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 Dublin 1985-1988


Q102 was a Dublin superpirate station from the ’80s which launched in January 1985 and remained on air until the legislated closedowns in December 1988.

Q102 launched to Dublin at 7pm on January 23rd 1985 from studios at 3 Upper Mount Street in central Dublin. This followed a series of test transmissions over the Christmas and New Year period.

Boasting of being Irish-owned in a world where Nova and Sunshine ruled the airwaves, the main investors were Pierre Doyle and John Condon and their station went on to successfully challenge, and some might say, even bettered the earlier contemporaries.

Q102 was the brainchild of Lawrence John, who reluctantly left Radio Nova after being advised that he might never work in licensed radio because he kept crossing the picket line at the troubled station to host his nightly show.


Lawrence opted for an easy listening format as a compliment, rather than a challenger, to Radio Nova.

The station really caught the public’s imagination in 1986 with their breakfast programme which featured ‘The Eye on the Sky’ – a helicopter flying over Dublin to insert traffic reports into the show hosted by Scott Williams.

Also in 1986 the station had relocated, but not by much, to number 8 Upper Mount Street!

Despite its popularity, the station changed format radically to a ‘Hot Hits’ format in May 1988. This was already in use by main rivals Sunshine 101, and with their other biggest rival, Energy 103/Nova, off the air, the rebrand – which included a name change to Super Q102 – seemed like a strange move at the time.

Frequency Logs

  • 102.0MHz; 828kHz – January 1985 (Launch)
  • 102.0MHz; 103.5MHz; 819kHz – January 1986 (Recording)
  • 99.9MHz; 101.9MHz; 102.3MHz; 103.0MHz; 819kHz – September 1988 (AUK Logs)

Anorak Facts

  • Energy 103 closed suddenly in March 1988, selling all equipment to Q102. Baffled Energy listeners were greeted with the sound of Q102 on Energy’s frequencies overnight.


All photos are with huge thanks to Richie Wild

Leaflet and other imagery by very kind courtesy of Dave O’Connor 2019

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