s first run. Up first is Victor Ryan with music, a copious number of requests and community notices. He is followed at 4pm by Al O’Rourke and at 6pm by Mick Nugent who hosts the final show until 8pm. There’s a real community feel with local kids interviewed in studio between the records. Adverts for local businesses such as corner shops, chippers, garages and pubs are aired. The airchecked tape begins before 3pm on Sunday 18th July 1982 and was recorded from 1512 kHz (199 metres). Radio Ringsend also broadcast on 104 FM. This recording is from the Anoraks Ireland Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.
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.
Following the relaunch as Radio 257 on New Year’s Day 1980 and a move to the Crofton Airport Hotel, the station had resumed using the ARD name by the autumn of that year. The arrival on the scene of super-pirates Sunshine Radio in 1980 and Radio Nova in 1981 changed everything and smaller stations such as ARD began to feel the pinch. It moved back into the city centre in early 1982 but closed later that autumn, making its final broadcast on September 15th. According to Radio Radio (1988) by Peter Mulryan: ‘After the emotional closedown, the microphones were kept open on FM, and Dublin listened to the sad sound of the studios being dismantled’.
This is a recording of a very young David Baker presenting the Saturday breakfast programme from the Crofton on 1st August 1981. The recording was made from 99 FM from 0820-0905 and includes news read by Al O’Rourke. Both David and Al would go on to work in many other Dublin pirates, including the network of temporary festival stations run by the Community Broadcasting Co-operative.
We thank David Baker for his donation of this recording. Listen here to our podcast with David in which he shares his memories of pirate days.
We’ve recently featured a number of temporary stations run by the Community Broadcasting Co-operative (CBC). CBC was set up by Dave Reddy in 1982 and operated short-term summer stations coinciding with local festivals in Sandymount, Ringsend, Glasnevin, Donnybrook and Mount Merrion. CBC was also involved with pop-up stations in Ráth Chairn, Co. Meath and Wicklow Town, the latter leading to the full-time station WLCB (Wicklow Local Community Broadcasting).
CBC also sometimes broadcast using its own name, rather than as a specific local station. This recording from 1005-1050 on Sunday, 15th April 1984 is one such example. Al O’Rourke is on air and is full of chat about the morning’s papers and the news of the week. He explains that CBC will soon be operating local temporary stations and lists upcoming broadcasts from Sandymount, Glasnevin, Ringsend and Mount Merrion. Interested community groups or youth clubs are invited to get in touch. The recording was made from 1116 kHz (announcing 270 metres) but Al O’Rourke also mentions that they will be on 199 metres (1512 kHz) later that morning.
This recording is from the Skywave Tapes Collection. Skywave Radio International broadcast a shortwave station in the 1980s from Baldoyle in northeast Dublin.