After breaking away from Boyneside Radio in July 1981, Community Radio Drogheda went its own way until May 1982 when the two stations merged once again. The economic reality of two pirate radio stations in the one town had hit home and given that Boyneside had more financial backing, it was unsurprising that it won out in the end.
According to Eddie Caffrey, Gavin Duffy had had enough of the final nine months of CRD and announced that he was moving on and that anyone who wished to return to Boyneside was welcome to do so. Eddie and Richard Crowley (pictured above) met Boyneside owner Eobain McDonnell and brokered a merger involving every second presenter from both stations. Some Boyneside staff were not happy about the return of the prodigal sons but Eobain persisted. Around the same time, a meeting was also arranged with Radio Carousel in Dundalk which was trying desperately trying to break into the Drogheda market. That came to nothing as Carousel owner Hugh Hardy’s offer was too weak.
The merged station was known as Boyneside Community Radio but the name Boyneside/CRD was also used for a time before references to CRD were dropped entirely by the late summer.
Other DJs such as Mike Cluskey, Neil O’Brien and Seán Neilon were regulars on Boyneside following the merger doing weekend and holiday cover. This recording was made from 1540-1639 on 19th June 1982 and begins with a reference to the forthcoming Rolling Stones concert at Slane Castle in Co. Meath. Mike Cluskey is the presenter and uses Boyneside/CRD on air. We thank Ian Biggar for the donation of this recording.
Drogheda’s two pirate radio stations, the original Boyneside Radio and the breakaway Community Radio Drogheda continued to battle it out through the second half of 1981 and into 1982. As the brochure below illustrates, the CRD team included several presenters who would move on to Radio Leinster in Dublin such as Richard Kenny (Crowley), Gavin Duffy and Ken Murray while Eddie Caffrey and Dermot Finglas would eventually return to Boyneside.
The final page of the brochure above includes news editor Michael O’Dowd, whose brother Fergus is now a Fine Gael TD for Louth. Another brother Niall is a well-known Irish-American journalist. Tony Clayton-Lea, who would become a well-known rock critic and writer, is also among the presenters.
Community Radio Drogheda was among the pirates whose schedules were published in the Sunday Journal (see left). As we can see, many of the presenters did two shows per day and there were more specialist programmes at the weekend.
The long recording above was made from 1250-1420 on 7th April 1982 and features Gavin Duffy with a packed Lunchtime Special show. He interviews excited local teenagers about their school opera, reads letters from listeners and introduces various features. News at 1.15 is read by Richard Kenny (Crowley), who would eventually work as a journalist with RTÉ. Niall McGowan follows Gavin’s show at 2pm.
The shorter recording below is an airchecked version of part of Ken Murray’s afternoon show on 26th March 1982.
We thank Ian Biggar and Eddie Caffrey for the recordings.
Today we bring you three short recordings of Boyneside Radio in 1980 and 1981. The first recording above is a bit of a scoop – an interview by Ken Murray with Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich on 19th March 1980. The Catholic Primate of All Ireland was in Drogheda to accept the award of freeman of the town. Cardinal Ó Fiaich was well aware of the importance of local radio but stopped short of calling for it to be licensed!
The second recording below is an airchecked version of Eddie Caffrey’s afternoon show with Áine Ní Ghuidhir on news on April 14th 1980.
Finally, from sometime in 1981, a recording of Gavin Duffy announcing a meeting in Drogheda to discuss the future of local radio, presumably called after the publication of the Independent Local Radio Authority Bill on 1st May that year.
We thank Eddie Caffrey for donating these recordings.