Interview with Paul Byrne (Radio Carrick, CBC, WLR)

Interview with Paul Byrne (Radio Carrick, CBC, WLR)
A young Paul Byrne in the CBC studio (courtesy of Jonathan Ryan).

Paul Byrne began working in pirate radio in his native Tipperary in the early 1980s. In this interview with John Walsh, he explains how he got involved with radio and remembers his involvement in various stations including Radio Carrick (Carrick-on-Suir), CBC (Clonmel), NCLR (Mallow), Centre Radio (an offshoot of CBC) and WLR (Waterford). Listen to a documentary about the history of CBC here.

He also speaks about the influence of radio abroad on the Irish pirates, the quest for originality among the young pioneers, the influence of the pirates on local communities and their broader significance for Irish society in the 1980s.

Interview with Paul Byrne (Radio Carrick, CBC, WLR)
Poster for CBC Clonmel (courtesy of Jonathan Ryan).

Paul Byrne has 40 years of experience of the Irish broadcast industry. After the pirates, he worked as a presenter on the licensed WLR and later moved into management, becoming CEO of Tipp FM and then Radio Kerry. In 2020 he became director of Pure Radio, an online station from Tipperary.

‘Pirate in the West Gate’: the story of CBC Radio in Tipperary

'Pirate in the West Gate': the story of CBC Radio in Tipperary
CBC poster (courtesy of Jonathan Ryan).

CBC Radio started broadcasting in the West Gate, Clonmel in November 1981 and continued until the enforced close down of all pirate stations on New Year’s Eve 1988.

Over 100 volunteers, along with a handful of part-time and full-time staff, contributed on the air, and the station was hugely popular among young and old in Clonmel, Carrick-on-Suir and surrounding towns. 

Over the past three years, former staff member Jonathan Ryan has been researching the station’s history and listening to many audio tapes recorded during that time, along with interviewing former staff members to bring to life this audio history of life in the West Gate.

With thanks to Jonathan Ryan for an advanced copy of the audio and for a amazing work of journalism in making this radio documentary. First broadcast on South Tipperary General Hospital Radio, December 27th 2018.