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The Pirate Closedowns of 1988



Broadcast from The Liberties, Dublin || Scheduled close December 30th

Based in the heart of Dublin’s Liberties area in Dublin 8, at one point Liberty 104 had many of Dublin’s top presenters on their schedule. However, it’s fair to say that the station was best known because of the owner – one Sammy Prendergast. Responsible for helping set up a fair proportion of local stations, it was no surprise he eventually set up his own, based above his shop in Weaver Square.

Although Liberty 104 was scheduled to close on December 30th, they ended up closing down unexpectedly at 8pm on the evening of December 20th. The shutdown was unannounced.

Unfortunately we do not have a copy of this station’s closedown. If you can help complete this history please get in touch.


The Cork Examiner

Waterford News & Star


December 23rd – tap to read

In what was to be a recurring theme in some parts of the country, a TD representing Co Laois was unhappy at how the franchise areas for the new services had been drawn up. He mentions the local station, LCR, who had managed to serve the county successfully and could see no reason why a licensed station couldn’t do the same.


This week’s Donegal Democrat had hit the stands on December 23rd and gave some insight into the closedown situation in the north-westerly county, and information on those that had plans for the future.


Broadcast from William St, Limerick || Scheduled close December 23rd

As we approached the end of the year, and the end of an epoch, one of the longest-running stations in Limerick, with one of the best-known pirate presenters, had already shut its transmitter doors by the early hours of Christmas Eve.

They were under no illusions – they didn’t expect to be back on air with a licence to broadcast – so the goodbyes were emotional and heartfelt.

As a prelude to what’s to come over the next few days, listen here to how the larger than life John Frawley signed off on Raidió Luimní at 11am on the morning of December 23rd…the station closedown was to come later that night but John ‘The Man’ (pictured right) deserves a section all to himself!

A longer version of this recording can be found in our Radio Retro section

And so, it fell to Alf de Lacy to shut down Raidió Luimní in the early hours of Christmas Eve – relive those final moments of the station here starting from 12.55am, recorded off 103FM.


Broadcast from Waterford City || Scheduled close December 26th

On St Stephen’s Day (December 26th) one of Waterford’s long-running stations also took the option of an early close. Perhaps in a fit of narcissistic pique NCR was named after the station owners (Nolan Cahill Radio).

On air since 1985 as Crystal City Sound (although the personnel involved were also responsible for Suirside Radio) it had been entertaining Waterford with a music mix particularly of easy listening oldies but fell silent as the festivities were coming to a close.

Unfortunately we do not have a copy of the station’s closedown. If you can help complete this history please get in touch.

Wednesday’s Irish Independent sets the mood for what’s to come.
Open the newspaper and tap on the article to read.


The Pirate Closedowns of 1988

Next Part 3: Three Days to Go