Formerly known as Limerick 95FM; Radio Limerick 95FM
Radio Limerick One started broadcasting on October 28th 1989 on Limerick’s allocated frequency of 95FM under one of the new licences created in the aftermath of the closure of the pirates in 1988. Many of the faces and names were familiar to Limerick listeners from pirates such as RLWE, Raidió Luimní, Big L, CCR, Soundchannel and Hits 954, so the station’s list included a large number of well-known and experienced broadcasters from day one.
Based in studios in Dooradoyle, the first day of broadcasting was almost a foreboding of the station’s future when a major storm took it off the air after only a few minutes. It launched on a Saturday morning at 10am with a news bulletin but it had been live for only 10 minutes before a serious power fault in the area knocked the station off the air. It returned later that afternoon.
The original jingles were from the same jingle package as ERI’s JAM package.
The strange name came from the fact that a second service was expected to be licensed for the area. This never materialised and during the licensed period it rebranded to Limerick 95FM in 1992 and relocated to O’Connell Street in the city centre. One of the rumoured reasons for the name change was that older listeners were confusing it with RTÉ Radio 1. Failing listenership figures were more likely to be the reason. At this point the station was also taken over by new owners.
They also later used Radio Limerick 95FM.
Limerick 95FM also introduced a sister station via satellite – Irish Satellite Radio – which at times simulcasted with the local Limerick station.
In highly controversial circumstances, the station was stripped of its licence due to alleged breaches of the conditions and were forced to cease transmissions on 95FM on July 31st 1997. By this point the satellite service had become a simulcast of the licensed service and when the FM service ceased the name was changed to Radio Limerick on Satellite and was already being relayed on 98FM. The station owners denied all culpability for the relay but weren’t shy about promoting it just before the FM service ceased, and in a subsequent ad campaign using the slogan: ’95 is a thing of the past – 98 is the future’.
In the subsequent years the station once again reverted to the name Radio Limerick One, which was as much a statement as a namechange with the new licensed service coming on air on their old frequency.
Relays eventually appeared in many parts of the band, with the main frequency advertised as 105FM. As a result the station became more commonly known as RLO 105FM and were relentlessly embroiled in a campaign of hate against the BCI & ComReg.
They also had a number of failed new licence bids and were raided on a number of occasions, most notably due to alleged interference to ATC. A raid in December 2006 was the final straw for the then station owner Gerry Hannon and RLO never returned.
Station history compiled with the help of Liam Byrne