Aircheck: Boyneside Radio

Aircheck: Boyneside Radio
Sticker from the Boyneside Radio and Television period in 1982 (courtesy Ian Biggar/DX Archive(.

Boyneside Radio from Co. Louth was one of the largest and most successful regional stations in Ireland during the 1980s. It broadcast for 10 years from 1978 to 1988 from Drogheda. During that decade Boyneside developed a series of additional transmitters and opt-out services in Navan, Kells, north Dublin and along the border aiming into Northern Ireland. This post contains a selection of airchecks and promos, beginning with a top-of-the-hour news ident from 1984.

Top of the hour into news from 1984.

The next two clips are of the 6.02 evening news and ads from 30th August 1988. The news began at 6.02 to allow time for the Angelus. Boyneside was one of a small numbers of stations to broadcast the Angelus at 12 noon and 6pm. The presenter is long-time Boyneside newsreader Áine Ní Ghuidhir.

Finally is a promo seeking a new transmission site in Kells, Co. Meath. We have no date for this recording.

You can hear a panel discussion on the Louth pirates here and a separate interview with local veteran broadcaster Eddie Caffrey here. We also have a recording of how Boyneside covered the controversy about Radio Tara (to become Atlantic 252) in Co. Meath.

Interview: Gerry Reilly, transmitter man

Interview: Gerry Reilly, transmitter man

On October 20th 2018 over 100 radio anoraks gathered in the Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin. The purpose was to meet and record oral history of the pirate radio era.

In this interview, Walter Hegarty talks to Gerry Reilly, a radio engineer from Co. Cavan. Gerry worked on transmitters for almost 50 stations including Kandy Radio, Galway District Radio (GDR), Hometown Radio, Big M, Erneside, NWCR, CCR, Breffni Radio, Midwest Radio. East Coast Radio (Louth), Melvin Radio, Radio North, Riverside Radio, Boyneside Radio, DCR Letterkenny, Radio West, Rainbow Radio, Star Radio, North Star, KISS FM, KITS, North Atlantic Radio and many more.

Aircheck: Radio Tara picket reported by Boyneside Radio

Aircheck: Radio Tara picket reported by Boyneside Radio
Boyneside sticker (courtesy Ian Biggar/DX Archive).

This recording is of the main 6.00 evening news from Drogheda-based Boyneside Radio on 30th August 1988 and includes an interview with a representative of local residents in Clonlyon in Co. Meath protesting against the erection of a high longwave mast for Radio Tara in nearby Clarkestown.

RTÉ’s proposed joint venture with Radio Luxembourg, Radio Tara went on the air as Atlantic 252 in September 1989. It was aimed at the large and lucrative British market at a time when the UK had no national commercial radio station. Atlantic 252 was very successful in the first half of the 1990s but closed in 2002.

Panel: The Louth Pirates

Panel: The Louth Pirates
John Walsh interviewing (L-R) Eddie Caffrey, Michael Hughes and Richard McCullen in October 2018 (photo courtesy of Eddie Bohan).

Co. Louth was an important county in Irish pirate radio history, with several successful commercial stations often beaming their signals across the border. In this panel discussion on the Louth pirates, Richard McCullen, Michael Hughes and Eddie Caffrey share their memories of the county’s lively pirate scene. Stations featured include Radio Dundalk, Radio Carousel and Boyneside Radio. The interviewer is John Walsh and the discussion was recorded on the 20th of October 2018 at a special event held in Dublin to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the closure of the pirates.

Interview: Eddie Caffrey (Radio Rainbow International, Radio Fax)

Interview: Eddie Caffrey (Radio Rainbow International, Radio Fax)
L-R: Eddie Caffrey, John Walsh, Ian Biggar, Brian Greene on a visit to LMFM on 24th April 2019.

On October 20th 2018 over 100 radio anoraks gathered in the Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin. The purpose was to meet and record oral history of the pirate radio era, as the 30th anniversary of the 1988 closedowns approached.

At the event we met Eddie Caffrey (aka Heady Eddie), one of the best-known people in radio in the northeast stretching back over 40 years on both pirate and licensed stations. We spoke to him about the 1980s shortwave radio scene in Ireland, in particular his own stations Radio Rainbow International and Radio Fax. The interviewer is Brian Greene.

Interview: Eddie Caffrey (Radio Rainbow International, Radio Fax)
Eddie Caffrey on his afternoon show on LMFM (photo courtesy of LMFM)

We thank Eddie for his generous donations without which our series on the northeast pirates could not have taken place.