ERI began life as Cork Eastside Radio which officially began broadcasting in July 1982. Based in the east Cork town of Ballycotton, it was set up as a Summer project by a 17-year-old Joe O’Connor during the school holidays and it operated on FM from the family’s holiday home at Glebe House in Ballycotton. .
His parents, already successful business people, invested in the station and hired ex-UK pirate DJs to get the it off the ground. Amongst these was Eric Vaughan of Boyneside Radio, who shook up the station, introducing more professional djs and renamed it to Eastside Radio.
Advertising poured in and at the end of summer 1982 the station went from success to success. It was by now located in two portacabins at the O’Connor family home just outside Cork city.
The station then went through an identity crisis over the space of a few weeks. A professionally produced jingle package led to another name change to Enterprise Radio Ireland. It then changed name yet again to Eastside Recording Ireland, then Eastside Radio Ireland (abbreviated to E.R.I.) They eventually settled on ERI, with which name they closed in 1988.
ERI’s original aim was to serve the eastside of Cork, but stronger more sophisticated equipment helped the station’s signal to cover greater distances. Later in 1982, they opened offices at 117 Patrick St, in the city of Cork, with studios located in portacabins on the outskirts.
ERI had a clear signal on 225m MW due to its 5k transmitter which was imported from the United States and set up by Robin Adcroft (Banks).
The mast was sabotaged in 1985 forcing the station off the air for months.
ERI closed at midnight on December 30th 1988. By this time they were widely hailed as one of the most professional stations in the country.
ERI unsuccessfully applied for a commercial licence in the area in 1989 under the name ‘Sound of the South’. Subsequently, its studio and transmission facilities were leased to the new licensed station, Radio South in 1989.
Help with station history thanks to George Talbot