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Part 5:- THE MIDNIGHT HOUR – 24 HOURS TO GO

HOPE FM

Broadcast from Dublin || Scheduled close 12 Midnight

Staying with religious output, it’s back to Dublin to listen to Hope FM, who demonstrate that there’s more than one way to get your message across. Unfortunately, the deadline is only just over 24 hours away and there’s no hope of the stations getting a last minute reprieve.
We join the last programming from Hope at 10.16pm as they prepare to leave the airwaves by midnight.

ICBS

Broadcast from Chapelizod, Dublin || Scheduled close 12 Midnight

ICBS (Irish Christian Broadcasting Service) is yet another religious station, and another from Dublin – Chapelizod to the west to be precise. The station also closed at midnight.

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

BREFFNI REGIONAL RADIO

Broadcast from Kilnaleck, Co Cavan || Scheduled close 12 Midnight

Back to Ulster to hear how Breffni Regional Radio complied with the new Act.
Broadcasting from Kilnaleck, Breffni had been on air since December 1984 with some trials and tribulations to overcome. Their staple country and Irish output proved popular with listeners to 95.6MHz and 657kHz.

Scheduled for a midnight close, this recording starts at 11.05pm.

A longer version of this broadcast is available in our Radio Retro section

ZEE 103

Broadcast from Omeath, Co Louth || Scheduled close 12 Midnight

Zee 103 was on air for just two years when the axe fell. Based in Omeath, Co Louth, very close to the border, it unashamedly intended its broadcasts for Northern Ireland.
Uniquely at the time, it had no AM frequency, but did give out their very precise FM frequency of 103.25MHz on air. Most stations would’ve rounded up, down, or around.
Scheduled to close at midnight, we join Noel McStay as he finishes up the Love Song Requests part of his show at 11.40pm.

TREBLE TR

Broadcast from Dublin || Scheduled close 12 Midnight

Into the capital we go to hear how Treble TR closed down. Treble TR was one of the longest running stations affected by the new bill. On air since 1981 they were firmly established on the dial as the place to find country & Irish music.
Scheduled to close at midnight, this recording starts at 11.40pm.

By the way the three Ts? They stood for Tallaght, Terenure and Templeogue – three areas of Dublin.

SMILE FM

Broadcast from Ballyfermot, Dublin || Scheduled close 12 Midnight

A short hop over to the west Dublin suburb of Ballyfermot to hear the last few moments from Smile FM on 94.2MHz. On air for just two years, Smile FM went under the radar a lot but were always an enjoyable listen,
This is how they said goodbye to their listeners leading to midnight.

COMMUNITY RADIO FINGAL/PULSAR 98

Broadcast from Fingal in north Co Dublin || Scheduled close 12 Midnight

Two sister stations who became one at the end. CRF/Pulsar closed at midnight in north Co Dublin.

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

MIDWEST RADIO

Broadcast from Ballyhaunis in Co Mayo || Scheduled close 12 Midnight

Across to Ballyhaunis in Co Mayo to taste a sample of Midwest Radio’s closing moments. The final broadcast was from the Midas Club in the town with Declan Nerney and his band.

Earlier the final studio programme had featured an interview with a lung transplant survivor whose operation had been funded by the station’s listeners.

The recording we have has been edited but gives a flavour of the final few minutes of the pirate station’s final broadcast as they closed at midnight.

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

NORTH DUBLIN COMMUNITY RADIO

Broadcast from Dublin’s Northside || Scheduled close 12 Midnight

North Dublin Community Radio were another long running station buried deep in the heart of their locale on the northside of Dublin. They closed down at midnight.

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

ERI RADIO

Broadcast from Cork || Scheduled close 12 Midnight

It’s about time we paid Cork a visit, home to so many top stations through the years. 1988 was no exception. One of the county’s biggest was ERI Radio. They were scheduled to close at midnight.

ERI were another of the country’s success stories. It had been on air since 1982 as Cork Eastside Radio (CER) because of its location in Ballycotton, east Cork.

There was eternal confusion over what the initials in their later name stood for. The answer is: more than one thing! It first became Eastside Recording Ireland, and then Eastside Radio Ireland. In time they just used the initials, or, at times, Radio ERI / ERI Radio.

The station exuded professionalism and it was no surprise that they were number 1 in Cork by the end of 1988. They went off the air with the intention of applying for a licence. Here’s the final few minutes off 97.7MHz.

WKLR

Broadcast from West Cork || Scheduled close 12 Midnight

Staying in Cork for the last orders from Bandon-based station WKLR. On air since 1984, West Cork Local Radio, as the name suggests, served the West Cork area but by closedown in 1988 were covering the whole county.

We join them just as a marathon 30 hour outside broadcast was coming to an end. Although scheduled for a midnight close, bear in mind that they allowed themselves 24 hours to overrun…

! warning, this file contains instances of adults, sometimes without warning, breaking into an activity that they describe as singing !

HEARTBEAT RADIO

Broadcast from Dublin || Scheduled close 12 Midnight

Back now to Dublin to catch the last broadcast from the love songs station, Heartbeat Radio. Another of Dublin’s success stories, Heartbeat, as a ballads station, proved very popular with, well, anyone who’s ever been in love at a guess!
Scheduled to close at midnight, we join them at 10.45pm for their final wind-down on 95.5MHz.

DECEMBER 30th ROUNDUP

Other stations who had closed by, or at, Midnight on December 30th include:-

DONEGAL COMMUNITY RADIO who broadcast from Letterkenny in Co Donegal;

MIDWAY RADIO who broadcast from Mullingar, Co Westmeath

WCR who broadcast from Abbeyfeale, Co Kerry

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

RADIOFAX

Broadcast from transmitters based in Drogheda, Co Louth || Scheduled close

Radiofax broadcast their ‘Final Programme’ on Friday on 6205kHz. The programme, which first aired on the 28th, was repeated throughout the day, and then as normal in the evening it was switched to 1611kHz where it was heard for the final time into the early hours of Saturday morning, 31st.

Launched earlier in 1988, Radio Fax was a UK-based information station desperately seeking a British licence and who took advantage of the situation in Ireland to use MW and SW transmissions from Drogheda in Co Louth to beam their programming into the UK.

The transmitters were used later on to relay Boyneside’s final few hours.

Here we join the ‘Final Broadcast’ around halfway into the programme. Below is a running order for the full programme.

Radiofax Final Broadcast

Presented by Maggie Stephenson, Holly Robson and Trevor Brook
* – Radiofax 6205 morning switch on 
* – Brief tune-away to BBC World Service 6195
* – HCJB 6205 mid sentence switch off leaving Radiofax in the clear 
* Music: Perfect World by Huey Lewis & The News 
* AM Synch Ad 
* Music: Is This Love by Alison Moyet 
* Music: Sign Your Name by Terence Trent D’Arby 
* Recording of 4th April 1988 closedown – said we would come back in the summer – promise we kept 
* A few things we did: visited BBC RDS press launch – visited Radio Nova satellite – microwave TV in Ireland – visited International Broadcasting Convention in Brighton – interviewed Graham Symonds, Sunshine Radio Ludlow: everything there was to say about the local radio situation in Britain – visited Motor Show in Birmingham – Wireless Telegraphy Act from Dublin – Broadcasting In The 90s white paper – reviewed Saisho/Sangean/Tatung/Matsui SW radio – Digital Audio Tape – first automated station, Loughborough Campus Radio – Ireland’s Independent Television and Radio Commission – visited BBC Radio Show at Earls Court – Stereo TV sound recording at BBC Scotland 
* Music: Night Nurse by Gregory Isaacs 
* Listener in every parliamentary constituency – two large box files full of letters – thanks to those who let us know you have written to your MP or Home Office 
* Letter from Robert Foot, Gosport, Hampshire – thank you – extremely sorry – honestly say something of interest every single time I listened – no other source – very wide range – no way I could read or know of such variety – enjoyed and appreciated every moment – unique – one of a kind – very much missed – Happy New Year
* Music: Mr Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra 
* Radiofax will close shortly – 100 letters each week – very enthusiastic blind listeners – your letters make project worthwhile – ages 17 to 70 most unusual – most listened programme per transmitter Watt – use of short wave fallen – good use for 9kHz spectrum – view to the future – you know rubbish to claim no frequencies are available – more letters than Radio 4 Any Answers receive – any station would be proud 
* Music: Uptown Girl by Billy Joel 
* Even letters from under 17s – youngest declared age 14 – university lecturers – vicars – senior civil servants – journalists – magistrate in the UK and attorney in Canada – BBC people – IBA people – broadcasting organisations and PTTs abroad – DTI people who said we couldn’t say who they were – all thought what we were doing something worthwhile and should be legalised 
* Music: Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton 
* Vote of thanks 
* Holly Robson – have a lie in – no more technical words! – looking for a job – delight to meet listeners from your letters – once lived in Dublin 
* Music: Accidents Never Happen by Blondie 
* Where have we been heard from Drogheda, Ireland? – 6205: Holland – Belgium – France – Denmark – Switzerland – Austria – Luxembourg – Spain – Italy – Norway – Sweden – Finland – Poland – Czechoslovakia – Hungary – East & West Germany – Canada – east and west coast USA – New Zealand – 1611 directional to east: furthest are Finland & Italy 
* Music: Madness by Elton John
* – We join here 
* 1 minute audio compilation of some items we covered over four months – independent programme makers – Chalford LBC merger – TVS immortality advert – commercial offshore Harmony FM – RTÉ shed 200 staff – independent radio bill 
* Maggie Stephenson – is there life after Radiofax? 
* Introduction 
* Music: Drive by The Cars 
* Several Irish stations not closing down – penalty £Irish1000 = £870 
* Music: So Emotional by Whitney Houston 
* Music: China In Your Hand by T‘Pau 
* Station ID – on the air 4 months – thanks to all who helped 
* Music: Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now by Starship 
* Music: You Win Again by Bee Gees 
* Station ID – transmitter and audio processor – 3000 hours faultlessly – mains going off – tape player worn out – antenna open wire twin feeder twisted and shorted – BBC person knows Maggie Stephenson 
* Music: Candle In The Wind by Elton John 
* Music: A Little Respect by Erasure 
* Box of letters – Listener in every parliamentary constituency – thanks to those who let us know you have written to your MP or Home Office 
* Music: Crush On U by The Jets 
* Music: We Don’t Need Another Hero by Tina Turner 
* Letter from Laura Cliens, Wishaw, Lanarkshire, Scotland – long list of supporters – white paper – short wave – disgrace – should have licence – where else can we hear? – hope you get some kind of licence sometime – announcers speak clearly and sound friendly!? 
* Music: I Don’t Want To Be A Hero by Johnny Hates Jazz 
* – Radiofax 1611 morning switch off and back to 6205 

WHAT'S STATIONS ARE LEFT IN DUBLIN?

Centre Radio from Dublin’s Northside are still on air and are live overnight. They are scheduled to close at midnight tomorrow night but at 1.30am tonight they gave a list of what stations were still on in Dublin…

THE DREADED DAY ARRIVES

Relive it in Part 6 of this Radiowaves News Special:- New Year’s Eve – Countdown to Midnight