We met one time broadcaster and long time enthusiast of Irish pirate radio Ian Biggar in Harrogate recently to discuss his love of the medium and his involvement in Irish stations.
In the first part of a long interview, Ian talks about how he first got into pirate radio while still a child in Scotland. He then describes how he discovered the Irish scene and went on to work in the Co. Louth stations Boyneside Radio and Radio Carousel.
Ian recorded thousands of hours of valuable Irish pirate radio and has contributed significantly to the DX Archive site. We’re very grateful to Ian for his time and hospitality during our visit to Harrogate and for his life-long dedication to preserving Irish pirate radio memories.
Boyneside Radio from Co. Louth was one of the largest and most successful regional stations in Ireland during the 1980s. It broadcast for 10 years from 1978 to 1988 from Drogheda. During that decade Boyneside developed a series of additional transmitters and opt-out services in Navan, Kells, north Dublin and along the border aiming into Northern Ireland. Here’s a selection of jingles including a series of cuts introduced by station engineer Eddie Caffrey.
You can hear a panel discussion on the Louth pirates here and a separate interview with local veteran broadcaster Eddie Caffrey here. We also have a recording of how Boyneside covered the controversy about Radio Tara (to become Atlantic 252) in Co. Meath.
Co. Louth was an important county in Irish pirate radio history, with several successful commercial stations often beaming their signals across the border. In this panel discussion on the Louth pirates, Richard McCullen, Michael Hughes and Eddie Caffrey share their memories of the county’s lively pirate scene. Stations featured include Radio Dundalk, Radio Carousel and Boyneside Radio. The interviewer is John Walsh and the discussion was recorded on the 20th of October 2018 at a special event held in Dublin to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the closure of the pirates.
On October 20th 2018 over 100 radio anoraks gathered in the Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin. The purpose was to meet and record oral history of the pirate radio era, as the 30th anniversary of the 1988 closedowns approached.
At the event we met Eddie Caffrey (aka Heady Eddie), one of the best-known people in radio in the northeast stretching back over 40 years on both pirate and licensed stations. We spoke to him about the 1980s shortwave radio scene in Ireland, in particular his own stations Radio Rainbow International and Radio Fax. The interviewer is Brian Greene.
We thank Eddie for his generous donations without which our series on the northeast pirates could not have taken place.