Community station Radio Ringsend from 1986

Community station Radio Ringsend from 1986
Local kids visiting Radio Ringsend in the 1980s (courtesy Dave Reddy).

Radio Ringsend was an annual temporary station broadcasting during the Ringsend and District Festival in southeast Dublin during the 1980s. It was one of several pop-up stations under the umbrella of the Community Broadcasting Co-operative (CBC) set up during local community festivals in Dublin and surrounding counties. Radio Ringsend began broadcasting in 1982 and broadcast for the last time in the summer of 1988 before the legalisation of independent radio.

Community station Radio Ringsend from 1986
Radio Ringsend flyer from 1986 (courtesy Ian Biggar).

The CBC stations gave a fascinating insight into the popularity of hyper-local radio complete with small corner stores and competition results from the festival. In 1986, Radio Ringsend was based in a fruit and vegetable shop in Irishtown and this recording contains plenty of adverts for similar small businesses and copious amounts of requests and dedications. There is also a phone-in quiz, listeners’ competitions and karate results from the festival. The presenter is CBC founder Dave Reddy and voices on the adverts include David Baker and Bryan Lambert, familiar names on the CBC stations and indeed other 1980s pirates.

Community station Radio Ringsend from 1986
Original cassette inlay from Anoraks Ireland Collection.

The recording is from the Anoraks Ireland Collection and was made from 98.4 FM from 1248-1425 on Saturday 26th July 1986. Radio Ringsend also broadcast that year on 1530 kHz / 196 metres.

Final day of Radio Sandymount 1984

Final day of Radio Sandymount 1984
L-R: David Baker, Paula Walsh (Miss Sandymount) and Dermot Lacey during the station’s broadcasts in 1986.

Radio Sandymount was one of several pop-up community radio stations run by the Community Broadcasting Co-operative (CBC) in Dublin and surrounding counties between 1982 and 1988. Set up by Dave Reddy, Radio Sandymount was the first such station and proved so popular that the idea was replicated in other parts of Dublin as well as Wicklow and Meath. The CBC stations coincided with local community festivals and were a regular part of the radio scene on the east coast during the 1980s. Another CBC station was Radio Snowflake, which came on air at Christmas.

Radio Sandymount broadcast each year during the Sandymount and Merrion Community Week in late May or early June. This recording features the last day of the station’s run in 1984 . On air is David Baker, a familiar voice on the CBC stations and on numerous other pirates throughout the decade. There are plenty of requests, competition winners and references to local talent competitions and dinner dances – local radio at its finest!

The recording was made from 103.3 FM on 28th May 1984 between 1048-1135. Radio Sandymount also broadcast on 1116 kHz during the same period. The tape is from the Anoraks Ireland Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.

Final day of Radio Ringsend 1982

Final day of Radio Ringsend 1982
L-R: Victor Ryan, Michael Nugent and Al O’Rourke at Radio Ringsend (courtesy Dave Reddy).

Radio Ringsend was one of several temporary community stations under the umbrella of the Community Broadcasting Co-operative (CBC) in the 1980s. Set up by Dave Reddy, the pop-up stations went on air to coincide with local community festivals in Dublin and surrounding counties. Based in the southeast inner city, Radio Ringsend broadcast for the first time during the Ringsend and District Community Festival in 1982 and continued each year until summer 1988.

This recording from 1982 is of part of the final day of Radio Ringsend’s first run. Up first is Victor Ryan with music, a copious number of requests and community notices. He is followed at 4pm by Al O’Rourke and at 6pm by Mick Nugent who hosts the final show until 8pm. There’s a real community feel with local kids interviewed in studio between the records. Adverts for local businesses such as corner shops, chippers, garages and pubs are aired. The airchecked tape begins before 3pm on Sunday 18th July 1982 and was recorded from 1512 kHz (199 metres). Radio Ringsend also broadcast on 104 FM. This recording is from the Anoraks Ireland Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.

Radio Sandymount during 1983 raids

Radio Sandymount during 1983 raids
Charlie Sheehan on Radio Sandymount (courtesy Dave Reddy).

The 1983 raids on Radio Nova and Sunshine Radio rocked the Irish pirate scene, with many stations closing temporarily as a precaution. This recording is of temporary station Radio Sandymount on the morning of Thursday 19th May, not long after Sunshine Radio in Portmarnock was raided. Radio Nova had been put off the air the previous day but returned on the morning of the 19th on lower power. Charlie Sheehan is the presenter on Radio Sandymount, which was in the middle of its run to coincide with the Sandymount and Merrion Community Festival. There’s no mention of the raids but panic was spreading through the pirate world at the time.

The recording was made from 1512 kHz, announcing 199 metres. Radio Sandymount also broadcast on 99.9 FM. The station was part of the Community Broadcasting Co-operative that ran several temporary community stations in Dublin and surrounding counties between 1982 and 1988. This recording is from the Skywave Tapes Collection. Radio Skywave was a shortwave pirate broadcasting from northeast Dublin in the 1980s.

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.