Launch of new Dublin super-pirate Q102

Launch of new Dublin super-pirate Q102
Q102 Eye in the Sky car sticker (Anoraks Ireland Collection).

These recordings are of the launch of the new Dublin super-pirate Q102, that began broadcasting on Wednesday 23rd January 1985. The station shook up the competitive Dublin radio market, offering another professional music-based station for listeners and introducing innovative features such as Eye in the Sky, traffic news reported from a helicopter flying over the city. The first recording above starts at 1613 and is of the countdown to the launch, featuring continuous music and promos. The second part below is from 1701.

Part 2 from 1701.
Launch of new Dublin super-pirate Q102
Original label from Anoraks Ireland Collection.

The next recordings begin at 1850 and include the official launch at 1900 with a Cold War-style promo voiced by Lawrence John, one of the original station founders. He is followed by Jason Maine until 2000 and then John Kenny with the night-time show. There are some comedy-style commercials but no actual advertisements.

Part 3 from 1850 including launch.
Launch of new Dublin super-pirate Q102
Original label from Anoraks Ireland Collection.
Part 4 from 1935.

The next recording begins at 2018 and includes more of John Kenny’s programme. The cassette was damaged and only the first 40 minutes has been digitised.

Part 5 from 2018.

The final recording begins at 2302 and features John Kenny with a more relaxed late night sound.

Part 6 from 2302.
Launch of new Dublin super-pirate Q102
Original cassette label from Anoraks Ireland Collection.

These recordings were all made from 102 FM and are from the Anoraks Ireland Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson. The first 90 minutes of Q102, including the launch, were recorded originally by Kieran Murray. Q102 closed down on 30th December 1988 at 1800.

Second night on Nova replacement Zoom 103

Second night on Nova replacement Zoom 103
Sunday Tribune article from April 1986 about Nova, Zoom 103 and other pirates (Anoraks Ireland Collection).

Zoom 103 was a short-lived replacement for Dublin super-pirate Radio Nova after it went into receivership and closed on 19th March 1986. Zoom began identifying itself shortly after 10pm that evening and the following day’s programming featured the normal Nova presenters but without an AM service. Nova founder Chris Cary denied any involvement in the new station and said he was leaving Ireland. Zoom 103 was based at 144 Upper Leeson Street in the city centre but lasted only until 24th March, when the Nova receiver seized the transmitter. On 28th March, a new station called Energy 103 began broadcasting from the same location, continuing until 11th March 1988.

Second night on Nova replacement Zoom 103
Original cassette label from Anoraks Ireland Collection.

This recording of Zoom 103 features Richard Jackson with a late night show on the second day of the station. There are very few commercials and no jingles or idents, but listeners are reportedly hearing the station as far away as Belfast and Blackpool. Our tape was made on 20th and 21st March 1986 from 103.1 FM. Part 1 above is from 2246 and Part 2 below from 2359.

Part 2 from 2359.

The recording is from the Anoraks Ireland Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.

First birthday of Q102

First birthday of Q102
Q102 Sunday World advert from 1986 (Anoraks Ireland Collection).

This recording of Dublin super-pirate Q102 was made on its first birthday, 23rd January 1986, by which time it was established as one of Dublin’s big three pirate stations. The tape begins with one of the station’s most popular DJs, Jason Maine, who is followed by Gerry Stevens with the afternoon drive. In keeping with the Q102 format, talk is limited and links are short, with the focus firmly on the music. Adverts for local businesses and larger brands are aired.

First birthday of Q102
Original cassette label from Anoraks Ireland Collection.

Part 1 above runs from 1407-1455 and Part 2 below from 1502-1548.

Part 2 from 1502.

The recording was made from 103.5 FM and is from the Anoraks Ireland Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.

Westside Radio International returns for New Year’s Eve 1989

Westside Radio International returns for New Year's Eve 1989
Westside operator Prince Terry in May 1983 (Anoraks Ireland Collection).

Westside Radio International was a long-running shortwave pirate broadcasting on Sunday morning from Dublin between 1975 and 1989 with later appearances under different names including Ozone Radio. The station was set up by the late Don Moore and was taken over by Roger Lloyd (Prince Terry on air) in 1977. It was steeped in the pirate spirit and created a real sense of community among free radio enthusiasts in Ireland and abroad. The station closed down on 31st December 1988 along with the vast majority of Irish pirates but returned for a special commemorative broadcast exactly one year later.

This airchecked recording was made between 1123 and 1253 on 31st December 1989 from 6280 kHz shortwave. Prince Terry announces that Westside has returned just for that day to mark the first anniversary of the pirate closedowns and says that it is also broadcasting on FM and medium wave. There are greetings to well-known radio anoraks and news about the small number of remaining pirate stations, including Radio Dublin which is said to have switched back on its AM transmitter.

Audio is fair to poor with deep fading but is an authentic representation of how Westside sounded on shortwave in the west of Ireland at the time. The recording was made in Co. Clare by John Breslin, who we thank for the donation.

David Baker on Christmas Day Radio Annabel

David Baker on Christmas Day Radio Annabel
David Baker pictured on community station Radio Donnybrook (courtesy Dave Reddy).

David Baker was a familiar voice on many Dublin stations throughout the 1980s. In this recording, he is heard on Radio Annabel on Christmas Day 1984. Reflecting David’s own taste, the music is in the laid-back and easy listening style. There are plenty of requests and dedications from listeners as well as a competition to win a bottle of wine. No adverts are aired as is the custom for Christmas Day but festive Radio Annabel jingles are heard.  

David Baker on Christmas Day Radio Annabel
Original cassette label from Anoraks Ireland Collection.

Radio Annabel was one of the smaller Dublin pirates and broadcast from the north inner-city from 1983 to 1985. Listings from around Christmas 1984 logged it on 1323 kHz AM and 92.4 FM, although the cassette label mentions 91.8 FM. Part 1 of the tape above runs from 1406-1454 and Part 2 below from 1506-1554.

Part 2 from 1506.

The recording is from the Anoraks Ireland Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson. Listen to our special podcast with David Baker here.