On the last day the whole building was being cleaned out and everything down to the carpet was being removed so I asked my buddy Tony McKenzie could I buy the door sign and he said “take it, it is over” so I took the sign down off the building and brought it home with me.
On a Friday evening, without announcement or fanfare, Energy 103 suddenly disappeared. The date was March 11th and after almost two years, the station was consigned to the history books with a selection of non-stop music and the fader being pulled down, almost contemptuously. Behind the scenes it was just as sudden.
As always rumours had been circulating but up to 7pm on that fateful Friday everything on air was as normal. Staff (or any who happened to still be in the building at that time on a Friday) were told of the decision to close the station at a meeting at 5pm.
Pat Courtenay was live on air. News ran at 6pm. Pat finished his show at 7pm but, instead of John O’Hara as usual, listeners were treated to non-stop music. At 8.51pm a song called ‘Take Me With You’ by Prince started but didn’t finish. A minute later the fader was roughly pulled down by Richie O’Shea – who was manning the desk – and one by one, all the links were switched off. Within a couple of hours, Q102 could be heard on 99.9MHz and 738kHz. By 11.20pm Q102 could also be heard faintly on 103.0MHz. At 12 midnight 103FM started to relay Q on all frequencies.
The production studio had been shipped across to England a few days earlier. The studio equipment had been sold to Q102 and everything else from the building ended up in a skip outside 144 over the weekend.
With the Radio Nova satellite service now under construction, it appears that Energy was closed in order to refocus all efforts into the new venture. Cary had finally been granted permission for satellite transponder space – having first applied in early 1987 – and set about the task of getting the new station on air.
Rollcall of Presenters
Tony Allan Alan Burns Paul Clements Liam Coburn Noel Collins Richard Cooke Aidan Cooney Pat Courtenay Steve Deane Mike Duggan Barry Falvey Sybil Fennell Derek Flood Ernie Gallagher (Brian Clarke) Bob Gallico Teena Gates Gary Hamill Joe Harte Colm Hayes Richard Jackson Dave Johnson Cassidy Jones Derek Jones Cathy Kelly Tim Kelly Mike Kingston Bryan Lambert Michael Lewis George Long Michael Mahon Niall McGowan Tony McKenzie Gareth O’Callaghan John O’Hara Richie O’Shea John Power Liam Quigley Cathy Quinn Ian Scott Gerry Stevens Fionnuala Sweeney (Lisa Moore)
I remember doing an overnight and the door bell went at about 2am, it was the fire brigade telling me I had to evacuate the building as the restaurant next door was on fire. Needless to say the boss said to stay put…