Radio na nGael was a specialist station broadcasting mostly ballads and traditional Irish music from a village near Swords in north Co. Dublin between 1984 and 1986. It broadcast on 1350 kHz AM and on low power on 92 MHz FM, presumably to link to the AM transmitter. The station was also heard on 6340 kHz shortwave but the frequency suffered from interference. Radio na nGael broadcast some problems in Irish but was closed down after RTÉ sought an injunction due to the similarity of the name with that of the national Irish language station Raidió na Gaeltachta.
This recording was made from the AM frequency and dates from the end of January 1985. The cassette label refers to 30th January but the 31st is announced on air. Beginning at 1335, we first hear Mairéad with housewives’ requests and she is followed at 1400 by Danny Tobin. Community news for Fingal is also broadcast.
The signal sounds over-modulated, particularly near the end but we do not know if this was due to a transmission issue at the time or is related to the age of the cassette. The recording is from the Skywave Tapes Collection. Skywave Radio International was a 1980s shortwave station broadcasting from Baldoyle in northeast Dublin.
Radio na nGael (meaning literally ‘radio of Irish speakers’) broadcast from 1984 to 1986 from the village of Montgorry near Swords in north Co. Dublin and specialised in Irish music including ballads, traditional and country. Some of the output was in Irish. The station was launched on 92.2 FM on 2nd February 1984 and soon added 1350 kHz AM and 6340 kHz shortwave. Radio na nGael claimed to be the only Irish station broadcasting on shortwave 24 hours a day and boasted of serving the Irish diaspora but the frequency suffered from a lot of interference. A station leaflet from 1984 gave the FM output as just 10 watts, with 200 watts on medium wave and 500 watts on shortwave.
As in the sticker above, the station sometimes misspelt its name as ‘Radio na Gael’. Broadcast historian Eddie Bohan was written that it was closed down in 1986 after RTÉ took out an injunction, objecting to the similarity with the name of the national Irish language station Raidió na Gaeltachta. The only medium wave frequency logged was 1350 kHz, but the cassette label accompanying this recording notes 217 metres, which is closer to 1377 kHz. In any case, splatter from an adjacent station can be heard in this recording, which is most likely BBC Radio Ulster on 1341 kHz. It was made from 1300-1345 on 7th June 1984.
The recording consists of continuous music only with no station identification but gives a good flavour of the Radio na nGael musical style. It is from the Skywave Tapes Collection. Skywave Radio International was a shortwave station broadcasting from Baldoyle in northeast Dublin in the 1980s.