Centre Radio began as a hobby station on December 19th 1986 from Baldoyle in northeast Dublin and came on air during school holidays. Brian Greene of Pirate.ie was one of the original founders and the other half of this site John Walsh was also involved. By 1987 the station had developed into a youth project and was training up to 80 young people in radio. From February 1988 Centre was on air every evening and weekend from Bayside. It was one of the last stations in Dublin to close down at midnight on New Year’s Eve 1988.
This recording is from 94 FM a few days prior to closedown, 27.12.88, and features a youthful Stephen Davitt (aka Daragh O’Sullivan) on air. You can read more about the history of Centre here.
CAU FM was a short-lived station broadcasting on 103.5 and later 104.2 FM from Foxrock in south Dublin from mid-1987 until mid-1988. It had its origins in low-power hobby stations set up by Locky Butler and evolved into Phoenix FM. Phoenix began on 25 watts but grew to a 250 watt transmitter before being ordered to close down by the Department of Communications in 1987. Within an hour of the order being delivered, the TX was moved to a site on Three Rock overlooking Dublin and CAU FM was born.
CAU had a good signal all over Dublin, professional sound and slick jingle package. We’re reliably informed that CAU stands for ‘clutterfree and you’ and certainly the station played a lot of uninterrupted music. This full-length recording from 1988 (unfortunately we don’t have a date) includes jingles, ads and links from Locky Butler’s show and gives a good flavour of the sharp on air sound. There’s also a promo for a holiday giveaway! CAU was sold to the religious station Hope FM in the summer of 1988.
Thanks to Locky Butler for additional background information. You can listen to an aircheck of this recording here.
Liberties Local Community Radio (LLCR) began broadcasting in March 1986 from Weaver Square in Dublin 8. It was run by Sammy Prendergast who was well known for installing aerials for pirate stations. LLCR broadcast on 1035 kHz AM using the old Capitol Radio rig which had been on 1017 kHz until shortly before then. It was also heard on 104 FM at a later stage.
In this aircheck from 30.08.88 Teena Gates announces Liberty 104 and reads the news. Teena can still be heard reading news on radio in Dublin today.
CAU FM was a short-lived station broadcasting on 103.5 FM from Foxrock in south Dublin from the summer of 1987 until the summer of 1988. Although more a hobby than a commercial station, it had a professional sound and slick jingle package and was run by Locky Butler who still works professionally in audio and sound recording. This is an aircheck of a longer recording from 1988 (unfortunately we have no date) featuring Locky Butler on air.
On October 20th 2018 over 100 radio anoraks gathered in the Ballsbridge Hotel Dublin. The purpose was to meet and record oral history of the pirate radio era. Ken O’Sullivan worked at pirates in Cork (WKLR) and Dublin (Capitol-Nitesky) in the 1980s and is still working in radio today with LMFM. Here is his story.