Paul Vincent on Galway’s WLS

Paul Vincent on Galway's WLS
Exterior of WLS studios in Prospect Hill Galway in 1986 (Anoraks Ireland Collection).

Paul Vincent (aka Brendan Mee) was a DJ on the Galway pirate WLS and later did stints on the border pirate Zee 103 and the offshore station the Voice of Peace. This airchecked recording is of him on an undated show from July 1986, which includes a detailed events guide for Galway for the late summer and autumn. The clip below is of Brendan reading the WLS midday news bulletin on Thursday 19th June 1986.

WLS news on 19.06.1986

Thanks for Brendan Mee for the donation.

Evening show on WLS from Galway

Evening show on WLS from Galway
WLS flyer from 1985 (courtesy Ian Biggar).

This recording of Galway pirate WLS dates from summer 1986, when the station was well established as the city’s main local broadcaster. Paul Vincent (aka Brendan Mee) presents a late-night show and adverts feature a mixture of local businesses and national companies. There’a also a promo for fellow DJ Richie O’Shea doing a local disco. The station identification at the top of the hour claims that the ‘West’s local station’ is growing with Galway.

The recording was made from 102.7 FM on 5th July 1986 from 2217-2303. There is some wobble in places due to the age of the cassette. Thanks to Brendan Mee for the donation.

Border-blaster Zee 103 from Co. Louth

Border-blaster Zee 103 from Co. Louth
Zee 103 logo from advertising card (courtesy Ian Biggar).

Zee 103 was a contemporary music station broadcasting from just south of the border in Omeath, Co. Louth from late 1986 until early 1989. It was one of several ‘border-blaster’ pirates from the 1980s, aiming its signal into Northern Ireland. Its origins were in another station, KISS FM, which began broadcasting from Craigavon in Co. Armagh in 1985 but moved south of the border to Omeath following a raid by the British authorities. Internal politics led to a delay in the station getting on air and resulted in a number staff of staff leaving to start their own operation, which would become KISS FM in Monaghan Town.

Border-blaster Zee 103 from Co. Louth
Zee 103 was based in Ardaghy House near Omeath (courtesy Ian Biggar).

Test transmissions using the name ‘Zee 103.3’ were made from Omeath in October 1986 and the station adjusted the frequency slightly to 103.25. Regular programming began on 11th November 1986 and continued until 31st December 1988 when the vast majority of Ireland’s pirate stations closed down in the light of legislation to legalise independent radio. Zee 103 ventured back on the air on 19th January 1989 but closed for good on 7th February as it became apparent that the authorities would crack down on pirates that were defying the new law.

This recording of Zee 103 is of Brendan Mee on an evening show between 1925-2027. Brendan was also heard on Galway pirates including WLS and offshore station Voice of Peace. The tape is undated but is estimated to be from April or May 1988. All adverts are for businesses north of the border, reflecting the fact that the station’s signal was aimed at mid-Ulster. Thanks to Brendan Mee for the donation and to Ian Biggar for background. Read a full station history here.