Jingles for Twiggs FM in Galway

Jingles for Twiggs FM in Galway
Twiggs FM flyer (courtesy of Ian Biggar).

Twiggs FM broadcast from Salthill in Galway for about six months at the end of 1987 and beginning of 1988. It was based at the Eglinton Hotel on Salthill promenade and was called after the hotel’s popular nightclub. Twiggs FM regularly broadcast gigs from the club and there was a student vibe from the station with promos for events at University College Galway (now NUI Galway) and the Regional Technical College (now GMIT). The station was set up by local man Shane Martin and Alan Russell from Dublin who had established another Galway pirate, Atlantic Sound, in 1984. Sound engineer Roland Burke from Dublin was also hired. Many DJs were enticed away by the bigger and more professional station Coast 103 and Twiggs FM closed in March 1988 due to financial difficulties.

Here’s a set of clever Twiggs FM jingles and liners from 1987, featuring the voices of the late Roland Burke and Gerry Moore. Gerry Moore did voice-overs for many pirates in Dublin during the 1980s. We thank Alan Russell for this donation.

Feature: Pirate.ie discussed on Galway Bay FM

Feature: Pirate.ie discussed on Galway Bay FM
Galway Bay FM on-air studio (photo by John Walsh)

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.

Feature: Pirate.ie discussed on Galway Bay FM
Galway Bay FM headquarters at Sandy Road (photo by John Walsh).

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.

Aircheck: Twiggs FM (Galway)

Aircheck: Twiggs FM (Galway)
Twiggs FM flyer courtesy of Ian Biggar/DX Archive.

Twiggs FM was a short-lived radio station broadcasting from the Galway suburb of Salthill for about six months in 1987 and 1988. It was set up in August 1987 in the Eglinton Hotel on Salthill promenade, which had been leased by two returned emigrant Galway businessmen. According to an Anoraks UK Weekly Report from October 1987, Mike Richardson, formerly of Big L Radio in Limerick and Horizon Radio in Killorglin, Co. Kerry, was also involved.

The hotel was a busy entertainment venue with a large 1,500-capacity nightclub called Twiggs and a popular student venue in the basement. The businessmen were persuaded by local man Shane Martin, who was a DJ at the club and had worked in other Galway pirates, to create a professional radio station to advertise their business interests as well as other services. Twiggs FM was set up by Martin and Dublin man Alan Russell, who was behind an earlier Galway station Atlantic Sound, and sound engineer Roland Burke (RIP) was also hired from Dublin. A professional studio was installed on the first floor overlooking Galway Bay. The station regularly broadcast gigs from the nightclub and DJs were paid for radio shift work and topped up their income with gigs at the Twiggs venue and other clubs run by the owners. Presenters included Roland Burke, Alan Russell, Ciaran Wilson (Brannelly), Robert Ashley, Shane Martin and Daragh Murphy as well as student DJs and guest DJs from Dublin. In January 1988 it was taken over by Mike Richardson and renamed West Coast Radio but the station closed by March because of the backers’ impatience with poor advertising revenue.

Aircheck: Twiggs FM (Galway)
A current view of the former Eglinton Hotel in Salthill, now a direct provision centre (photo by John Walsh).

Twiggs FM broadcast on 98.5 from Salthill and later added an additional relay on 100.1 in the city. This recording is an undated aircheck of two shows by Ciaran Wilson (Brannelly) in the autumn/winter of 1987. The first is from a Thursday at about 1645 and the second from Friday at 1515. There was a definite student vibe to the station, with notices from the Law Society at University College Galway (now the National University of Ireland, Galway) and reference to a programme by the Regional Technical College (now Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology). There’s also a competition to win a bale of briquettes so the Galway winter must have been approaching! Thanks to Ciaran for this recording and additional background information.