Airchecks: Signal 106

Signal 106 was a hobby station from the southside of Dublin which broadcast at the end of the pirate era. It was set up by the very youthful Kevin Branigan and Mike Ormonde and broadcast from Rathfarnham during the summer and Christmas school holidays of 1988. Because its antenna was on a height the station got out well despite its low power on 106 FM, as indicated by the good reception across the city in Bayside where these recordings were made.

In the first clip we hear Graham Turner (aka Justin Leonard) and Dave Adams (aka Andrew Mangan). The top of the hour jingle is by Seán Ashmore who did many station idents in the late 1980s. The second and third clips feature Graham Turner. The date is 29.12.88, the day before Signal closed down.

Link 1
Link 2

Airchecks: CAU FM

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.

Interview with Radio Dublin on its ‘last day’ of broadcasting

Interview with Radio Dublin on its ‘last day’ of broadcasting
Radio Dublin badge courtesy of Brian Greene.

Centre Radio in Bayside was one of the last stations to close at midnight on New Year’s Eve 1988. Rumours abounded that Radio Dublin was going to defy the new legislation and continue broadcasting so early on the morning of the 31st December, Bobby Gibbson (Brian Greene) decided to call Radio Dublin live on air. In this recording, he speaks to breakfast presenter Robbie Prior who says all presenters have been told that this is their final day. However he adds that station owner Eamon Cooke could well have something up his sleeve. The recording includes poor quality live audio from Radio Dublin’s AM broadcast on 1188 kHz.

Final overnight of Centre Radio, 30th to 31st December 1988

Final overnight of Centre Radio, 30th to 31st December 1988
Centre Radio flyer from 1987 (from Brian Greene).

This is an aircheck of the northeast Dublin station Centre Radio recorded from 2300 on 30th December 1988 to 0530 on 31st, the final day of broadcasting before the pirates were silenced. On air overnight is Bobby Gibbson (aka Brian Greene). Centre had just finished broadcasting a live variety concert from its studio location at the Mid-Sutton Community Centre. The decision was taken to broadcast through the night for the last time before the closedown at midnight on the 31st.

Final overnight of Centre Radio, 30th to 31st December 1988
Poster for Centre Radio disco, 1987 (from Brian Greene).

Interview: Eddie Caffrey (Radio Rainbow International, Radio Fax)

Interview: Eddie Caffrey (Radio Rainbow International, Radio Fax)
L-R: Eddie Caffrey, John Walsh, Ian Biggar, Brian Greene on a visit to LMFM on 24th April 2019.

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.

Interview: Eddie Caffrey (Radio Rainbow International, Radio Fax)
Eddie Caffrey on his afternoon show on LMFM (photo courtesy of LMFM)

We thank Eddie for his generous donations without which our series on the northeast pirates could not have taken place.