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The Pirate Closedowns of 1988

Part 3: Three Days to Go


Not everybody was unhappy with the situation, of course. As reported on page 6 of today’s Irish Press, RTÉ’s Millenium Radio, the year-long temporary service for Dublin who were also due to finish at the end of the year, had been given an extension to bridge the gap. They were expecting a huge increase in advertising revenue.

In the meantime, over the page on page 8…

Irish Press Page 8

Broadcast from Waterford City || Scheduled close 3pm

One of the earliest closedowns of the bigger, more professional outfits, occurred in Waterford before the New Year’s weekend had even started. ABC Radio, who had been on air since 1982, closed down at 3pm on December 29th.

The station was launched by a group of UK radio enthusiasts who, quite literally, turned up in Tramore and made it their home as they built a radio station in a mobile home from scratch.

Those running the station preferred to leave the airwaves on a weekday for maximum impact, rather than wait until the busy New Year’s period.

This recording starts at 1.35pm on the afternoon of December 29th 1988. By 3pm, their frequencies had fallen silent.


At 3pm, at Sunshine Radio’s head office in Baggot Street, Dublin, the countdown to closedown commenced with the release of 8,000 balloons, each one, according to Robbie Robinson, representing a little bit of fun that everyone had had since the station’s launch eight years ago.

Thousands of listeners assembled at the event and Robbie gave a short speech, inviting everyone to Portmarnock for the final day’s broadcasting tomorrow, with a very special ‘Last Programme’ starting at 9am and running until they switched off at 6pm.

The Pirate Closedowns of 1988

Next:- Part 4 – Two Days to Go