Smile FM

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.

Super Q

Some output from Dublin superpirate Super Q off 102.1MHz from December 10th 1988. The first recording features Dave Kelly from 4.56pm…

…and the second recordiing has The Boy Wonder on evening duty from 7.07pm

Kiss FM

Monaghan’s Kiss FM from December 1988 with Denis Murray on air from 3pm on 103.7MHz.

Liberty 104

Therese Fagan with her last show on Liberty 104 from December 18th prior to the mass closedowns at the end of 1988.

Recorded off 103.5MHz, we join the show at 1.22pm.

Breffni Regional Radio

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.

Radio Snowflake

Seasonal Dublin pirate station Radio Snowflake from December 21st 1988 with David Baker on air.
This recording starts at 5.54pm.

Raidió Luimní

This recording, which is off 103FM, starts at 10.32am and features the one and only John Frawley on air for the last time on Raidió Luimní.

New legislation required all unlicensed stations to be off the air by the end of 1988.

Raidió Luimní

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.

Signal 106FM

Christmas evening on the Dublin pirate radio station Signal 106FM in 1988. This recording starts at 6.50pm.


Dave Kelly on air from 1.06am on Q102’s penultimate day of broadcasting on December 29th 1988. The station were due to switch off for good at 6pm the following day.

ABC RADIO (December 29th 1988)

From December 29th 1988 these are the final minutes of this Waterford giant before legislation enforced its – and all pirates – closure in December 1988.

The recording starts at 1.35pm.


The closedown of Dublin pirate Q102 in December 1988, necessitated by the introduction of new laws outlawing pirate radio.

This recording is off 102.3MHz FM and features pretty much everyone who was ever involved with the station in a broadcast full of reminiscing which starts at 2.20pm.

WABC Radio

The official closedown of WABC Radio with Paul Bentley and all the station staff on air on December 30th 1988.

The recording starts at 2.30pm.

Sunshine Radio

‘The Final Show’ from Dublin pirate Sunshine Radio in December 1988.

Starting at 3pm, this recording is off 101.0MHz FM and includes a detailed history of the station leading up to the scheduled 6pm closure.

Independent Radio Longford

Starting at 5pm, this is the final hour of broadcasting from Independent Radio Longford on December 30th 1988.

The station, along with all other pirates, were forced to close down by new legislation.

Treble TR

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.


This is the final 45 minutes of broadcasting from WLR (Waterford Local Radio) on December 30th 1988.

The recording is off 89.9MHz and starts at 5.20pm.

The station, along with all other pirates, was forced to close down thanks to new legislation.

Power 98

This is how Limerick pirate Power 98FM, formerly known as Soundchannel, closed down in December 1988 due to new broadcasting regulations.

Recorded off 98.7MHz, this recording starts at 5.45pm with Steve Phillips on air with Power Drive.

West National Radio 3

West National Radio 3, formerly Radio West, closed for good at 10pm on December 30th 1988.

Don Allen was on air to bid farewell to the station’s listeners in this recording off 702kHz which starts at 8.38pm.


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.

Hope FM

Religious station Hope FM’s last programme before closure. We join the recording off 104.4MHz at 10.16pm with the station due to be off air by midnight.

Breffni Regional Radio

This is how Breffni Regional Radio in Cavan closed for the final time on December 30th 1988. New legislation forced all pirate stations in the state to be off the air by the start of 1989.

Both recordings are off 95.6MHz; the first starts at 10.25pm and runs into the second which starts at 11.05pm.

Big M Radio

Recorded off 104.8MHz from 10.38pm, Noel Milsop on air for Big M Community Radio, which was scheduled to close at 11pm to comply with a new broadcast bill.

Heartbeat FM

Heartbeat FM, Dublin’s love songs station, closed in December 1988 because of the introduction of new laws with stiffer penalties than before.

This is their last programme on air from 10.44pm on December 30th.


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.

Treble TR

Dublin’s long-running country & Irish music pirate station closed for the last time at midnight on December 30th 1988 as a result of new legislation outlawing illegal broadcasting.

This recording is off 99.5MHz and starts at 11.40pm.

Smile FM

Off 94.2MHz from the west Dublin area of Dublin, this is Smile FM’s final moments on air in December 1988.

They were scheduled to close at midnight to comply with a new broadcast bill.


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.

Westside Radio International

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.

Boyneside Radio

Boyneside Radio’s final two hours on the air in Drogheda in 1988 took the form of a programme called ‘Boyneside Radio Saying Goodbye’, with a full history of the station.

We join it right at the start at 1pm on December 31st .

Cavan Community Radio

The final 90 minutes or so from the Cavan pirate before legislation forced it, and all other unlicensed stations, off the air at the end of 1988.

Cavan Community had been on air since 1983 and their country and pop music mix proved very popular. Now it was all coming to an end as we tune in from 1.36pm on 819kHz.

Rainbow Radio

Rainbow Radio’s final programme with Fiddlin’ Tom Cameron on the air in the border area of Carrickcarnon in Dundalk on December 31st 1988.

Recorded off 1152kH, we join the programme at 1.42pm.

Independent Radio Limerick

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.

Radio Dublin

Radio Dublin on the final day of broadcasting for the country’s pirates in December 1988. This recording, from a chaotic-sounding studio, is off 105.3MHz and starts at 4.32pm.

Twin County Radio

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.

Erneside Radio

Erneside Radio’s final hour of programming from December 31st 1988.

Recorded off 98,7MHz, we join the proceedings at 7pm with an hour left before the station closes for good.

Roscommon Community Radio

The last show from Roscommon Community Radio, who were based in Elphin.

Starting at 10.32pm, the recording features Michael Bermingham charged with the task of closing the station.

Capitol Radio

The last show from Capitol Radio, Dublin’s alternative station from the ’80s.

Starting at 10.35pm, the recording features the station getting ready to close for good.

Independent Radio Mayo

Independent Radio Mayo’s final minutes on air as a new law came into force outlawing pirate stations.

From December 31st 1988 this is Andrew Ryan on air saying goodbye to the station’s listeners. The recording starts at 10.42pm

County Sound FM

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.

South West Radio

The final 75 minutes from Kerry station South West Radio as they close down before new legislation outlaws pirate stations.

South Coast Radio

The final broadcast from South Coast Radio, formerly known as WBEN. They ceased broadcasting at the end of 1988 in the hopes of securing one of the new licences on offer.

We join the proceedings at 10.50pm with station owner Romano Macari taking calls from listeners.

Radio North

Broadcasting from Carndonagh in Co Donegal, Radio North had been on air for two years when new legislation was introduced forcing all pirates off the air at the end of 1988.

Scheduled to close at midnight on December 31st, this recording off 97.9MHz starts during their final show with Mickey Henry at 11.04pm.


North West Community Radio

Donegal pirate North West Community Radio from December 31st 1988

The last few minutes from North West Community Radio, who were based in Buncrana, Co Donegal.

We join Mary Gallagher on air at 11.45pm with the station due to switch off at 12 midnight to comply with new legislation.

Premier County Radio

The last few minutes from Premier County Radio, who were based in Clonmel, Co Tipperary.

This recording starts at 11.45pm with the station due to go off the air at 12 midnight to comply with new legislation.

Laois Community Radio

The last few minutes from Laois Community Radio, who were based in Mountrath.

The (slightly edited) recording starts at 11.45pm with the station due to go off the air at 12 midnight to comply with new legislation.


Broadcasting from Kilkenny, A.M.S. was one of the shorter-lived stations on air who were forced to shut down when new legislation was introduced at the end of 1988.

They were scheduled to close at midnight on December 31st, and this recording joins them on 98.6MHz at 11.50pm for their final few minutes.

If you have any old cassettes or digitised recordings that we can add here, please get in touch – or use wetransfer to the same address.

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