Bray Local Broadcasting (BLB) was a pioneer in Irish community radio and spent almost ten years on air from 1979 to 1988. Based in the north Wicklow town, it focused on local speech content and specialist music in contrast with other stations broadcasting pop music. BLB’s innovative approach inspired other stations in Ireland and it also attracted interest in community radio circles abroad. The station broadcast on AM (837 kHz and later 657) and FM and could be heard well beyond Bray in its later years. You can read more about BLB here.
This fascinating panel discussion features three founding members of BLB: Mark Quinn, Michael Gray and Doug Bel-Maguire. The interviewer is Eolann Aitken.
Centre Radio began as a hobby station on December 19th 1986 from Baldoyle in northeast Dublin and came on air during school holidays. Brian Greene of Pirate.ie was one of the original founders and the other half of this site John Walsh was also involved. By 1987 the station had developed into a youth project and was training up to 80 young people in radio. From February 1988 Centre was on air every evening and weekend from Bayside. It was one of the last stations in Dublin to closedown at midnight on New Year’s Eve 1988.
This recording is of an oldies show presented by Bobby Gibbson (aka Brian Greene) on 25.09.88. It includes community news and stations idents by Richard Taylor (aka John Walsh). Despite the claims in the idents, Centre broadcast in mono only, with the exception of its overnight stereo relay of the Radio Nova satellite service via the former Southside Radio FM TX in Dublin. You can read more about the history of Centre here.
Don Harris worked on many of the Dublin AM pirates like ARD and Southside Radio before joining South Coast Radio In Cork. He went on to form the first independent radio sales bureau in Ireland which straddled the pirate era and the legal local radio era.
On October 20th 2018 over 100 radio anoraks gathered in the Ballsbridge Hotel Dublin. The purpose was to meet and record oral history of the pirate radio era. Here RTÉ broadcaster Bryan Dobson tells Leigh McGowran about his times in Southside Radio and Radio Nova in the early 1980s.
On October 20th 2018 over 100 radio anoraks gathered in the Ballsbridge Hotel Dublin. The purpose was to meet and record oral history of the pirate radio era. In this interview, Brian Kelly tells Leigh McGowran about his pirate radio past in Dublin and Wicklow and explains the reasons why he is keeping AM radio alive.