Tony Gareth on Radio Nova

Tony Gareth on Radio Nova
Undated photo of Gareth O’Callaghan in the Nova studio (courtesy Noel Hiney).

This recording is of popular DJ Tony Gareth (Gareth O’Callaghan) on Radio Nova in December 1982. There is a large number of adverts in the pre-Christmas period, emphasising the growing commercial success of Nova. Gareth promotes a competition to give away a music system and uses the tag line ‘clutterfree’, the format of continuous music and limited chat for which Nova became renowned. There’s also the 2.15 ‘hit and pick’ request spot for a local business. News is read by Sybil Fennell and the weather forecast covers Northern Ireland and the northwest of England, reflecting Nova’s coverage area. Gareth O’Callaghan went on to work in many other pirate and licensed stations and is still broadcasting today.

This tape was recorded from 88.2 FM from 1400-1450 (news is cut) on 1st December 1982. It is from the Anoraks Ireland Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson. Nova also broadcast on 819 kHz at this time.

Breakfast on Galway’s Coast 103

Breakfast on Galway's Coast 103
Coast 103 sticker (Anoraks Ireland Collection).

Coast 103 was a popular Galway station broadcasting from the middle of 1987 until the end of 1988. Run by Keith York and Steve Marshall who had been involved with previous Galway stations Atlantic Sound and WLS, Coast later merged with Limerick station Hits 954 and eventually claimed to cover a large area from Galway to the outskirts of Cork City. This recording was made towards the end of Coast’s run and features Ger Sweeney’s upbeat breakfast show, sponsored by the Happy Spud. A promo refers to Coast being heard in Limerick, Tipperary, Kerry and Cork but all of the adverts are from Galway. Ger must have been in a rush to leave as there is continuous music at the end of his show before Shane Martin takes over.

Breakfast on Galway's Coast 103
Original cassette label from Anoraks Ireland Collection.

The recording was made from 102.95 FM on 8th November 1988 from 0836-0924. It is from the Anoraks Ireland Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.

Big Tree Radio from Swords

Big Tree Radio from Swords

Big Tree Radio was a shortlived station broadcasting from above a pub in Swords in north Co. Dublin in 1983. Called after the Big Tree pub (now the Estuary Bar) on North Main Street, some of the station’s DJs sounded very young and inexperienced, a reminder that everyone had access to the airwaves during the freewheeling pirate era. In this recording, Angie plays an easy listening format until 10pm and is followed by ‘Jeremy James’ until midnight who probably borrowed the name of the Voice of Peace DJ. Audio quality is fair with crackly vinyl and a bad hum on the microphone and there are no adverts to be heard. An address care of the pub is given for listeners to write in and request songs.

Big Tree Radio from Swords
Original cassette label from Anoraks Ireland Collection.

The tape was made from 94 FM on 4th March 1983. Part 1 above runs from 2137 and part 2 below from 2229.

Part 2 from 2229.

This recording is from the Anoraks Ireland Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.

Cut Price Gold competition on KISS FM

Cut Price Gold competition on KISS FM
KISS FM flyer from 1986 (courtesy Andy Carter).

One of the many stations called KISS FM during the pirate era was based in Foley Street in the north inner city of Dublin and broadcast from May 1985 until October 1986. This KISS FM was owned by two German businessmen based in Cavan and managed by well-known broadcaster David Baker. The station had promise and many professional DJs, including Eamonn Kelly who is heard in this recording presenting the drivetime show on 19th November 1985. Eamonn was heard previously on other big stations such as ERI in Cork and Q102 in Dublin. In recent years, he has worked with Smooth Radio in the UK. KISS FM closed following a raid in October 1986, an event documented in detail in the book Radio Radio by Peter Mulryan (1988).

The show includes a competition for jewellery from Cut Price Gold who were heavily advertising on KISS FM at the time. Another interesting feature is the impressive range of adverts including local shops, larger businesses including McDonald’s, Penney’s, Philips audio, Cadbury’s, drinks companies and various record releases. Traffic news is courtesy of a courier company and ‘Associated Network News’ is read by Noelle.

Cut Price Gold competition on KISS FM
Original cassette label from Anoraks Ireland Collection.

Audio quality on the recording is fair. It sounds more like AM but the station’s 1116 kHz AM transmitter was shortlived and probably off-air at this time. The cassette label mentions 104.1 FM in mono (94 and 104.7 are announced on air). The times logged are incorrect: Part 1 above runs from 1616-1701 and Part 2 below from 1710-1755.

Part 2 from 1710

This recording is from the Anoraks Ireland Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.

Dublin’s Favourite 50 on Q102

Dublin's Favourite 50 on Q102
Q102 logo from 1987 (Alan MacSimoin collection).

Q102 was one of the largest and most successful 1980s ‘super-pirates’ in Dublin. Priding itself as Irish-owned in contrast with other big stations Radio Nova and Sunshine Radio, it launched on January 23rd 1985 and quickly established a foothold in the Dublin market. In March 1988, Q102 took over the transmitters and equipment of Energy 103 after its sudden closure, given it a range of AM and FM frequencies in the capital. It was relaunched as ‘Super Q 102’ in summer 1988 and closed down on December 30th in line with new broadcasting legislation.

Dublin's Favourite 50 on Q102
Original cassette label from Anoraks Ireland Collection.

This recording was made on Easter Monday, 8th April 1985 and features Dublin’s Favourite 50 with Scott Williams, still a familiar name on the Dublin radio scene. News on the hour is read by Gary Hamill. Part 1 above runs from 1238-1326 and Part 2 below from 1326-1414.

Part 2 from 1326

The recording is from the Anoraks Ireland Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.