The Raids of 1983 Part 3



As the raid on Radio Nova was taking place, Chris Cary’s former colleague Robbie Dale (Robinson) was broadcasting live from Sunshine Radio’s studio in a portakabin in Portmarnock, north Co Dublin. Sunshine Radio was the station Cary helped set up before withdrawing his financial backing back in 1980.

News first reached Robinson of the raid through a phone call from Declan Meehan whilst the station was in the process of being taken off the air. At first Robbie thought Declan was joking but he quickly realised that the tone in Declan’s voice sounded quite different to when he was performing his comedic turns on the radio.

The fear that Sunshine might be next on the list seriously crossed Robinson’s mind.
Were they on their way to take Sunshine off?
He needn’t have worried.
There was so much equipment at Nova Park that the authorities were tied up for the day as removal men. This gave Robinson very important thinking time.

Meanwhile, over the airwaves the country’s radio stations started to relay the story. Sunshine’s headlines bulletin at 11.30am mentioned the raid in a single sentence.

It wasn’t until their midday news that the story was delivered in greater detail…

Gradually, as the day progressed, the story developed further and more details of the raid emerged…

RTÉ Radio 1’s 1.30pm news gave the national broadcaster’s slant on events…

This is how South Coast Radio in Cork covered the story..

And back to Sunshine Radio in Dublin…

The evening newspapers were beginning to hit the newsstands…

Radio Nova shut down in swoop
Radio Nova shut by P.O Raid

To open a newspaper tap on the + icon. To close tap the coloured bar.
To read a page tap on it, then tap on it again in the new window that opens

Evening Herald

Radio Nova shut by P.O Raid
Radio Nova was set to make £2m
Evening Herald page 9 – tap on the newspaper to read

Evening Press

Radio Nova raid in May 1983
Radio Nova raid in May 1983
Evening Press front page (above and below)
Radio nova raid - this is only the start warns Nealon

Evening Echo

P & T sink pirates


And, so, details were emerging that the P&T’s interference in Radio Nova’s affairs was down to a huge number of complaints of interference. On looking at the long list, surely some of those alleged complaints should have warranted immediate action; and surely the list should not have been allowed to become as lengthy as it did?

Fire emergency services
Armed services

Back to the radio…

More from Sunshine Radio in Dublin…

Sunshine Radio at 6pm with Emer Dolan…

A slightly reworded later edition

Radio Nova raid

Evening Herald

1983 raid on Radio Nova and Kiss FM

RTÉ Radio 1’s 6.30pm news summing up the day…

South Coast Radio’s 7pm news with Siobhán Walls and Andrew Hewkin

South Coast Radio news script as read on the radio in May 1983 reporting pn the raid on Radio Nova
The news script as used for the South Coast Radio bulletins. With thanks to Andrew Hewkin. Tap scripts to enlarge.
South Coast Radio news script as read on the radio in May 1983 reporting pn the raid on Radio Nova


Cary had taken out an injunction against the raid and seeking the return of the station’s equipment and a court date had been set for May 26th.

In the meantime, news had spread that Radio Nova planned to return on borrowed equipment the very next day.

The RTÉ News at 9pm carried an extensive report on the raid.

RTÉ News report on the Radio Nova Raid


At the Radio Dublin studios in Inchicore Road station staff were cementing the 253AM rig cabinet to the floor, whilst various access doors were being nailed closed and others were getting re-enforced.

Access to the transmitter room was now via a wardrobe in an adjacent room that had a hole knocked through the back of it and into the other room.

The station that had suffered some serious raids in the past were already battening down the hatches.