This short recording of Monaghan station Radio Star Country from 1997 reflects the linedancing craze that was sweeping rural Ireland at the time, particularly among country music fans. Following the syndicated news from IRN in Britain, a promo airs for a linedancing competition sponsored by Radio Star Country in a pub in Armagh. The extract also includes adverts for local businesses and a station advertising promo. The presenter is Country Girl Claire, who continues to broadcast on Radio Star Country to this day.
The broadcast was recorded on the island of Sotra in western Norway and quality worses towards the end, reflecting the distance from the transmitter on the Irish border. The recording was made sometime in November 1997 between 0858-0910 from 981 kHz. It is kindly donated by Svenn Martinsen.
This recording of Radio Star Country was made on Mother’s Day in 2021 and features one of the Monaghan station’s popular DJs, Country Girl Claire presenting her Sunday morning breakfast programme. The recording begins just after Showers of Blessings, one of the station’s many religious shows. Claire promises the best of country and Irish music, a gospel corner every hour and community notices. Reflecting the station’s cross-border existence, a phone number in Co. Monaghan is given out for requests, along with a UK mobile number for text messages. The postal address for letters is in Portadown, Co. Armagh. News on the hour is from Sky and Claire promotes another religious show, Let the Bible Speak, coming up later that afternoon. Although there are plenty of listeners’ requests, only a handful of adverts are heard, in stark contrast with earlier recordings in this series.
The recording was made from the station’s webstream on 14th March 2021. Part 1 above runs from 0940 and Part 2 below from 1040.
Radio Star Country broadcasts on 981 kHz AM and online.
Monaghan station Radio Star Country was still going strong 16 years after the licensing of independent radio in Ireland. In this recording, Country Girl Claire shares New Year’s greetings from listeners in her final programme of 2004. Adverts are heard from north and south of the border, including as far away as Larne. There’s the first reference in this series to euro prices in the Republic and traffic and travel news is also broadcast. The date is significant because on New Year’s Eve 1988, the vast majority of Ireland’s pirates fell silent to comply with the new laws. Radio Star Country was one of the few that stayed on air.
The tape was made in Troon in Scotland from 981 kHz AM between 1302 and 1348 on 31st December 2004. Thanks to Ian Biggar for the donation.
This recording of Monaghan station Radio Star Country was made on New Year’s Day 2003. On air is Country Girl Claire with requests and dedications phoned in to a Monaghan number. An advertising promo includes numbers for sales representatives in the North and there are plenty of adverts from both sides of the border, including for country music stars. News from IRN is heard on the hour and the tape finishes with the Wednesday morning gospel programme, evidence of the station’s religious backing.
This recording was recorded in Scotland on 981 kHz AM from 0903-1003 on 1st January 2003 and suffers from electrical interference at times. Thanks to Ian Biggar for the donation.
An important aspect of pirate radio history is how rural stations often supported country music artists from their own areas and advertised or organised local musical gigs and concerts. Pirate personalities often appeared at such events as DJs or comperes, underlining the symbiotic relationship between unlicensed radio and the live music industry. A recording of Monaghan station Radio Star Country from St. Patrick’s Day 2002 contains evidence of this dynamic. There are plenty of adverts for country gigs taking place in pubs and hotels in the mid-Ulster area, including one in Armagh where DJ Carol G. is to appear later that evening.
The recording contains plenty of requests from listeners and there is a competition for tickets to a country and gospel show. Adverts are heard from Armagh, Antrim and Monaghan. The tape was made in Scotland from 981 kHz on 17th March 2002 from 1025-1100 and is donated kindly by Ian Biggar.