Documentary: Heartland Pirates

Documentary: Heartland Pirates
Heartland Pirates publicity image (courtesy of Irena Djak Cvetkovic, Athlone Community Radio).

We are delighted to host a documentary about the 1980s pirates in and around Athlone, Co. Westmeath with the kind permission of Athlone Community Radio.

‘Heartland Pirates’ was originally broadcast on 2nd November 2020 from 1700-1755 and features stations such as Signal 102, Midland Radio and Radio Carol Ann. Among those taking part are many of those involved in the original Athlone pirates including Pete Casey, TR Dallas, Noel Lackey, Roy Jennings, Peter Mooney, Geraldine O’Sullivan, Barry Flynn, Val Beaumont and Gerry O’Reilly. Our own interview with Gerry is available here.

‘Heartland Pirates’ was edited and produced by Athlone Community Radio manager Irena Djak Cvetkovic. The documentary was supported by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the television licence fee. For further information, click here.

The Pirate.ie Podcast #1

The Pirate.ie Podcast #1

We’re delighted to announce the first episode of our new series of the Pirate.ie podcast. In this series, John Walsh and Brian Greene will discuss various aspects of Irish pirate radio history. We’ll have interviews with those who were involved in pirate radio and also bring you commentary on different types of stations from around the country.

Episode #1 is a discussion of the significance of the Irish pirate radio era of 1978-1988 which we are currently featuring in depth on Pirate.ie. The analysis is based on our recent article in the Journal of Radio and Audio Media which examined the political, economic, social, cultural and technological importance of the pirates for the Irish radio sector.

Panel discussion: Pirate.ie at conference on media archives

Panel discussion: Pirate.ie at conference on media archives

Pirate.ie took today took part in an international conference about media and audiovisual archives hosted by the International Federation of Television Archives and the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives. Due to be held at Trinity College Dublin, the conference took place online due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Panel discussion: Pirate.ie at conference on media archives

John Walsh and Brian Greene of Pirate.ie took part in a panel discussion entitled ‘Crystals in the Transmitter: Pirate Radio Archives in Ireland’. Also participating was Sybil Fennell of the great Radio Nova of the 1980s who has written a book about her memories of that exciting time. The panel was convened by Jennifer Vaughn, Senior Digital Librarian at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Carolyn Birdsall, Associate Professor of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. There was strong interest in the session, with up to 70 people in attendance.

This is an audio version of the panel discussion.

Interview: Ian Biggar (part 2: ERI, Zee 103)

Interview: Ian Biggar (part 2: ERI, Zee 103)
John Walsh interviewing Ian Biggar

Here is the second part of our interview with one-time broadcaster and long-time Irish pirate radio enthusiast Ian Biggar, recorded at his home in Harrogate in England.

In this part, Ian remembers his involvement with ERI in Cork and Zee 103 in Omeath, Co. Louth in the 1980s. He also tells us how he recorded thousands of hours of Irish pirates over the past 40 years and gives his views on the radio scene today.

Interview: Ian Biggar (part 1: Boyneside Radio, Radio Carousel)

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.

Interview: Ian Biggar (part 1: Boyneside Radio, Radio Carousel)
John Walsh interviewing Ian Biggar

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.

Interview: Ian Biggar (part 1: Boyneside Radio, Radio Carousel)
Doing some MW DXing with the help of a loop

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.