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.
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.
On the 12th of June 2020, John Walsh spoke to Keith Finnegan of Galway Bay FM about the recent series about Galway pirates on Pirate.ie. The interview includes a rare jingle from Independent Radio Galway (1978-1979), sung by the choir of University College Galway (now the National University of Ireland, Galway). Keith, now CEO of Galway Bay FM, remembers his own involvement in West Coast Community Radio (WCCR). The interview finishes with a montage of jingles and idents from the Pirate.ie series on Galway.
Many of those at Galway Bay FM cut their teeth in the Galway pirates of the era. Licensed in 1989 as Radio West, one group involved in the successful consortium was the original pirate Radio West from Mullingar. The station changed its name to Galway Bay FM in 1993.
We thank Galway Bay FM for their interest in Pirate.ie and hope that the interview will encourage more people in Galway to come forward to memories and recordings.
KLAS 98 (later Class) was an easy listening station which broadcast to Dublin from November 1986 until the closedowns of December 1988. It was set up by the founder of the Radio Carousel network, Hugh Hardy, and based first at a garage behind his north Dublin home. News bulletins from KLAS and overnight programming were relayed on occasion from Dublin to the Carousel stations in Navan and Dundalk. After Hardy stepped back in early 1988, KLAS moved to Dame Street in the city centre and was managed by David Baker. It then moved to Harcourt Street where it was taken over by television aerial salesman John J. May.
This recording from 98.5 FM is of Hugh Hardy presenting on the 26th of December 1986 from 1637-1722. News is read by a very young John Walsh. The voice of the late Bob Gallico is heard on an advert. There are no time checks or references to St. Stephen’s Day in the links so this could be one of the automated 8-hour VHS tapes used by KLAS for overnights.
John Walsh has written his memories of KLAS here and we have further recordings in the archive here. This recording is courtesy of DX Archive.