Radio Nova: Part 1 – Chapter 13

The days of pirate radio were amazing. I am so lucky to have been part of that, especially on the great Radio Nova and Energy 103.

Henry O’Donovan

Listen to a jingle

Operation Novacare – May 1983

Operation Novacare - May 1983
Thanks to Joseph King

Nutgrove Shopping Centre – May 1985

Colm Hayes
Colm Hayes (Courtesy George Talbot)
Tony McKenzie
Tony McKenzie (Courtesy George Talbot)

This is a recording of a Radio Nova outside broadcast from the Nutgrove Shopping Centre from May 31st 1985 with Greg Gaughran and Colm Hayes.


Radio Nova OBU
OBU Van (Thanks to Richie Wild)

Arnotts – September 1985

Tony McKenzie
Tony McKenzie – (Thanks to Barry Flynn)

This is a recording of a Radio Nova outside broadcast from September 1985 in the Arnotts store in the city centre. On air is Tony McKenzie from 2pm


Then, from 4pm Dave Harvey (left) and Bob Gallico (both images with thanks to Barry Flynn) entertain the listeners at home and in Arnotts.


Nova van
OBU Van (Thanks to Jess Codd)

Listen to a jingle

November 1984

This is an account of a trip by the Anoraks UK gang to Nova Park:
Thursday [November 1st] saw the team heading for Nova Park, Rathfarnham, home of the big one. It was just as good as ever. The Nova Park club and disco looked rather impressive, whilst further on the new Nova Outside Broadcast Van stood proudly alongside the enormous generator which provides all the power for the complex, although the noise was a bit much.
Inside the transmitter room, all the transmitters were neat and tidy and carpets covered all the areas around them. That room alone was a credit to the station.

Inside even further one was met by the incredible professionalism only Nova can produce. It really had to be seen to be believed. I am sure legal radio would be very hard-pressed to come anywhere near it. As usual, we were all made very welcome as we wandered into each various department.

The long-running dispute between Radio Nova and the NUJ comes to an end with both sides reportedly reaching a satisfactory agreement. All of those who’d been sacked were to return to work. One of these, Ken Hammond, was heard on a News bulletin but soon after departed for RTÉ.

Equity declares war on pirate radio stations claiming that they will take action against them if the government haven’t removed them from the airwaves by Christmas. Their objections are in part because the stations break copyright law and in part because presenters are not paid union rates, if they are paid at all. They state that they will enlist the help of RTÉ technicians to start a jamming campaign starting with the bigger stations such as Radio Nova.

December 1984

Mark Weller (pictured in Nova studio) is a new name on News.

Mark Weller
(Thanks to Richie Wild)

Jason Maine, Chris Barry and George Long leave Radio Nova to join Q102, a new station due to start soon in Dublin.

Dublin Today returns to 102.7MHz exclusively with Jenny McIvor, Shane McGowan and Linda Conway. The programme is broadcast from premises in Upper Leeson St. The usual music programme is broadcast on medium wave.

Aidan Cooney moves to the 7pm-midnight slot.

Peter Madison returns to the air on Radio Nova with some weekend shows.

Speaking on the station as midnight approaches on New Year’s Eve, Chris Cary namechecks all the former station employees working on other stations across the planet. He also mentions that they are looking for lots of new presenters and that they plan to reduce the length of programmes to just two hours in order to keep the station fast-flowing.
Listen here:

January 1985

A new line up is introduced at the start of the month
Midnight Noel Clancy
6am Colm Hayes (below)
9am Peter Madison
11am John Clarke
2pm Tony Allan
4pm Greg Gaughran
8pm Chris Cary

Colm Hayes

Unfortunately, the presenter line up is very unsettled across the month with lots of names coming and going, amongst them are:-Henry Owens (Alan Reid from South Coast Radio on Cork); Steve Gordon; Steve Withers; Trevor James; and Joe Harrington.

Denis Murray is amongst those who departed the station.

February 1985

The new syndicated European Top 40 with Declan Meehan takes to the air replacing Casey Kasem’s US programme. The show is made by Nova Media Services and is recorded in Camberley in Surrey.

Trevor James leaves the station.

George Talbot is a new voice on the schedules.

Steve Gordon is appointed Station Manager.

Peter Madison is appointed Producer / Librarian.

This is the presenter line up at the start of February but again it is unsettled throughout the month:
Midnight Noel Clancy
6am Colm Hayes
9am Steve Gordon
11am John Clarke
2pm Tony Allan
4pm Greg Gaughran
8pm Aidan Cooney

Newsreaders are Bob Gallico, Mark Weller, Bernie Jameson, Dave Johnson

Adverts run announcing a February 17th return for Stick It In Your Ear, Tony Allan’s showcase programme for new bands. It fails to reappear.

Bob Gallico’s Classical Collection returns.

Bob also releases a cassette featuring ‘Gems from the Brekkie Trekkie’ called ‘Bob’s Brekkie Bits’.

Bob Gallico

Listen to it here:

Apart from the Union

Part 1 Chapter 12: Apart from the Union

Easy Listening for Dublin

Part 1 Chapter 14: Easy Listening for Dublin