From Saturday July 16th 1988 this is a recording of the pirate station Dublin South Community Radio off 97.7MHz. With the stations all due to close at the end of the year, programming like this was proof that ‘cultural’ programming didn’t have to be forced upon the new stations, in the pirate era it always found its natural place.
This is a recording of Smile FM, the Dublin station based in Ballyfermot. Joe Curry is on air on a Saturday evening, July 16th 1988. Unfortunately there is some loudness distortion on the recording but it is enjoyable nonetheless.
This recording from August 1st 1988 of the satellite-delivered incarnation starts at 3.15pm with Cassidy Jones on air leading to the 4pm news which featured Teena Gates on an insert for the Dublin relay.
This is a recording of Community Radio Wexford (CRW) from Saturday, November 5th 1988. Starting at 11.40am, station manager John O’Connor is on air. The news is read by Barry Stone. Ann-Marie Dempsey, John O’Connor and John Dier can be heard on ads.
This Radio Retro presentation is with thanks to Brian Cleary
The Anorak Show from Dublin pirate Smile FM from December 4th 1988. Rob Davis, Graham Turner and Eamonn Eliott broadcast the latest industry news and various clips. The 94.3MHz recording of the local Ballyfermot station starts at 4pm.
Felim Cox on air for Cavan’s Breffni Regional Radio on December 18th 1988. This recording, made a few days before pirate stations were due to close down permanently due to new legislation, starts at 2pm.
The final moments of the long-running Limerick pirate station. This recording is off 103FM and starts at 00:55 on Christmas Eve. It features Alf de Lacy bidding the station’s listeners farewell for the final time.
New legislation required all unlicensed stations to be off the air by the end of 1988.
Aidan Cooney on the final day of transmission for one of Dublin’s popular pirates which, like many others, was forced to close at the end of 1988 due to new legislation. This recording starts at 5.06pm.
Even Jesus couldn’t save some stations from having to close with all the other pirates in December 1988. This west Cork-based pirate had launched at the start of the year and needed to close for good at the end of the year. The recording starts at 10.04pm.
This is last orders from Cork pirate WKLR from December 30th 1988. With legislation requiring all pirate stations to vacate the airwaves by the start of 1989, WKLR held a marathon 30 hour outside broadcast.
This recording joins the broadcast at 11.11pm as it is coming to an end. The station were scheduled to go off the air at midnight.
Radiofax were a new, experimental information radio station when legislation struck in December 1988. Desperately seeking a licence in the UK they used transmitters based in Drogheda, Co Louth to broadcast their programming all over Britain and Ireland, and beyond.
The Final Programme was a looped broadcast which first ran on December 28th, this is the final airing in the overnight hours of December 30th/31st when the transmitters were switched off.
The final programme from Prince Terry and Gary Lewis on the Dublin-based shortwave pirate Westside Radio International.
Scheduled to close at 1pm due to the new Wireless & Telegraphy Act, which outlawed pirate stations in Ireland, the pair say their final goodbyes to their audience at home and abroad in this recording off 6280kHz which starts at midday.
Grab your transmitter, pop around to your mates and stick it on air and proceed to broadcast to the city for the day. Unlicensed radio pre-1988 wasn’t quite that simple but sometimes it felt like it was, and then at other times – like in the case of this special once off broadcast – it was actual. IRL was a chance for some broadcasting mates to get together, play some music, and reminisce. Involved were Francis Jones, Barry Sullivan, Ger Watson plus others. The ‘station’ came on air at midday but we join the broadcast at 5.30pm, as they look to finish around 6.30pm.
Broadcasting from Ballina, Co Mayo, Twin Counties Radio, or TCR, was a short-lived station not on air long when the axe fell on the nation’s pirates at the end of 1988. It had a powerful FM signal designed to cover both Mayo and Sligo, hence the name.
This recording starts at 5.30pm and leads to the station leaving the airwaves for good.
The final broadcast from County Sound in Galway, recorded off 101.0MHz on December 31st 1988. Station manager Benen Tierney is on air with Tommy Kelly, and a few guests, to see out the old station and welcome in the new year – with silence.