Radio Snowflake on New Year’s Day 1984

Radio Snowflake on New Year's Day 1984
Charlie Sheehan in the Radio Sandymount studio (courtesy Dave Reddy).

Ireland’s original Christmas station was Radio Snowflake, which broadcast every festive season from 1982 to 1988 and in later years online. It was set up by Dave Reddy of the Community Broadcasting Co-operative (CBC) who also ran pop-up stations such as Radio Sandymount and Radio Donnybrook.

Radio Snowflake on New Year's Day 1984
David Baker in the Radio Donnybrook studio (courtesy Dave Reddy).

This recording of Radio Snowflake was made in the early hours of 1st January 1984 from 0330-0430 (with some airchecks) and features well-known presenters on the CBC stations, Charlie Sheehan and David Baker. Listeners phone in with requests and dedications, an unpredictable venture given the time of night and year. The recording was made from 99.9 FM and is donated kindly by David Baker.

Pop-up community radio: Radio Sandymount

Pop-up community radio: Radio Sandymount
Charlie Sheehan in the Radio Sandymount studio (photo courtesy of Dave Reddy).

Today we bring you a fascinating recording from pop-up community station Radio Sandymount in 1985. Charlie Sheehan, who worked as a postman in Sandymount, was a popular presenter on the station. In this recording, he interviews Mahmood ‘Mike’ Butt, the man credited with introducing Ireland to curry.

Pop-up community radio: Radio Sandymount
Mahmood ‘Mike’ Butt (photo credit Máirtín Mac Con Iomaire).

Mike Butt was born in Kenya in 1927 and came to Ireland in 1949. In 1956 he opened what was then the only Indian restaurant in Ireland, the Golden Orient in Leeson Street in Dublin. He is also credited with bringing the ice lolly to the Irish market. Mike opened Browne’s spice shop in Sandymount in 1984 and was therefore of particular interest to Radio Sandymount’s listeners. He died in 1988.

This interview gives a great sense of how people like Mike Butt were early pioneers in the diversification of Irish food tastes and the popularisation of all sorts of culinary styles. It was recorded in May 1985 and is shared here with the kind permission of Dave Reddy who ran Radio Sandymount.

Radio Sandymount and similar stations in areas of Dublin such as Ringsend, Glasnevin and Donnybrook were part of the Community Broadcasting Co-operative (CBC) and were regular features during local summer festivals between 1982 and 1988. The photo of Mike Butt is courtesy of Máirtín Mac Con Iomaire and the article in which it was used is available here. Further information about Mike Butt is available here.