Dublin radio station Premier FM are a rare beast who straddle both sides of the 1988 divide, and have operated with a temporary licence.
Premier FM were a very long-running radio station from Dublin. They first appeared on December 16th 1980 on 217m MW from the northside of the city, and they were known at that time as Premier Dublin Radio. Their 50W transmitter was built by Peter King of Radio Caroline Dublin.
Premier Radio had an official launch on January 11th 1981 but they decided to take a break from Easter that year to accommodate Dave Jackson’s studies for upcoming examinations. They had been on air every Sunday from 10am-10pm.
Interestingly they returned on 104.2MHz and 212m MW at 11.45pm on December 31st 1988, 15 minutes before the introduction of a new Broadcasting Act which forced all pirates off the air from midnight. However Premier continued to broadcast on Sundays in 1989 from Sandymount in south Dublin. It was run by two of the 1981 crew, Greg Townsend and Dave Jackson. The station’s power output was 10watts on FM and 200watts on medium wave using 5 x 807 valves. The antennae consisted of a folded dipole on FM and a half-wave dipole on MW. Halfway through 1989 they switched FM frequency to 101.7MHz. Transmissions ceased again on Christmas Eve 1989 due to the site owner selling off the property.
After another long gap they returned in May 1996 under the guise of an ABC Dublin relay using the original 1981 site. The station played continuous music. Following the launch of Radio Ireland in March 1997, Premier FM moved to 92.5MHz and recommenced live programming on Sunday from May. By now the music format consisted of 70s and 80s music.
By the turn of the millennium, Premier FM had become a fully automated station on 92.6MHz and remained on air as a pirate up until the infamous Black Tuesday raids of May 2003.
The raids brought about a major rethink in strategy for Premier FM who decided to opt for the legal route and managed to secure a series of temporary licences, although their ultimate aim of a full-time licence was unsuccessful.
Premier FM was an oldies station which fulfilled it’s promise of playing the greatest hits of all time. Listening brought back many memories and reintroduced you to tracks you’d long forgotten.
Even when fully-automated Premier was one of the few genuinely pleasurable stations on air.
Sundays at the time of launch:-
10am Aidan Hughes
11.30am Peter King
1pm Joe Roberts
3pm Roy Philips
5pm Premier Top 30 & Rock Show with Greg Townsend
7pm Neil Walsh
9.30pm Dave Jackson
- The original address was 20 Caledon Road, Dublin 3
- The old pirate phone number at the time they closed: 087 2617439