This was once the (Radio Caroline Dublin) news

Some of the links in this section are no longer there
as with Studios etc. Free Radio Web pages move around a lot

20th Feb 1996

News in brief this page has moved home again, not one year old and its been at IOL, Internet Eireann (now deceased) and Indigo and Now Dojo. Only the Strong Survive.

Coast FM closed down on FEB 4th at 7pm (Dublin time). This was under their own power and was due to lack of direction and commercial breakthrough. Long will the memory of Coast last, 4.5 years is a long time to give to radio in one city. Coast's mountain site 105.4 is a relay of Q95. The anorak show continues on 105.4 Sunday 1pm.

Radio Dublin have had their fair share of problems in January. Almost at closedown at stages, they have now moved into new studios in Dublin's city centre. High power TX has also returned.

13th December 1995

Hot FM was sold to Club FM for an est. 3,000 IR pounds.

Radio Caroline will be 4 years on air on Jan 7th. This will make us Dublin's 4th oldest Free station after Radio Dublin 29years, DLR 5+ years Coast FM 4+ years.

5th September 1995

Radio Caroline Dublin will broadcast a short-wave DXpedition special on 6260Khz SW on Sunday 24th September from 00.00GMT to 20.00GMT. QSL cards are welcome to our mailing address or by Email with about 15 mins. of programme details.

Pulse FM are now pumping 150W from the hills.

Coast FM have their aerials up and have an ERP on 250w

X-FM from the ashes of Alice's Restaurant have begun weekend progs.

NEAR FM are station 3 of 4 community Radio to come on air this summer with a 18 month licence from the IRTC. They share the Northside frequency of 101.5FM with 7 9 11 Radio

98FM and the IRTC have arrived on the Internet in the last week

August 24th 1995

Pulse FM are on decreased power about 29W.
Coast FM expect to get their aerials & site completed today and will start a new weekend format on September 15th.
Q 95 are a new powerful dance station with about 500W of power. They have tried 95.5 105.8 and will settle on 99.4, Due to begin regular programmes on August 25th.
TTTR are gone for now but hope to return to the airwaves soon.

August 10th 1995

Pulse FM have had their aerial installation stolen from their mountain site. It seems that if its not fixed down with concrete its fair game to be taken in the Dublin hills. If anyone has any info re. this event please let me know in confidence.

TTTR are off air on 99.4FM and may be testing on 100.9FM
95.5FM test broadcast from Tallaght more details when we get them.

Hot FM are having beach parties every Friday as long as the heatwave lasts. This event is interesting as you can listen to them link from the beach on one frequency or listen to their Northside link on 102.5FM to their studios where they link out of band to their 106.8FM Three Rock site. And it still sounds great!.

Radioactive now broadcast on 95.5FM see the Dublin's Free Radio Listings

Check out Coast FM on 105.4 Sundays at 1PM local time (12.00UTC) they have a great free radio show with recordings and news. The show is relayed just about everywhere in Ireland and is on Radio Caroline Every Monday at 22.00hrs BST.

July 28th 1995

As so much of the news in this section is not just about free radio I have re-titled it Dublin's Radio News.

This page has moved or did you notice? The expansion of the Dojo service means Radio Caroline gets its own directory. While I mention the Dojo service I must thank everyone there for their continued support. Please update all Hyperlinks and bookmarks, we'll be here for another while longer.

7 9 11 Radio has now started broadcasting, number 2 of 4 community radios due to begin broadcasting this summer. Good luck to them and we hope staffing level problems get sorted soon.

Mater Hospital Radio have moved to 107.4FM to make room for the two new Northside comm. radio stations. See the update Dublin's Legal Radio Listings

Irelands National Independent Radio Licence is up for grabs again after the failure of the Century Radio Project, certain well known media groups will be applying notably Virgin boss Richard Branson.

Irelands National DAB Forum is up and running. For more Details contact us at Radio Caroline Dublin.

Word on the street says that Club FM are going to set up a Cork franchise, when it happens we'll post it here.

Mid summer and there has been no Summer 2 week licences on air, pointing to the fact that its so costly to set up and rent for a 14 day event broadcast. Money well spent over 14 days legal radio would keep a free radio station on air for a year.

July 17th 1995

Radioactive now broadcasts on 95.5FM see the Dublin's Free Radio Listings

Check out Coast FM on 105.4 Sundays at 1pm local time (12.00UTC), they have a great free radio show with recordings and news. The show is relayed just about everywhere in Ireland and is on Radio Caroline Every Monday at 22.00hrs BST.

Radio Caroline now broadcasts on Shortwave every Sunday. The programme will be a relay of our Sunday schedule to 8pm. (19.00UTC) We are testing 6260kHz let us know if you can hear us.

June 30th 1995

News is slow as its summer in Dublin again. No new stations on yet but when I hear of some I will let you know. I'll leave this news up for the moment. A few things are happening on the free radio scene but I have been asked to report on them when they have happened and not before :-) Check out Coast FM on 105.4 Sundays at 1pm local time (12.00UTC) they have a great free radio show with recordings and news. The show is relayed just about everywhere in Ireland and Coast broadcasts it on shortwave as per the time above on 6250Khz.

Radio Caroline Dublin (us) are about to start SW broadcasts on Sunday 2nd July on 6220Khz or nearby, The programme will be a relay of our Sunday schedule to 8pm. (19.00UTC)

The Free Pages that we have linked to in the past incl. Coast FM and Alice's Restaurant have disappeared from the Ireland On Line server they have been on. These pages were withdrawn and the page owners will not be putting up the pages anywhere else. This is a sad state of affairs, two mailing lists I have been on have been commercially censored this week, pages are being pulled of the internet, don't blame Big Brother when it's Big Business that's pulling all the strings.

Radio Net Ireland is a joint effort by Coast FM, Radio Caroline and Radioactive. Its a Radio programme about the Internet in Ireland. For more details see the RNI Home Page(GONE)

The station that believes in free speech (Radioactive) has set up a mailing list for free radio around these parts, to join the list send a e-mail to (GONE)

June 22nd 1995

Alices Restaurant the home of Alternative listening for the last 3 years in Dublin has closed down. The station plan no come back and the transmitters will eventually be used by a new service around the end of July. Alice's broadcast Friday to Sunday with a no nonsense format of bloody good music and will be sadly missed by many Dubliners who hadn't listened to the radio since Capitol Radio of the 80's closed in 1988. The announcement was made on June 11th and we've just received confirmation from the station management that this news is correct. The transmitter continues to broadcast on 107.9FM and awaits a new service to provide it with programmes. Dublin is at a loss another one bites the dust, but better to go off air under your own power than have that power taken away from you, long will we remember Alice's Restaurant.

Pulse FM 103.2 had the mountain site installation stolen at 12.30am on Thursday 15th June 1995. The Thieves got away with a 120W Transmitter and a stereo MPXed tuner. The investigations into the source of the robbery and the recovery of the equipment are gathering momentum. Any details to Pulse FM Tel. 088 500831. Pulse are on air on decreased power and have improved security.

Radio Net Ireland is a joint effort by Coast FM, Radio Caroline and Radioactive. Its a Radio programme about the Internet in Ireland. For more Details see the RNI Home Page(GONE)

The Free Pages that we have linked to in the past incl. Coast FM and Alice's Restaurant have disappeared from the Ireland On Line server they have been on. Some reports say the pages have been pulled and are being moved to Internet Eireann servers. We will endeavour to get to the bottom of this and report back.

One of Dublin's three Institutional licensees have moved Freq. Beaumont Hospital Radio made the move under direction from the IRTC/DOC to facilitate the first of four new community radio stations coming on air this summer. BHR moved from 105.0 to 107.6. The new community station Dublin South Community Radio will broadcast on 104.9FM.These changes affect the following Free Radio stations.

  • VibeFM moved from 107.2 to 107.1
  • Hot FM moved from 106.9 to 106.8
  • Alices Restaurant moved from 107.5 to 107.9 see the updated legal/free listings

    Radio Caroline (us) have installed new aerials and mast at our transmission site. We hope to reach more homes and communities in Dublin with our wide range of Programs. If you live in the Dublin area or along the east coat maybe you could tell us how we sound and send us a reception report. Our station has a new e-mail address

    Still no news from Coast FM about their new site.

    June 12th 1995

    The Free Pages that we have linked to in the past incl. Coast FM and Alices Restaurant have disappeared from the Ireland On Line server they have been on. Some reports say the pages have been pulled and are being moved to Internet Eireann servers. We will endeavour to get the bottom of this and report back.

    Radio Caroline (us) have installed new aerials and mast at our transmission site. Hope to reach more homes and communities in Dublin with our wide range of Programs.If you live in the Dublin area or along the east coast maybe you could tell us how we sound and send us a reception report. Our station has a new e-mail address

    'Underground Radio' have bitten the dust after one weekend on air. This seems to have less to do with radio and more to do with the commercial possibilities (or lack of them) at a Dublin nite club.

    6th June 1995

    Underground radio appeared recently via the old Sunset/Rythem TX/Site. Its another Dance station for Dublin at weekends only.

    More stations are been planed to go on air this summer. Many school leavers with no chance of employment (In parts of Dublin unemployment runs at 80%) take their record collections to the airwaves, good luck to them. Keeping out of trouble by setting up illegal radio :-)

    Coast FM are still choosing sites this week and will install their new 75W TX as soon as the site is ready.

    Vibe FM have had big problems linking on 89.8FM? Yet another Dance station with an all week service from Dublin 1 studios, linking to Three rock.

    Check out the updated Radioactive page. The Station that believes in free speech has set up a mailing list for free radio around these parts, it also has a article on good reception of weaker signals. Check out Radioactive's home page.

    25th May 1995

    Country Music Radio are now to be known as TTTR or Treble T R. (This station closed on 31/12/88 at midnight in compliance with new broadcasting laws which promised all illegal stations a licence, six and a half years later TTTR are back without a licence and are Dublin's only Country 'n' Irish format) Operating from the Harold's X area of Dublin they are linking on UHF to their Dublin mountain site. They are still broadcasting on 99.4Mhz, Radioactive also use this part of the band, and this make's it difficult to hear TTTR in Dublin 1 & 2.

    Club FM have had two of their stolen 250W TXs returned, nice to see that honesty is still the best policy. Now who'll get the 1000 reward?. It has been said that their link freq. 100.4FM will increase in power, we wait to see.

    Vibe FM are almost ready to come on air, stay tuned to 107.2FM

    Coast FM are about to install new TX at a new site, more details to follow.

    Testing has increased at 107.8FM, no names or formats are known for this station yet but Classical Music has been heard during some mid-week tests.

    More broadcasts from ABC have been heard in the Dublin 1 area of late. Tune to 88.0FM

    10th May 1995

    Country Music Radio have moved frequency again and have taken the freq. used by Radioactive (99.3/99.4) for the last 18 months. Despite this fact CMR have hopped this freq. and refuse to move and representations from Radioactive and other third parties have been met with hostility and a distinct ignorance for the state of play for free radio in this city, they should crawl back in the hole TTTR did 8 years ago, or wake up and start acting like responsible broadcasters. This means that it is very difficult to receive Radioactive outside the Dublin 1/2 area and very difficult to receive CMR in the same area. This action by CMR will not succeed as Radioactive will not move frequency for anybody without prior arrangement as they did with Pulse FM and Hot FM (the Hot FM arrangement was not put into practice). If you have any comments to make on this situation please feel free to mail me.

    Radioactive came back on air on January 1st. after 4 months regrouping and have returned to Dublin's airwaves with a more rounded dedication to fighting for free radio. They have also attracted less good/bad press and media coverage this time round, (not a difficult task when a Dublin Free Radio Station can't take out a free add in the Hot Press not to mention a letter or a two and a half page article.) Radioactive beam around Dublin on 99.3FM around the clock from 4pm through to 1am or 3am (depending on who's in the studio) 7 days a week. You can also here many tape relay's of European Free Radio Stations such as Radio Malibu and others, and watch out for the aborted Jazz FM making an appearance via Radioactive soon.

    E-mail Radioactive.. (GONE)

    DLR have returned to the airwaves again, and from the same studios from which we believed they were leaving. If Pirate Radio didn't close down, split, fight, get raided or have their complete installation stolen (which happened to Club FM this week) or have their cars burnt out (as what happened to Hot FM this week, something I thought only happened in Dublin radio folklore of the 1970s) then this here page may not exist. If all pirate radio stations stayed on air all day all year round with boring formats then they would probably qualify for a licence and cease to be a free radio station. Welcome back DLR.

    A good link to Irish Free Radio is the FREE page..(GONE). Check this out for FM MW & SW from Ireland.

    Hot FM Returned to the airwaves on 106.9FM Linking on 100.65FM. Good luck to all involved, hope they can stay on for at least a few weeks as Dublin badly needs more dance outfits [ not :-) ].

    Pulse FM have increased power at the TX site (now 300w erp) thanks to a radio station with a surplus TX. Nice to see some stations are still talking to each other.

    24th April 1995

    DLR have re-established a transmission on 106FM, this will take care of any channel hoppers that need a frequency, all DLR need now is a new premises, staff and a new name?.

    As the Dial File will show Hot FM have yet to Return to the air, 100.8FM have yet to get a name and their country music tests continue

    Radio Dublin are moving aerials around at the studio location, more to do with planning than expansion we hear. A regular question asked by station's returning to the airwaves or starting a fresh is "What frequency can I use???" this question can be highlighted by the news that Groove FM are returning and were thinking of 100.9FM until 100.8FM (get a name) moved from 99.50FM (Radioactive will be Happy) and started broadcasting on 100.8FM.

    Speaking of Radioactive they came back on air on January 1st. after 4 months regrouping and have returned to Dublin's airwaves with a more rounded dedication to fighting for free radio. They have also attracted less good/bad press and media coverage this time round, (not a difficult task when a Dublin Free Radio Station can't take out a free add in the Hot Press not to mention a letter or a two and a half page article.) Radioactive beam around Dublin around the clock from 2pm or 4pm through to 1am or 3am (depending on who's in the studio) 7 days a week. You can also hear many tape relays of European Free Radio Stations such as Radio Malibu and others, and watch out for the aborted Jazz FM making an appearance via Radioactive soon.

    E-mail Radioactive (GONE)

    Weekend Music Radio ShortWave (Scotland) interview of 1991 on anorak show:
    with Dave Anderson, Jock Wilson, Jack Russell in Donegal: RADIO NORTH (raided 1991) earlier interview with Francis Callaghan.
    Started at Carndonagh, moved to Redcastle, then to Muff. MW 846KHz for 5 years. Donal Skelly of Moville does DX side of things. Name had been "Northside Radio" for a while. Paddy Simpson partner - he had applied for a licence. "North Atlantic" then broadcasting from old studios Bridge St., Carndonagh (1991) (break away faction). WMR's address then was 23 South Beechwood Edinburgh. Phone interview with Jock Wilson (operator of Radio Stella)

    Anoraks Anonymous (since defunct)

    February/March 1997

    Welcome to the new Anoraks Anonymous web site, each week this site will be updated with the latest unlicensed radio news. Anyway, hello my name is Gary Cruze and this page has been put together for all you radio addicted persons. Just as the title suggests 'Anoraks Anonymous' is your page to discuss your feelings and experiences in this unmanageable life of radio. There is an E-mail address(GONE) at the end of this page to share your opinions and comments on our next update of Anoraks Anonymous, and I will be devoting an additional page to share your opinions, so E-mail me and express your thoughts.


    Welcome to week 4 of Anoraks Anonymous, D.A.R.C. 99.0 have finally made it on air and live programmes have commenced, but there is still more work to be carried out on the antenna system and audio. Radio Ireland have start to test on 100.3(Three Rock), 100.9(Kippure) and 105.5FM(Clermont Carn) which the 105.5 is quite strong even down here in Dublin. I am not sure what way Radio Ireland is going to react to our transmitter here in Dublin on 105.3fm, the way I look at it is they have the 100.3fm transmitter for Dublin and surrounding areas, so were not going to cause them problems but already I have been informed that 105.3 and 105.7 are suffering interference from 105.5. Hopefully I wont have to move the 105.3 transmitter again, after only moving off 100.7fm 4 months ago. Radio Ireland seem to be in a bit of bother, but you can find more details about them on the new licensed radio news page(GONE). Club fm continues to use 103fm (as well as 106.4) for about another 2 weeks while their link equipment is been built. News that I received by E-Mail from "Mix FM" informs us that Mix FM now operates all weekend long with live programming. MIX FM plays a variety of dance, chart, indie and underground(see radio listing for frequencies). Spectrum fm's link frequency is to move in the next week from 92.5 to 89.8 to make way for a new station to use 92.5, Wait and see. This year a Sunset radio reunion is on the cards, so if any of you ex-Sunset jocks are out there, send me an E-mail for more details. Freedom FM's listenership has increased dramatically since the relay from Club fm on 105.7, listenership has basically doubled according to Sean Power from Freedom. Fun 101 has moved again after moving to 95.5 and causing interference to LMFM who had moved to 95.5 earlier this week, Fun is now on 88FM, and this time is causing Energy 87.9 terrible interference problems across the city and northwest parts of Dublin, and when you reach southeast Dublin you can't listen to Fun FM. Fresh FM have decided on a frequency to operate on after nearly giving up altogether, the frequency Fresh FM will use is 107.9 from the Templeogue area. ABC Dublin have moved frequency from 94.1 to the new frequency of 94.3 and their signal is well up after the purchase of a new powerful transmitter. Radio Ireland was heard today(2/4/97) putting out music on all its transmitters except for 100.3 which continued to put out a test tone. That's the end of the news ..GOODBYE...GARY CRUZE........

    CLUB FM (106.4) "Dublin's original Dance mix July/August 1997:
    Clutter Free Music Sweep
    Their ads:
    'Temple of Sound' House Special with Club FM DJs DJ Orbit, DJ Pressure, Ken O'Flanagan
    'Club Mix' at the Rossnare Pk. Hotel Drogheda with Club FM DJs John Matthews and Andy Wilson.
    13 Aug Euroclub and Club FM present 'Ultasonic at the Beacon niteclub (2000 capacity), Courtown Co.Wexford (Running buses)
    Club FM DJs include: Andy Jackson, Tony Dexter, DJ Caos, Tommy Steward, Liam? Kenny.

    Contents of Anorak Hour ??
    Played Radio Nova 88FM, 819AM (temporary) closedown after raid in (May?) 1983 from 19 Herbert Street, Dublin 2. (last half hour before going off the air at 6PM)
    Chris Cary, Tony Allan, Declan "Decci" Meehan: - "Blow your horn at 6PM"
    Tony Fenton (Breakfast), Tom Hardy.
    A.J. Flanagan of Dublin Co. Council wrote "never heard of any interference from other 2-way radio users". Paul Coffer was senior engineer of Nova, Tony Mc Cabe (Courier), John O'Flaherty (librarian).
    "RTE news incorrectly stated Nova were at 19 Herbert PLACE" - the address of the Boy Scouts of Ireland.
    Mike Edgar "The Elder Lemon" (formally with Declan on 'Big D') he and John Clarke first defected to Nova.
    Tony Gareth (= Gareth O Callaghan)
    'Hill St. Blues' theme is played at close. 53 Employees. Following week all the equipment is returned.

    Contents of Radio Dublin Anorak Hour ??(1992??):
    Played closedown of Erneside Radio 30-12-1988 on 240 meters MW and 97.8FM with the last Don Allen (RIP 1995) Show. (Had also been on Radio West) Presenter Don Allen (on air apologising for suffering from laryngitis) "was on Radio Caroline 1965-1968, then to Manx Radio for three and a half years, then to Radio Northsea for 2 years till closedown of that. Because of his involvement in pirate radio the following people should be better off: "Lindsy Shelbourne whose carrier he guided and John Hogan the singer who should go to the top".

    Contents of Radio Dublin Anorak Hour 31/1/1993:
    Mentioned AIRWAVE magazine (UK?) re. Caroline on Euronet over Christmas, and station 'The Edge' previously on 819AM in S.E. England and recently on Radio Dublin's SW opt-out, they stopped on RD's SW due to FITOR interference? and modulation distortion/ letter received from John Garvey, Kilkee, Co.Clare, uses 50m long wire to receive SW/ presenter mentions Radio Dublin's MW aerial being chopped.

    Contents of Radio Dublin Anorak Hour ??:
    Joe Doyle presenter. UK radio Caroline on QEFM (Quality Europe FM) sat channel, 2AM-6AM, mentioned

    Played closedown of Boyneside Radio:
    "225 metres" in Drogheda (also stations in Navan, 'North')- closedown at 3PM on Saturday 31-12-1988. The 98.1FM was one frequency used heard in Dublin well for the last four and a half years.
    "Heady" Eddie.(Eddie Caffery)
    John Burns 1984 on Boyneside Television.
    Afternoon Delight show.
    Gavin Duffy manager in 1981.
    Sean ? - Country Time
    Eobhain Mc Donaill (Boss)
    Yvonne Lenihan
    Tom Byrne
    2 DJs Ian Scott (with them on and off) and Derek Flood (for a long time on Radio West. Had been on Boyneside for 2-3 months in 1985)
    Sept? 1993, North Atlantic Radio, Sunday morning with DJ 'Midnight Raver' heard relayed on SW by ??

    Contents of Anorak Show ABC 94.3FM ??/??
    Alpha Sound's Leon Tippler 'The Irish Pirates -Part 3 Hello Again', visit to Ireland in 1983
    night time MW reception in England of ERI (Don Allen ad "1305kHz, 225 metres, 102 and 106FM", Midnight Reports with John O'Connor), Clip of Radio West from Mullingar with DJ Bob Smith (from London) (Tony Allan "4-O-O" metres and 99FM, advertising sales line Mullingar 41694"), South Coast Radio, (top of hour, ad for Lyons Coffee, "194 metres MW and VHF stereo 104" at 11 O'C
    On an August Saturday afternoon on Constitution Hill on the Welsh Coast he received (FM): Community Radio Arklow, R. West on MW, and (FM) KCR Kilkenny (suffering interference from Welsh Police radio!)-with DJ Tom Dowling (ad for Minogues Furniture of Dean St.)
    During visit in September: Plays clip of TTTR (Dublin) with 'KC Country' and ad for 'Red Corner Shop, 89 Lower Dorset St.,Dublin, and DAD-Dial A Directory 606666' "317 metres MW and 99.5FM in stereo" DJs Noel Casey, Bill Wiggims until 3AM "552841"
    Passes through Carlow, clip of 'Radio Carlow'
    Visits Kilkenny on Saturday Sept 10, Sunday 11:
    KCR (Kilkenny Community Radio,, 217 metres, 99.9FM) Des Murphy (afternoon), ad for 'Casablanca nite club at Newpark Hotel with DJ Mike Breen'. Denis Brophy, Tom Ryall, Tom Phelan- Sports News show. Danny Webster -Irish music. Mark Halpin, Ray Brophy - on Sat night. Visits studio Sunday morning: Deirdre on phone, Ben Power (Sunday American Country show), Liam Carroll (station management), Michael Minogue (manager), Fr Jerry Joyce (Former Chairman),
    Station Magazine called 'For The Record', station started May 1979

    Then Waterford:
    Heard WLR, Suirside, and ABC (with American Top 40 and ABC World News at 4)
    Suirside Radio "227 metres" had just moved next to a coalyard in Ballybricken (had been there for 3 months at that location), interviews DJ Buddy Steward ("had been with them for 18 months", then doing 'Sinnotts Top 40 Airplay Chart'), and Grace Sheehan ("half management" - with station for 4 years, Suirside started "5 years ago next Febuary" ie Feb 1979, management also own a video shop, also says ESB cut them off March/April 1983!),
    WLR: Colm Kennedy, Ray O'Brien (till 2AM), Helen O'Brien - secretary/newsreader (for over 4 years), Tommy O'Keeffe, Dermot Graham (morning chat show 11-12noon). WLR started June 1978 from a bedroom, then moved to small gatelodge about 100 yards down the road. Had been in 3 different locations, latest in Georges St, station broadcasts from 6:30AM until 2AM., news on hour 8AM- midnight, ads: 4 commercials every 15 minutes, ie about 10 mins an hour. studio had Cetronic mixer and spotmaster cart machines. WLR's transmission aerials had recently been vandalised!

    Visits Cork (ERI, CCLR, South Coast Radio):
    Leon firstly visits Pat Healy of Old Youghal Rd, to find out about Cork radio scene. stations visited: CCLR (261 Cork City Local Radio): Roger Gregg (with Paul Sheehan) reads news, station Manager = Pat Galvin (also owned shortlived Radio Leeside FM), Steve Marshal (The station's only English DJ, does mornings, had been on 'Voice of Peace' offshore station) CCLR had a small Allan & Heath mixer, cassettes for ads. Steven Byrne CCLR chief reporter, speaks of hassles with NUJ. Leon later interviews CCLR engineer Con Mc Parland CCLR closed a few months later.
    ERI (mailing address 117 Patrick St, Cork"). Sean O'Sullivan read 'evening reports' news, the 'Don Allen Radio Show', "Mark Lawrence will be on 2AM-6AM"
    South Coast Radio's Shevaun Walls reads news (head of news). DJ John Kenny at night
    etc etc

    South Coast Radio: Don Stevens in the morning. Studio above John Henchy's Pub, 40 St Lukes Cross. Reaneys the pub next door
    John Lewis (does 2 weekend shows + production), Alan Reid, (Nick Richards evening DJ on holidays at this time - 'Mr. John Lewis' filled in.)
    Production studio:small Alice Mixer, Revox99s etc, Alan West, former 270 man, also visiting. On-Air studio: Technics broadcast turntables, shock mounted microphone on a boom from the ceiling, Alice SMT8 mixer, SIS140 cart players, record/playback unit, compressor: Valley People. "Peter O'Neill and Peter Maher set station up." Promo "Phone 500328 for Summer Splashout competition"
    Visited the silent 10kw AM transmitter site at Dublin Hill, damaged by fire, (using smaller TX elsewhere at the moment for AM): RCA transmitter in 4 cabinets, on left modulation section, oscillator section, plate (HT) transformer 5000V had blown , takes 3 minutes to warm up before switching HT on for carrier, has negative peak limiting to give loud mod, 160ft slender lattice mast
    For late night show John Lewis filled in for Nick Richards
    ERI visit: Emer Lucy on news. 'Late Beat' with Liam Quigley (on after Don Allen) On Air studio: row of 3 ITC Cart machines, Alice mixer, Production mixer: Has old (18 - 20 years) 'beautiful' Gates mixer (uses knobs rather than slide faders) , news: microphone suspended on goose neck Interviews Don Allen of (6PM to 10PM show) ERI "was also on BBC R. Merseyside up to 1976 after RNI closed in 1974", lived in Isle of Man for a while, then worked for a cable firm for 5 years in Leeds, then moved to Ireland after seeing Daily Mail report on Irish radio situation, did Sunshine, Nova, Carousel (Navan), and Royal County Radio (part owned it), then ERI. ERI later installed new powerful FM transmitter on Sunday 16-October-1983
    Lindsey Shelbourne worked in ERI office.

    Limerick Raidio na Luimni (MW only). Limerick
    From corner of Sexton Street, round the side a pair of iron gates into old yard. Aerial wire from old cinema roof to another building across street junction.
    Owned by 'John the Man' (John Frawley). Len Dineen doing sports reports. Alf on production and Phone. Used 8 into 2 PA mixer.

    Big L "194" MW and FM of 13 Ellen St.: Patricia Long did 'S.E.B.A' news (Shannon Estuary Broadcasting Association). DJ used Sonifex mixer (a type for community radio), Sparta turntables. Had 5 transmitters (i.e. Studio, Newcastlewest, Listowel, Ennis,). Station had been on since 1978 ("5 years 3 months") Linda on phone, Mike Richardson (MD), Margaret Richardson (had morning show). They had plans for "Big L 2" (never materialised).

    GALWAY - no pirate station on, West coast Community radio closing around time of raids.

    Nova's Sybil Fennel started at Southside radio while at university. Bob Galico another newsreader.
    In the Future: Evening Herald Monday December 5/6 1983 : Nova TV temporarily on the air. (Mike Hogan Director). Nova TV raided the following Friday the 9th December. Previously: Wednesday May 18th 1983, Radio Nova raided. Sunshine raided following day. Nova used 940 MHz "microlink" (3 of them) from studios (19 Herbert St, Dublin 2) to transmitters. Studio: EMT turntables, Audix desk.

    SUNSHINE Radio: offices at 11 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 1. Robbie Dale boss
    Sunshine (from portacabins alongside the Sands Hotel Portmarnock). Sunshine's secretary Padraig Mullins denied interference claims after 1983 raid. Sunshine reopened Sunday 12-June 1983
    Leon Tippler finishes by thanking Pete and Eilleen (of Malahide), Ignatious Keane, Paul Davidson of Anoraks Ireland.

    RTE temporary community radio unit visited Waterford in March? 1983, 'Cllr. Maurice Cummins did not favour pirates.' -N.A.S.
    Radio Dublin in January 1989 "101 FM. 1188kHz MW, 6910 kHz SW" Telephone 538684

    Contents of Dublin's Spectrum 105.3 Anorak Hour 13 July 1997:
    Play Charlie Wolf on Radio Mercury, 102.7 FM and "197 metres" from Reigate near London [waged war with Radio Jackie which closed in Feb 1985] in for Pat Sharp (from 16-June 1986).
    Played KLAS ("Class") on 22/10/1988 - 2nd birthday party in the Harcourt Hotel - Hugh Brown, Chris Austin, John May, David Baker, David Williams, Paul Bradley (22 people employed) and Suzan Duffy (now RTE 2FM) - "784309" was Class's phone number.
    Ian Dempsey mentioned journalist Gene Kerrigan's time on ARD during the week (July 1997) on RTE 2FM !
    Played Dublin's SUNSHINE 101 [Easter 1986] 6:00PM - "1st the goodnews" [ad for First National Building] Sunshine news with Patsy McGarry, DJs: David Dennehy [also ex Century] now on East Coast Radio, Mark Byrne, Pat Courtney (98FM), Ernie Gallagher. Martin O'Neill (Niall Martin) on WLCB (Wicklow Local Community Broadcasting) did report on news - Sunshine's fundraiser for the C.R.C. (Central Remedial Clinic) - run auction on air
    Played tape of Capital Radio (Dublin) 3 days before 1988 closedown in 1988. Bob Conway [now of 2FM Irish Music show] then owned it. Promo for closedown on 31/12/1988 from Sides Nightclub. Matt Dempsey [now (1997) Tipp FM (later 95FM Limerick)]. "The Late Bit show".
    ARD "257" metres from 1979- Steven Rhodes, Jason Maine, David Lyons, Eric Peters Chat show, Tony Gareth (aka Gareth O'Callaghan now of 2FM) presented the Breakfast Show, Tony Boylan - "78 man", Jim Kenny - doing a once-off Top 100 - producer - nowadays owns a record shop. Steve Gordon
    Report, at the end of RTE Radio news of a raid on Radio Dublin in 1978 by Gardai. Not first raid but previous attempt to prosecute it failed due to a loophole in the law. Jim Mitchell (TD for Ballyfermot) gave R. Dublin support in an interview, also support from Michael Collins the Lord Mayor. GER ROE: every Christmas Day Radio Dublin used to go to Christchurch "for the Bells" also had a pre-recorded address from the Lord Mayor on New Year's eve (during earlier years) {Sammy Prendergast of Prendergast Aerials had been involved with Liberty Radio 104).
    News from Simon Maher (Pete Reid) and Ger Roe mentioned Radio Free London RSL coming up
    Class 106.8 presently on low power "due to hassles"
    Freedom 92 also low power from the studio due to problems up at mountain site. (The site has new owners). Freedom 92 "4565284"
    Energy Radio comes from Ballybrack (106.9 links up to 88.0)
    107.25 Hits 106 relay in North Wicklow
    Radio Dublin have appeared on 105.7 - a plan for 'Heartbeat' group to use it 7PM-7AM
    Victory 90.4 to start soon from Ballybock ?
    Mentioned the departure of Pat Courtney from 98FM and High Court case regarding the dismissal.
    INN (Independent Network News] beginning of June 1997
    Mentioned TV deflector courtcase - Dunmore East - injunction granted to Cablelink but a stay of 6 months before it takes effect.
    Limerick - 1st August 1997 onwards - Pirate Limerick 95 after loss of franchise
    Co. Mayo: Pulse 99(main) and 102 relaying Virgin Radio at present.
    'Heaven 97' (97.3) pop music, of Dun Laoghaire needs DJs - "2841953"

    Spectrum 105.3 Anorak Hour 6 July 1997:
    Spectrum's Postal address was then PO Box 4845 Dublin 6. Spectrum FM "Dublin's real music station" (Also on Mix 94.6 and Dream FM relays) Alternative Radio Network
    Played old tape of Emperor Rosko (also of Radio Luxembourg) show (60 minutes) on Radio Nova then on 102.7FM and 738 AM. "Coast-to-Coast and we do it the most"/ " Super Sounds" and ads, i.e. the Red Corner Shop" Dorset St, Dublin. 6:30 headlines with George Long/ Playing all over Dublin, Ad for Nova Park Rathfarnham "come on down" 854705 (Nova Park's telephone no) - "Functional but Classy" dated 15-10-1984 (Monday)

    From Leon Tippler Tape 1 - Summer 1979 - Dublin stations
    Capital Radio ("503722") "226 metres" Bachelors Quay? DJs Alan Russell, Chris Barry.
    BIG D: Simon Young's "Homeward Bound" show: address of Big D's Broadcasting house: 118 St Stevens Green West, Dublin 2. (2nd location) other DJs: Tony Dixon (6:30-8), Dennis Murray (8-10), Neil ? (10-12), Chris Wilkinson (12-2), Philip Scott (2-4:30) Radio Dublin
    ( "747967" Tel of Radio Dublin or ARD??)
    ARD "257 metres" Belvedere Place
    Big D "273" meters" ad for Big D nite out in the Chariot Inn, Ranelagh. "Big D advertising 722861"
    Tape of S.W. station Weekend Music Radio from early 80s with Dave Anderson Sunday 8/2/81??? 6260 kHz "Thanks to Mark Down" (previous DJ) used postal address of 42 Iron Close, Cambridge. Had Free Radio News etc, Mentioned Short Wave station Radio VPO, then at: P.O. Box 23, Ederven, Holland
    Cara 95 with Lawrence John ("L.J.") on station's first day Sept 1987 "The Heartbeat of Dublin City"
    Pete Reid mentioned Sunset reunion, everyone went off to Club M
    Mentioned Spectrum FM benefit nite, thanks to Stan Collimore
    Tony O'Hara and Joe Doyle owner of present Heartbeat, their equipment was stolen last Sunday, their STL on 428MHZ had previously been jammed.

    DUBLIN FM LIST ( 6/July 1997)
    87.6 Mix 94.6 link
    88.0 Energy "DJ Billy Wilde in the mix - 2720464"
    89.5 Dream FM link
    89.8 Jazz FM
    90.3 Unid.
    91.6 Spectrum link (see 105.3)
    92.0 Freedom FM (DJs Cloe D,Louise Jordan, "4565284") Ad for 'Ice Party', Marleys Niteclub, Grange rd. Rathfarnaham
    92.4 WLR link
    92.6 Premier FM
    93.8 GLR (6PM-12PM)
    94.3 ABC Dublin (Has Network Anorak Show Sunday nights 12-1AM with Mike Williams)
    94.6 Mix 94.6 "087-403727" with DJ Hysteria
    95.4 GLR link?
    96.0 WLR
    96.6 Dream FM
    97.3 Hot 97 (previously 'Heaven 97')
    98.4 UCB relay (from Saggart)
    98.7 Power FM
    99.0 D.A.R.C. FM
    99.2 Pulse FM link
    99.4 Super Q
    100.0 Radio Dublin
    100.6 Unid. ("Squashed between Radio Ireland's frequencies")
    101.3 Unid. from Rathfarnham
    102.5 Radio Caroline from Bayside, Sutton
    102.9 Club FM link
    103.2 Pulse FM "01-8332170" DJs Al Gibbs, Ronan B., ads for Ice Party and Club Sarah
    105.3 Spectrum FM (at this time also relayed Virgin Radio a lot)
    105.7 Heartbeat
    106.0 Hits 106 (107.2 in North Wicklow) "2855106" Ad: Hits 106 DJs at 'The Brew', Main St., Bray
    106.4 Club FM via Killinarden
    106.8 Class FM (from West Dublin)
    106.9 Energy Link
    107.1 X-FM
    107.9 Generate 108

    Spectrum 105.3 Anorak Hour 29 June 1997:
    Nova 3-in-a-row song competition TELRPHONE LINES: for every 90 customers only 16 actual lines switching between customers is needed "in the normal pattern of usage" - Worldwide industry standards which should hold up except for the 'Nova Factor'. In September 1984 the Nova 3-in-a-row song competition was held to last hour of last day (to maximise effect). Calls were to be handled by 'Dial-a-Directory' (Dublin telephone agency) but they backed out. Nova answered calls at the studio instead for the 5000 pound prize. Greg Gaghran at 16:45 on Sept 29, 1984 played 1st of the triple set. [As played on Liberties Radio ("104FM/10-35AM") Anorak Show in December 1988, "Looked small in comparison to Sunshine's 50,000 pound prize in 1988"]. Greg Gaghran and Tony Allan (Tony Allan at the time usually on 12-6am) took calls for the 50th caller to say the qualifying phrase "You Did It". Colm Hayes in background also. Was won by Ruth and Thomas Bissett from Walkinstown.
    ALSO PLAYED: (from June 19, 1984) John Clarke "N.O.V.A." on 738 - played promo for Nova Bingo Bonanza 102.7FM, Declan Meehan, Colm Hayes, John Clarke, Greg Gaghran "Sounding Great on 738(AM)"
    Q102 O.B. from Switzers, Grafton St. during the Dublin City Carnival 1987 with Greg Gaughran (afternoon). Mike Hogan (boss), Dave Kelly (mid-morning), Joe Harrington, Ann Cassin (RTE in 1997) read news
    Friday June 28th 1985 commencement of Radio 2's temporary opt-out service "Carnival Radio 2" in Dublin "235 metres AM and 90.7FM" Hugh O'Brien, Gerry Ryan (12:00 midday).
    Q102 - Opened Thursday 24th Jan 1985 Q102 "The Quiet Storm", Lawrence John opened it [He was it's 1st station manager] - News at the top of the hour with Ann Cassin "Continuous Q"
    New Years Day 1982 Radio City: (257 metres) Al Dunne at either Capel St. or Camden St. 1161kHz? Tel 746737. ARD ("260 metres") 1st came on in 1979 from Crofton Airport Hotel, Chris Barry, Aiden Steward (later Aiden Lenord of RTE 2FM), Tony Boylan - Sundays
    1/1/1982: Nova 88FM and 828AM with DJ Colm Hayes, played Tim Kelly from KFI in L.A. wishing the listeners of Nova a good day. SSR (South Side Radio) 300metres/999kHz from the Hotel Victor, Dun Laoghaire Radio Dublin - 253m - last day of DJ Lee on 31-12-1981, 'Afternoon Swoon Drive Show' since 1978
    Pete Reid's news: 'Minister for Public Enterprise' Mary O'Rourke has been appointed (took responsibility for Minister for Communications)
    LMFM are doing split programme "Fresh FM" from their 95.5FM site at The Naul (former Pulsar site)?
    Last night: Transmitter on 90.4, for TTTR (7AM-7PM), Heartbeat (7PM-7AM) at around 2:30AM this transmitter was stolen, a CTE 250W , and the scanner for the UHF link receive also stolen.
    Sunshine from Carrigdale Co. Louth now on 98.7 as well as 954 AM
    Energy 99.3 and 105.1 Navan Co.Meath.

    Sunday Ind. March 1,1998


    Liam Collins on the colourful career of Chris Cary, the man behind Radio Nova and 'Europe's leading smartcard pirate'

    Rightly or wrongly, Chris Cary was bound to end up in jail. He was the 'Flash Harry' of those halcyon days of pirate radio in the 1980s, long, boozy lunches and easy living.

    He ran rings around the dusty pen-pushers in the old Department of Posts and Telegraphs and when they finally caught up with him, he waltzed back to Britain with a fortune in his back-pocket.

    There, he went on to become "Europe's leading smartcard pirate" and one of the main operators whom BSkyB claims have cost the company more than 30 million pounds, But "Official England" is far less tolerant when it catches up with those who try to buck the system as Lester Piggott can testify, and so Cary ended up behind bars.

    He drove a Rolls Royce with the number plates "THE 60s", lived in smart houses, here(Ireland) and outside London, traded in his wife for a doctor's young daughter from south Dublin and always talked in millions. Chris Cary's legacy to Ireland can be seen on TV any night: while RTE discovered just two broadcasters, he turned a plethora of passionate young men and women into the professionals who pervade today's airwaves.

    Bryan Dobson, Ken Hammond, Ann Cassin, stalwarts of Montrose, Chris Barry, David Harvey who produces Crimeline, Mike Hogan who publishes In Dublin, and many others, cut their teeth in the various Cary outfits. Now those rebel jocks, who have grown gracefully into respectable middle-age, are gleefully trading stories of the colourful Cary, who, despite the wealth and two young children, remains a rebel.

    Kingston Crown Court, outside London, was told that Chris Cary of Weybridge, Surrey had pleaded guilty, along with his ex-wife Remy (also known as Rita) Steffen, to conspiracy to defraud BSkyB by making 'pirate' version of code cards, and selling them cheaper than the legitimate item. But when he appeared before Judge Richard Haworth, Cary announced that he was changing his plea.

    "I am not guilt. I went along with it in a confused state because it seemed to make people happy," he said.

    The court was told that similar charges against co-defendant and partner Sybil Fennel (37) and general manager, Richard Jones (49), were to be left on file. After changing his plea, Cary was remanded in custody. Then last week he sacked his legal team and went back to court to look for bail. He was refused. A further hearing is due on March 20 (1998).

    "Gregarious, flamboyant, ignorant" was how Andrew Hanlon, now Managing Director of Irish Network News (INN), described his former boss in Nova. "But when it came to radio, he was a real professional, Radio Nova would put some local stations to shame, even today."

    Harold Christopher Cary had jumped the last supply ship to Radio Caroline in 1967 and there, under the name Spangles Muldoon, he had seen the lights go out with founder Ronan O'Rahilly as the British Government closed down the original pirate radio. He then moved to Radio Luxemborg before going back to Britain to get into computers.

    He was always bubbling with new ideas, new concepts and new ways to make money. with his then new wife, Remy Steffen, he came to Dublin in 1980. "I stumbled into it purely by accident," he said later. "I only came over to fix a computer, I met a friend, who I had known from Radio Caroline, and he invited me to sit in on a few session and I realised these guys really didn't know what they were doing then."

    In his book, Radio Radio, Peter Mulryan gives a flavour of those frenetic times.

    "In October, heading into the busiest part of the year, Cary and his girlfriend, broadcaster Sybil Fennell, went missing for 10 days. Cary had just split up with his wife Remy. Despite more than a week of frantic phone calls, (Mike) Hogan was unable to locate them. He takes up the story.

    "Eventually he arrived back and said, Right, let's go to lunch. So I'm flabbergasted wondering where he's been. We go down to the Henry Grattan, Sybill is there, Christopher is there ... He looks me right in the eye and says, 'Right, what the f*** do you know about television?""

    They then went out and spent 50000 pounds on a TV station (didn't last long). That was the way it was. He operated in a vacuum, paying no tax or VAT and amassing huge amounts of money and constantly finding ways to outwit authority and legislation.

    "He pulled a couple of million out of Ireland," says Andrew Hanlon. Cary first got into radio here by joining up with Robbie Robinson and Sunshine Radio. But after coming under pressure from the authorities early on, he sold his share and moved back to Britain.

    But he was bitten by the bug and came back, bringing with him truckloads of the best new equipment and "clutter-free radio" was born in a Georgian house in Herbert Street, Dublin on June 12, 1981.

    He ended up taking over a country club near Rathfarnham which was known as Green Acres. Renamed Nova Park, it had the radio station, bars, night-clubs and the whole damn thing, "It was a bit of craic," he says, claiming that in four years he had turned over 20 million pounds. "I don't care if you call me the biggest b*****d ever, I've still got my Rolls Royce," he told one interviewer.

    In 1985 he left his wife Remy for a young station presenter, Sybill Fennell, the daughter of a southside doctor. The couple were regulars around the Dublin social scene.

    After a staff outing to Mirabeau Restaurant in Sandycove, Dublin, he boasted: "I've got enough newspaper coverage to wallpaper the Green room of the Shelbourne Hotel."

    One profile at the time suggested he should be "sent in to RTE to clear it out". A row with the NUJ was the beginning of the end.

    RTE newsreader Ken Hammond, then a journalist with the station, told the High Court of a bitter confrontation as Hammond mounted a lone picket outside Nova Park. "He put his face up against mine and said he was going to smash my face in, at the same time pounding a clenched fist into his hand." Cary did apply for a licence in 1989 when they were finally handed out by then Minister Ray Burke, but his presentation to the new Independent Radio and Television Commission(IRTC) was so honest, he never stood a chance. He told them he wouldn't have any Irish language programmes and he would keep news to a minimum. They laughed at his audacity. But the station he proposed is exactly what we get from FM104, 98FM and Today FM.

    "Someone has accused us of being a 'hamburger station', that doesn't offend me. For instance, you can go into McDonalds anywhere in the world and you know you will get a certain type of food ... that is what Radio Nova is for. Instantly recognisable sound, suitable for a few hours listening. No one was providing that sort of service."

    David Harvey, producer of Crimeline, was another Nova star. He says he last heard of Cary about a year ago. "He rang me up out of the blue and invited me down to his spectacular house in Surrey, he showed me the card, he was at that for a long time."

    Last week's court case was told that Cary was "mastermind of the operation" making counterfeit smart cards, Ms Fennell "ran the show" from a unit in Dun Laoghaire Shopping Centre, and Mr Jones, the third co-defendant, bought the components.

    The prosecutor, Timothy Langdale QC, said the operation was making 20000 pounds a week until Cary and his accomplices were arrested in June 1996. At the time, seized documents revealed that the company, Megatek, had 850000 ponds in its accounts.

    According to records filed in the Company's Office in Dublin, Megatek International Ltd, with an address at Unit 323, Dun Laoghaire Shopping Centre, Co. Dublin, was incorporated on May 16, 1995. Remy S Steffen is listed as a director and Cloe Fitzgerald as company secretary. Both had the same address at Chanel Road, Artane, Dublin 5.

    We have not heard the last of Chris Cary.

    Radio Nova staff: then and now
    Denis MurrayDJ
    John ClarkeDJ2FM DJ and Producer
    Jason MaineDJFM104
    Tony FentonDJ2FM
    Declan MeehanDJToday FM/East Coast Radio
    Bob GallicoNewsreaderEast Coast Radio
    Mike HoganSales MgrPublisher of In Dublin
    Colm HayesDJProgramme Director FM104
    Scott WilliamsDJProg. Director 95FM Limerick
    David MaloneNewsreaderInd. TV producer/EX BBCNI
    Greg GaughranDJ FM104
    Mike MoloneyDJ2FM
    Hugh O'BrienDJ
    Gareth O'CallaghanDJ2FM
    Shane McGowanNewsreader2FM News
    John O'FlahertyLibrary
    Brian EdgarEngineer
    Aidan SheeranEngineer
    Ann CassinNewsreaderRTE TV news
    Laurence JohnDJ
    David HarveyDJCrimeline Producer/Presenter
    Jenny MelvorReporter
    Sybill FennellNewsreader
    Helen DowdSales
    Chris BarryDJFM104
    Stefanie CallisterDJSKY TV
    Denise O'Flaherty
    Bernadette Rooney

    Pirate boss who defrauded Sky escapes (Friday 14-08-1998)

    Former Dublin pirate radio boss Chris Cary was still at large last night after escaping from a low-security open prison in Britain 3 days ago. Carey (51), who ran the successful Radio Nova in the 1980s, recently lost an appeal against a 4-year sentence for defrauding Ruport Murdock's Sky TV of £30m. The former broadcaster had served a few months of a sentence imposed by Kingston Crown Court last February when he took off from Ford Prison, where inmates are trusted not to abscond. After telling warders he was taking time off his job in the stores to take a visit, Carey walked to the jail's farm area with a potted plant saying he wished to fill it with compost. He escaped in a white Peugeot car, which pulled up as he crossed the road. British police are continuing to check ports and airports. Prison sources believe the former disc jockey may attempt to reach the South Pacific to avoid extradition to Britain. Carey's escape came 10 days after a court of appeal refused to quash his sentence. Ford prison houses 420 category D prisoners, many of whom are white-collar criminals. A spokesperson for the British prison service said prisoners at Ford were category D prisoners because it was believed they were low risk. "If someone abuses that trust, if and when he is rearrested, he will serve the rest of his sentence in confined conditions," the spokesperson added. Mr Murdock's News International prosecuted Cary, who allegedly made a fortune from selling bogus Sky TV decoder cards. He flooded Ireland, Britain and Continental Europe with the so-called smart cards, selling them for up to £450 each.

    Pirates call the tune (Sunday Ind. ?/?/1985)

    As the Coalition partners wrangle over the details of the Local Radio Bill, illegal radio stations continue to proliferate, firmly establishing eager audiences and providing a steady source of new talent to RTE itself. Kevin Moore talked to the pirates....

    The "pirates" are continuing to produce so many top young talents, most of whom graduate to RTE, that its hard to keep tally, but despite this and the professionalism of a lot of the stations, they remain banned.

    For example, 26-year old Richard Crowley, the television newsreader, who is to host a new magazine programme on TV in the Autumn, worked in a series of illegal radio stations, as did a large number of his colleagues. .

    As a result, he shares the view of the "pirates" that the Government, which is paralysed by an ideological dispute between Fine Gael and the Labour Party on the issue, should act to regularise the situation. .

    Richard, who was born in Cork and worked on provincial papers in Co. Donegal after leaving school, said: "It is difficult to get into this station (RTE), when there is no smaller services where you can learn the trade.

    "Pirate radio stations undoubtedly offer young people in Ireland a certain level of training. I look forward to the day when commercial local radio is established on a legal basis. I think then they will be important training grounds for broadcasters to cut their teeth on and from there they can move into national broadcasting."

    There are ample examples of this. Dave Fanning (31), who qualified as a teacher in 1976, preferred being a DJ on pirate radio. He worked with "Big D" and later moved to RTE to become their top DJ. Gerry Ryan, his Radio 2 colleague, also worked with "Big D".

    Other examples are: Tony Fenton and Andy Ruane, both of whom worked with Sunshine Radio in Portmarnock, Co. Dublin are now DJ's on RTE Radio 2. Hugh O'Brien, John Clarke and Simon Young were all formerly with Nova.

    Patsy McGarry, the 33 year-old Head of News at Sunshine - like Dave Fanning he is a former teacher - told the Sunday Ind that his predecessor as Head of News, Eimear Woodful, was now with Radio 2 news.

    But this talent, which the "pirates" are doing so much to foster, does not appear in Government thinking on the issue. Meanwhile, the "pirates", whether they are commercial stations, like Sunshine, or community ones, like Bray Local Broadcasting (BLB), continue to satisfy a public demand.

    McGarry, a native of Ballaghdereen, Co. Roscommon and a graduate of U.C.G. said that he was becoming resigned to the fact that the Local Radio Bill, 1985, would not be passed in the lifetime of this Dail.

    It would appear that he and 24-year-old Sunshine DJ Eddie Gallagher - and the rest of the 35 full-time staff of the radio and the other "pirates" - do not figure in the Government's job creation plans.

    The Portmarnock station, launched in September, 1980 and which has five full-time journalists on the staff, has an annual wage bill of 312000 pounds, pays out 86000 pounds to the Revenue Commissioners in VAT and a further 60000 in PAYE-PRSI.

    So, while the Government refuses to recognise the "pirates", it is prepared to accept their money. All the bigger and better organised stations insist on paying their taxes - and observing a strict professional code - because they now this will count when they seek licences eventually.

    There are two types of illegal station. There are 40 commercial stations like Sunshine. Which target a certain market. The other type is known as "Community" radio. There are as many as 14 of these stations, but the best known are BLB; Kilkenny Community Radio (KCR); Tipperary Community Radio (TCR); North Dublin Community Radio (NDCR); Cavan Community Radio (CCR); and Arklow Community Radio (ACR).

    This network is small compared to the commercial stations, such as Sunshine, TTTR, Capital and Annabel in Dublin; ERI and Radio Caroline in Cork; Big "L" Radio, City Centre Radio and Radio Lumni in Limerick; Atlantic Sound in Galway; Waterford Local Radio and ABC in Waterford; and so on, around the country.

    The underlying ideology of community radio can be described as "vocationalist". For example, BLB has a 13-member Management Committee; Five representatives of community groups; three staff reps.; three business reps., and two Church reps.,(Catholic and Church of Ireland).

    Sally Reynolds, General manager of BLB, sail that they were afraid the Local Radio Bill, 1985 might be allowed to lapse. "I was personally disappointed with what happened in the Dail, when the Bill was introduced," she explained.

    The type of community service offered by BLB is best illustrated by the work of one of their most popular DJ's, 51-year-old Joe Bollard, a married man with three children, who is one of the large number of unpaid volunteers.

    Joe who has been blind since aged two due to a medical error, presents a Monday-to-Friday two-hour "Morning Mixture" of pop, country and western, Irish, classical music interlaced with chat and local information.

    The community radio concept is the one favoured by the Labour Party and the continuing difficulties over the Local Radio Bill, 1985, arises out of continuing disagreement with Fine Gael on this issue.

    THE PIRATES - PART OF WHAT WE ARE (Sunday Ind. 1/1/1989)

    (Radio days by John Waters)

    So the pirates have at last been silenced (1/1/1989), after twenty years of "illegal" radio broadcasting. We await the onset of the new, bright and shiny era of independent radio at the convenience of the powers-that-be.

    Your attitude to this situation will depend on whether you see The Law as an end in itself, an abstract concept, or whether you think it should take into account the wishes of those whom it purports to serve.

    There is no doubt but that the overwhelming majority of Irish people were quite happy with the radio situation just the way it was. The only reason for the new legislation at this point is the accumulation of years of sustained pressure and lobbying by a load of Moaning Minnies, most of whom had a vested interest in the sinking of the pirates. For instance, in over two decades of what has surely been the most significant explosion in modern Irish popular culture, I don't believe I heard a single discussion about the pirate radio phenomenon on the national station.

    The pirates were a pure and spontaneous eruption of the cultural values which obtain in modern Ireland. Unhindered for the most part by such things as bureaucracy and sectional interest, they gave us essentially the kind of radio we wanted, whether we wanted to admit it or not. They told us more things about ourselves just be being there than a million "investigative reports" under the 20 per cent current affairs content rule which will obtain in the new, Public Service era of local broadcasting.

    Twenty-four-hours-a-day pop music may be just noise to the members of the new independent radio commission, but it speaks volumes if you know what to look for. The proliferation of such stations in our capital city tells of a sense of frustration and dislocation in the younger generations which no amount of regulating will address.

    The new orderly version of local radio in Dublin may prove less offensive to the sensibilities of the more genteel classes, but there will still be the picture in the attic.

    Outside of the cities the loss of the pirates will be even more acutely felt. The Sunshines and the Super Qs may provide happy musical mediums for the increasingly divided and culturally impoverished population of the capital, but it is the small local stations dotted all around the country which tell us most about what is happening to this country.

    Over Christmas at home in the West, I spent some time listening to the local station, Mid West Radio, of Ballyhaunis. The station is run by a fellow called Paul Claffey, whom I've known since childhood. Paul is the ultimate pragmatist: his model of local radio is unencumbered by grandiose notions of Public Service Broadcasting. He believes in giving the public what it wants, rather than what he or anybody else might think it needs.

    Claffey is the station's most popular DJ as well as being its owner. Broadcasting all over the West, he is at least as popular there as Gay Byrne and Gerry Ryan put together.

    There is no "News" on Mid West Radio. If the 20 per cent minimum current affairs ruling were applied it is likely that the station would prove unviable. The output consists largely of requests, phone-ins, personal messages, local advertising and the kind of music which we used to describe as Country 'n' Irish but is now a folk music for much or rural Ireland.

    Every Sunday night, Paul Claffey hosts a live spectacular based on the TV game The Price is Right, giving away freezers and free holidays in a three-hour special broadcast before a live audience of 1500 which is heard on the radio by anything up to 100000 people.

    The subject of the kind of music played on Mid West is interesting but far too complex to deal with properly here. It is mostly of a kind which, a dozen or so years ago, perched high on our platform shoes and thinking we could see for miles, we pronounced as good as dead, and good riddance. It was the music of a darker past, of the kind of sentimentality which went hand-in-hand with resignation and despair.

    Today, local halls which rocked ten years ago to Horslips, Thin Lizzy and the other heroes of the emerging pop culture, now jive once more to local stars like Kevin Prendergast, Mick Flavin and Michael O'Brien, all of whose names have been made through exposure on stations like Mid West. Daniel O'Donnell owes his entire career to people like Paul Claffey.

    All this may or may not seem very worthwhile to the regulators of the new independent radio commission. Depending on who you are, it will appear to be good, bad or merely indifferent.

    But it is important. Apart from being a fascinating cultural phenomenon I itself, Mid West Radio has been useful in letting us have a look at ourselves, or at least at a part of our country which has suffered the brunt of economic recession and political incompetence. This void will not be filled by a fully-regulated, streamlined local community station, regardless of how it is run.

    Local people just want Mid West back. For the past couple of months they have been anxiously asking each other if there could possibly be any chance of Paul Claffey getting the local licence in view of the fact that another, far less popular station down the road has the distinction of having the relative of a government minister on its staff.

    Needless to say, I myself have been reassuring people that no Fianna Fail government would countenance such considerations having any bearing on the matter.

    Airwave Mavericks (Sunday Ind 1/1/1989)

    With the closing down of the pirate radio stations, DECLAN LYNCH took a wryly affectionate look at some of the personalities and eccentricities of 'lost dog' radio .

    'Awwwwww-righ-ee...and what have we got for you now? Awww-right-ee. Mr. Jackson Browne has a new record and .. eh.. this isn't it."

    OF the many men and women who died heroically on the airwaves, with a gay smile on their lips, and a song on their turntable, the above gentleman on a Cork local station probably ranks as my favourite. But he was one of thousands who were part of the overall carnage.

    There was the Dublin jock who, from his perspective on a balsa raft in mid-Atlantic, couldn't get his tonsils around "Clondalkin". After several false starts, he explained that he was 'having trouble with his pronunncinnations'.

    Identity crises were rampant, as lads with names like Paddy Flynn or Seamus Flaherty, tried to get used to being Alex St. Christopher, or Mike St. Everest, or Mark Paul, or names usually associated with hairdressing salons.

    There was the Daddy of them all, Capt. Eamonn Cooke of Radio Dublin, whose extemporaneous homilies at Sunday lunchtime, were probably the most bizarre radiophonic productions since Marconi discovered the medium. Cooke has always been the purest of the pirates, one man and his parrot against the world, who would talk cheerfully in interviews about "the queers and Stickies out in RTE". Inspired by his singular vision, Radio Dublin steadfastly refused to sanitise its act, maintaining its raw splendour, and remaining the true standard-bearer of a genre which can best be described as 'lost dog' radio. Cooke wouldn't be on for flinging cheques for 5000 at the punters like the hush puppy pirates, but he'd be happy to tell you that your dinner was going cold and you'd get a good clout when you got home. Yes indeed, his vision was firmly rooted in "the hot struggles of the poor".

    This kind of pirate operation was run in the sort of budget that the smooth operators would allocate for taxi-fares. In the late Seventies, "lost dog" radio reigned supreme, and gave an entree to the lush corridors of Radio 2 for jocks like Dave Fanning and Marty Whelan. Dave, it must be said, would genuinely man the turntables for nothing, and during his stint on the high seas, actually paid to play, as his "fee" barely covered transport costs.

    Ah, there was a bit of life then. Like Smiley Bolger's late-nite rock show on Big D, where he would regale the lost souls of radio-land with 27 minutes of a Led Zeppelin song, and the veiled hint that he was going to "get down" with his "lady" in the interim.

    The Greatest of all nites on the ocean wave, however, must be the legendary incident of Dave Fanning and the dummy Dire Strait.

    Dave had been relentlessly plugging Dire Straits' first album on Big D, so when he was introduced to someone claiming to be the Straits' bass-player, John Ilsley, in town on a visit, he naturally asked him to come on down. An interview ensued with the alleged Mr. Ilsley, in which he waxed lyrically and convincingly about the band, and thanked Dave for all his help. The euphoria lasted until it was pointed out a little later that Dire Straits were apparently on tour in some far distant land, and unless John Ilsley had mastered the art of bilocation, Dave had been given a bum steer. Why anyone would dream up such a hoax we'll never know, other than it seemed like fun.

    The fun began to subside when the pros arrived on the scene. Chris Cary, formerly a D.J, called Spangles Muldoon, appeared with a new concept in Radio Nova - virtually wall-to-wall FM rock music with only the barest minimum of cretinous chatter. It immediately captured a big audience who had grown tired of the rusty needle brigade, and once the listening figures were established, the advertising revenue poured in, and Nova became a fully-fledged opponent to Radio 2, complete with News coverage on the hour, and any amount of risible blather.

    Dubliners soon became accustomed to hearing that "the weather in the Bay Area is 15 Degrees". Down the country, budding Patrick St. Lawrence's and Eve St. Christopher's were copping licks from the big boys, not always convincingly. Somehow, "de weather in de bog Area" doesn't quite make it. Still, "cowboy radio", as the rural version could best be described, made several people a whole lot richer.

    There were some wonderfully nasty disputes, like that between the truly extraordinary Mr. Cary and the N.U.J., though mostly, as the pirates "matured", they became horribly bland and formulaic. No more would the Weather Word be based on the cursory look out the window, though stations like LLCR in the Liberties maintained the Noble tradition of "lost dog" radio, counselling the listeners that they'd better take the washing in due to the obvious deterioration of "de weather in de Square area".

    The big stations existed primarily as money-making vehicles with no basic policy or philosophy informing the general drift of their schedules. The crazed ramblings of the real pirates couldn't be sail to constitute a "policy", but it could be damn funny, and idiosyncratic in a genuinely entertaining way.

    For all their slickness, the pros lacked any sense of adventure. They were just churning out a shiny product, and they will hardly be missed.

    So farewell then Magnun St. John and Angelo St. James and a last goodbye to the Dummy Dire Strait and all those living or dead who ever had trouble with their pronuncinnations.


    Race already on for Local Radio News (Tribune 1/1/1989)

    (BY Rory Godson)AT LEAST four news organisations are to be established to sell news services to the 25 independent local radio stations which will begin to come on the air in April, according to radio industry sources. Robbie Robinson, owner of Sunshine Radio which ceased broadcasting on Friday, told the Tribune that he was prepared to invest 500000 pounds in developing his Syndicated Radio News which he says will face stiff competition. "There are three or four other organisations being formed," said Mr Robinson. "Only one can succeed." He said Syndicated Radio News will recruit 14 journalists in April and will be managed by a well-known radio journalist, whom he would not name. The main opposition to Syndicated Radio News will come from a company being set up by the London based Independent Radio News (IRN) which provides a news service to independent radio stations in Britain. It will be joined by Downtown Radio, Belfast and Ireland International, a Dublin news agency. IRN is being represented by Michael Hand, former editor of the Sunday Independent. It has been reported that IRN will recruit ten staff next month. Already both IRN and Robbie Robinson have approached people believed to be applying for licences to operate the 25 local stations. Mr Robinson's Sunshine radio was the biggest and most successful of the 100 pirates which closed down this weekend to avoid the stiff penalties for illegal broadcast under the Radio and Television Act. There will be a gap until the first of the licensed stations comes on air in April. But all 25 local stations may not be up and running for another year. Sunshine was started in 1980 by Mr Robinson when he had recently arrived from England and had 15 years experience in broadcasting. It earned profits of 80000 to 90000 on sales of 1 million pounds in the last 14 months. Its 35 full-time and 11 part-time staff were made redundant this week. They should not be out of work for long. Mr Robinson says RTE is "looting" the pirates for staff. Additionally, Sunshine is applying for one of the two Dublin licences and, says Mr. Robinson, it expects to succeed and to be granted a licence some time in April. In November, Sunshine with the help of management consultants Touche Ross made a lengthy submission to the Independent Radio and Television commission. It will file a more specific application by the deadline on January 20. "I expect to get a licence," says Mr Robinson. "Our submission will take a lot of beating. I am very confident." One pirate who won't be applying for a licence (correction: he did) is former kingpin Eamon "Captain" Cooke of Radio Dublin. In January 1978, an appeal by Cooke had 10000 people marching behind banners calling for the legalisation of Radio Dublin. The Captain drove a white Jaguar in those days and was bringing in 2000 pounds a week in advertising. Now, the Jag is abandoned in the backgarden of Radio Dublin's dilapidated studio and offices across the road from Kimainham Gaol. Advertising revenues are much lower and it is a struggle to pay the last few staff. Mr Cooke, 52, says he will take a sleeping bag and move into the station and with the help of pre-recorded tapes, keep going. "I just want to keep going until the new stations start but that will not be until April. We are getting a rip-off, a bad deal. Fianna Fail were happy to use this station to broadcast in 1981 and 1982 but now they do not want to know us. They allow the voters in the West of Ireland use illegal deflector services to send television signals but they are closing us," Mr Cooke says there are now too many pirates in Dublin, "Twenty four radio stations is too many for Dublin," he says. While he examined legal remedies this weekend, Mr Cooke recognises the end is near. His staff have been frightened by the penalties they would face if they continue. General manager Gerry Marston says "We are all stopping. There is a fine for anyone in the building if we are raided. Eamonn will be left on his own." Mr Cooke got involved in Radio Dublin by accident. A radio and television repairman he arrived to fix the transmitter in 1974 and ended up owning the station. He says he will go back to fixing taxi radios "when Ray Burke closes us down".

    Radio pirates still thrive (by Maeve Sheehan, Sunday Tribune 27,Dec,1992)

    DESPITE the threat of heavy penalties under legislation introduced in 1989 with the aim of wiping them out, increasing numbers of 'pirate' radio stations are springing up again around the country. The rise and rise of new 'pirates' is such that at least 12 illegal stations are now operating in the Dublin area and at least six elsewhere in the country. "We're in it for the love of radio. We don't do any advertising. We want to show that radio stations can be run without revenue," said John Daly of Dun Laoghaire Local Radio (DLR).
    But the 'pirates' of the airwaves are raging on, operating on low-power transmitters with playlists ranging from rave music in Dublin to country and Irish in Monaghan. The smaller stations are generally run on a voluntary basis, by enthusiastic music lovers who want a chance to play their own discs. In most cases, the DJs even pay a small fee to contribute towards the running costs. Simon Maher started Coast Radio in Ballybrack, South Co. Dublin, last year after an unsuccessful attempt at securing a community licence. "It became fairly clear that we hadn't a chance in hell of getting a licence. We waited until 1991 to see if we'd get anything. And when we didn't, we just said 'to hell with it, we'll go ahead anyway'," he said. He and his friends paid about 200 pounds each for two transmitters. One of them is erected in Ballybrack and the other is on Three Rock Mountain. But the broadcasting is done from a converted shed in his home. The station's 12 DJs work voluntarily, most holding down regular daytime jobs. They chip in a couple of quid to cover electricity bills and expenses which run to around 30 to 40 pounds a week. Meanwhile, from a shed in his garden, 17-year-old Gary Cruise (his DJ pseudonym) broadcasts 24 hours of the rave, indie and 1980s sounds that have become the hallmark of Sunset Radio. He turned his electronics hobby into a pirate radio hobby over a year ago when he started Sunset Radio with some friends. The transmitter and equipment cost about £1000, which he raised with his friends. The 17 DJs, who range in age from 17 to 25, take turns to man the airwaves, and none of them gets paid. In fact, each of them pays 1 a session to pay the bills. "We haven't had any problems. We don't do anything too bizarre. We don't break the rules," said Gary.

    More archives from 1998/1999
    An old article regarding Power FM in Dublin
    Memories of Club 106.4 FM Dublin from 1997
    Radio Caroline Dublin as in 1996
    History of Dublin's RADIOACTIVE