Weekend sport on Waterford Local Radio

Weekend sport on Waterford Local Radio
WLR logo (courtesy of Colin Kennedy).

This is another recording of Waterford Local Radio (WLR) made on Saturday 18th March 1985 from 1205-1250. It begins with the end of the Weekend Sport programme presented by Martin Harte with sports headlines read by Eleanor Kirby. At 1230 Jeff Harris takes over with the WLR Top 30, promising an interview with the band The Blades and prizes of LPs in a listeners’ competition. Of interest again is the large number of ads featuring businesses from Waterford City, Tipperary and Wexford, giving a sense of WLR’s coverage in the southeast. There is a short break in audio at around 09:30 but we don’t know if this was a problem in the transmission or a fault with the recording itself.

The recording was made from 100 FM, the link frequency to the main 88.8 FM transmitter. WLR also broadcast on 1197 kHz AM. We thank John Breslin for his donation.

Saturday breakfast on WLR

Saturday breakfast on WLR
The entrance to Waterford Local Radio (photo courtesy of Colin Kennedy).

This is a recording of Waterford Local Radio (WLR) on Saturday 18th March 1985 from 0805-0850. Tommy O’Keeffe is on air with the weekend breakfast show.

The long commercial breaks are evidence of the station’s success locally, with a wide range of local businesses advertising with WLR. Our vote for the best ad is for the plant and pet shop selling budgies for £5 each! The sound is slick and professional and is a good indication of the high standard reached by many pirates.

The recording was made from 100 FM and was kindly donated to us by John Breslin.

Hospital requests on WLR

Hospital requests on WLR
Colin Kennedy on air (photo courtesy of Eoin Ronayne).

This is an airchecked recording of the popular Sunday Hospital Requests show from 12 noon to 2pm on Waterford Local Radio (WLR), reflecting that station’s community focus in contrast with other more commercial rivals. Colin Kennedy is covering for Clodagh Walsh and everyone else seems to be standing in also – the previous show was presented by Michael Forrestal for Tony Weldon and at the last minute, Paul Power is replaced by Eoin Ronayne in the 2-5pm slot.

There are piles of requests for hospital patients and other listeners in Waterford and south Tipperary, reflecting the show’s strong local following. We don’t have an exact date but estimate this to be from February 1983. Sound quality is fair and there is some warble on the music reflecting the cassette’s age. Thanks to Colin Kennedy for donating this recording.

Promos and jingles from WLR

Promos and jingles from WLR
WLR logo (courtesy of DX Archive).

Waterford Local Radio (WLR) began broadcasting in 1978 and continued until the pirate shutdowns of 1988. It was one of the few countywide pirates to be licensed in 1989 and continues to hold the Co. Waterford franchise, still using the WLR name. Here is a selection of promos, adverts and jingles from 1982 and 1983. There is also a snippet of news read by Elinor O’Brien and a clip of Tony Weldon introducing Teatime Special. The jingles are from an Alfasound package and the voice of Bill Mitchell is hear on sweepers.

WLR broadcast on 1197 kHz AM (announcing 252 metres) and 88.8 FM. It was a professional station with a more community-focused approach than its main rival, ABC. We thank former WLR DJ Colin Kennedy for this donation.

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.