Erneside Community was one of several pirates broadcasting from Co. Cavan during the 1980s. It was a strong supporter of local country and western artists throughout its four years on air. Erneside began test transmissions in January 1985 and started full programming on 25th February, broadcasting on 1251 kHz (announcing 240 metres). A detailed report by Seán Brady of Cavan Community Radio in the Anoraks UK Weekly Report of 31st March 1985 described the ‘Cavan Radio Explosion’ and noted that Erneside broadcast from 8am to midnight, specialising mostly in Irish country and western music. Erneside also had an outside broadcast unit that had travelled to Counties Cavan, Leitrim and Fermanagh and carried community notices each day. The station later added FM and continued to broadcast until 30th December 1988.
This tape was recorded in the English midlands and is of DX quality, with plenty of deep fading and interference. No times were noted on the cassette, but it was made during the afternoon of 13th November 1985 as winter darkness fell. There are adverts from both sides of the border in the run-up to the busy Christmas period. The first DJ is Brian Gold and he is followed by Don Woods.
This recording is from the Leon Tipler Tapes Collection, donated to us by Steve England.
In the summer of 1984, things were looking up for Radio Nova following the end of RTÉ’s relentless jamming of the station for the early part of the year. A public backlash led to the jamming being called off but although the obstacles to reception of Nova had been removed, storm clouds were gathering due to a bitter industrial relations dispute with journalists laid off by Chris Cary.
This tape is of Jason Maine’s evening programme as heard in the English midlands around this time. It was recorded from the high-power transmitter on 738 kHz AM, which had recently become the only AM frequency following the end of the jamming. The weather forecast contains reference to the northwest of England as Nova was targetting that area at the time.
The recording features good skywave reception with fading and occasional co-channel interference from the Spanish station on the same frequency. It was made on Monday 28th May 1984 from 2141-2211 and is from the Leon Tipler Tapes Collection, donated to us by Steve England.
Finding suitable frequencies on the crowded AM band of the 1980s was one of the technical challenges facing the Irish pirates and the story of Radio West is a case in point. The midlands station began on 1071 kHz in 1982 before moving to 702 kHz and then 729 kHz, a bad choice given the presence of RTÉ’s Cork opt-out service on the same frequency. Radio West switched to 765 kHz on 27th June 1983, increasing its range within Ireland and beyond. From 1986-1988, it returned to 702 kHz, rebranding itself as ‘West National Radio 3’ and claiming national coverage on AM and a series of FM transmitters.
This tape was made from 765 kHz in the early hours of Saturday 9th July 1983 and features the closedown of Radio West for the night. The unidentified DJ signs off in both Irish and English and then plays the iconic Desiderata song, also used by Sunshine Radio in Dublin at closedown each night. The broadcast ends with the national anthem.
There is plenty of fading as would be expected in late-night DX reception outside the core transmission area. The recording was made in the English midlands and is from the Leon Tipler Tapes Collection, donated to us by Steve England.
Following the raids by the Department of Posts and Telegraphs on the large Dublin stations Radio Nova and Sunshine Radio, fear spread through the pirate radio world in Dublin and further afield. Many stations closed temporarily as a precaution and Radio Leinster left the airwaves for good. It was expected that the long-running Radio Dublin in Inchicore would be the next to be raided and the premises and equipment were secured as a precaution. During Thursday 19th May, the date of Radio Nova’s official closedown, Radio Dublin opened its phone lines and studios to listeners concerned that they were to lose their favourite pirate stations.
This recording of that afternoon captures both the growing sense of panic among the pirates and the deep loyalty of listeners to Radio Dublin. First up is DJ Damien McCloskey who chats to other DJs and listeners both in studio and by phone, all of whom express their anger at the Department of Posts and Telegraphs. A protest march to support local radio is announced for the following week and there are references to the demise of Radio Leinster and the forthcoming Nova closedown. There are plenty of technical glitches and the Department is accused of jamming the phone lines preventing listeners from getting through. At 4pm Seán Day (Murphy) takes over and continues in the same style.
Audio quality is fair with some cassette degradation and wobble. The recording was made on 19th May 1983 from 1188 kHz, announcing 253 metres, and there is ample use of the iconic Radio Dublin 253 jingle package and station theme ‘I Like It’ by the Da Band. Radio Dublin was not on FM that day, probably as a precaution against removal of transmission equipment. Part 1 of the recording above begins at 1510 and Part 2 below at 1608 but there are minor edits in both.
The recording is from the Skywave Tapes Collection. Radio Skywave International was a 1980s shortwave station from Baldoyle in northeast Dublin.
Moonlight Radio was a shortlived hobby station broadcasting on AM in 1983 from the Glasnevin area of north Dublin. According to former DJ Joe Doyle in an interview with Pirate.ie, Moonlight was set up by Damian McTiernan and used just 50 watts of power. The name was due to the fact that it only came on air at night.
This recording was made from 266 metres/1125 kHz and features Dominic Heary who gives out a phone number for requests and reception reports. Dominic says that the station is back for another test broadcast but is on reduced power and this is confirmed by night-time fading heard during the recording, which was made only about 10km away. The same frequency was used by Radio Carousel in Dundalk and the co-channel interference at times may be from the Louth station.
Unusually there are no times or date on the recording but we estimate it to be from December 1983. The tape is from the Skywaves Collection. Radio Skywave International was a 1980s shortwave station broadcasting from Baldoyle in northeast Dublin.