Radiowaves.FM - Irish Radio News

Part 6:- THE FINAL AFTERNOON

THE MORNING NEWSPAPERS

And so, the day had finally arrived. December 31st, the last day of The Great Irish Radio Experiment. The FM and MW wavebands were already hugely depleted, and worse – much worse – was to come, of course.

Meanwhile, the Saturday morning papers were out and, as expected, they continued to provide lots of material on the developing historic situation.

It was now starting to dawn on the general public that their favourite stations had closed, or were about to close, never to return (at least not in the same form).

The front page of The Irish Times had a picture of a distraught Robbie & Stella Robinson as Sunshine Radio closes. Robbie’s project took eight years of love and nurturing to make it the top station in the country. It took the government just a few days to kill it stone dead.

Meanwhile, in The Star, pages 2 & 3 were dedicated to the closedowns. The reporting style is rather unfortunate (and the ‘joke’ wears very thin by paragraph ten) but it also serves as a great document from the time.

Column 1 below:
After all the confusion surrounding Cooke’s court case yesterday, today’s newspapers clarify the situation.

THE IRISH TIMES
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IRISH INDEPENDENT
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IRISH INDEPENDENT
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Column 2 below:
There was a fair bit of Sunshine, as you’d expect. The 6pm closure yesterday left station owners, staff, and listeners – of which there were many – absolutely inconsolable.

IRISH INDEPENDENT
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THE IRISH TIMES
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Column 3 below:
Some articles focusing on the situation in the Cork area – thanks to The Cork Examiner and The Irish Times

CORK EXAMINER
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CORK EXAMINER
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THE IRISH TIMES
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WHAT'S HAPPENING AT RADIO DUBLIN?

At this stage there were all sorts of rumours flying around about Radio Dublin. What better way to find out what’s actually happening than to go back to Centre Radio from Bayside, Dublin 13, with Bobby Gibson on the air again…

Used with kind permission of pirate.ie

Scheduled closedowns for 1pm

TELSTAR COMMUNITY RADIO

Broadcast from Dundalk in Co Louth

First station closure on the final day was Telstar Community Radio from Dundalk, in Co Louth. On air since 1981, Telstar was a long time in the making and a short time in the killing.

We join the broadcast just a few minutes before it fell to station owner Damien Keenan to say the final few words to the listeners.

Image courtesy of Don Green
WESTSIDE RADIO INTERNATIONAL

Broadcast from Dublin, Ireland

Westside Radio International was the longest running station to close at the end of 1988. On air since the mid-’70s, Prince Terry broadcast on Sundays on the shortwave band.

He had already been on all week with special programming and we join the final day’s broadcast as the station goes live at midday (it had been on since earlier in the morning broadcasting relays).

Scheduled closedowns for 2pm

K.I.T.S.

Broadcast from Monaghan

Next to go were K.I.T.S.. The Monaghan-based station were a late addition to the world of radio and were a fun station to listen to.

They also had great craic on air on the final day and weren’t going to let the small matter of a new law stop that.

We tune to 100.9MHz FM just as midday hit. Their scheduled close time was 2pm.

Scheduled closedowns for 3pm

RAINBOW RADIO

Broadcast from Dundalk, Co Louth

Rainbow Radio was based in the border area of Carrickcarnon so had a big audience in Northern Ireland.

Scheduled to close at 3pm, here’s their final show with Fiddlin’ Tom Cameron with this recording starting at 1.42pm.

CAVAN COMMUNITY RADIO

Broadcast from Cavan Town, Co Cavan

Cavan Community Radio opted for a 3pm closedown. ‘The Big One’ had proved very popular since launch in 1983.

We join their final show, and much reminiscing, from 1.36pm.

Apologies for the poor sound quality but this is invaluable. If you have a better quality recording please get in touch.

BOYNESIDE RADIO

Boyneside’s network of stations were scheduled to close at 3pm. The station had opt-out services for ‘The North’ and Navan, as well as the mother station in Drogheda. which was one of the longest serving stations forced to shut down.

Broadcast from Drogheda, Co Louth

We join the coverage on the Drogheda service at 1pm for the start of ‘Boyneside Radio Saying Goodbye’, a two hour programme charting the history of the station.
As well as on FM and AM this programme was relayed all over Europe on the SW band using the ‘Radiofax’ transmitter on 6205kHz and another direct relay on 6231kHz.

BOYNESIDE RADIO (Navan)

Broadcast from Navan, Co Meath

On Boyneside Radio Navan, Tina Alexander presented her own final two hour programme. She was a very familiar voice in the area having been with both Boyneside and Carousel’s dedicated Navan services.
We have just a short snippet of her farewell…

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

BOYNESIDE RADIO (North)

Broadcast from Dundalk in Co Louth

Boyneside Radio (North) broadcast from Carickcarnon in Dundalk, right on the border. On air since the early ’80s the service was very popular in Northern Ireland.
This is their final show off 101.3MHz, we join it at 1.22pm.

Scheduled closedowns for 4pm

3CR COMMUNITY RADIO

Broadcast from Clondalkin, Dublin

3CR closed at 4pm and the last presenter on air was John Travers .

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

KTOK RADIO

Broadcast from Donegal

KTOK Radio went for a 4pm closedown. Here’s their final moments on air with station owner Ross Padmore.

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

Back to Radio Dublin

RADIO DUBLIN

Broadcast from Dublin

Time to check in again on Radio Dublin to see how things are developing with them. This recording, from a chaotic-sounding studio, is off 105.3MHz and starts at 4.32pm.

Scheduled closedowns for 6pm

RADIO MUNSTER

Broadcast from Limerick

Radio Munster closed down at 6pm with Mike Hogan having the unenviable task of saying goodbye.

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

RADIO VERA

Broadcast from Limerick

Radio Vera closed down at 6.15pm with Mike Hogan having the unenviable task of saying goodbye.

Yes, you read that correct. Radio Munster and Radio Vera were sister stations operating next door to each other.

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

TWIN COUNTY RADIO

Broadcast from Ballina, Co Mayo

Twin County Radio, was based in Ballina but was aimed at Mayo and Sligo. Very late to the scene it was a very young station when the Act forced it off the air. Plagued by technical difficulties, the station never really took off but it had a very powerful FM signal in the mid west at the time.
We join their countdown to close at 5.30pm.

INDEPENDENT RADIO LIMERICK

Broadcast from Limerick

Grab your transmitter, pop around to your mates and stick it on air and proceed to broadcast to the city for the day. Unlicensed radio wasn’t quite that simple but sometimes it felt like it was, and then at other times – like in the case of this special once off broadcast – it was actual.
IRL was a chance for some broadcasting mates to get together, play some music, and reminisce. Involved were Francis Jones, Barry Sullivan, Ger Watson plus others.
The ‘station’ came on air at midday but we join the broadcast at 5.30pm, as they look to finish around 6.30pm.

And so we enter the final evening. Despite so many station closures already there were still plenty to come…but we start by looking at the evening newspapers.
Part 7 – The Final Evening