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Increase for Choice

Choice FM, Cabra’s local station on 90.4MHz in Dublin, was off air for an hour tonight before returning at 8.30pm with an increase of power, station manager Brian Butterly has told Radiowaves News.

Second Choice

Choice FM, from Cabra in north Dublin, are now broadcasting on a second channel. The station’s usual frequency is 96.4MHz, but they can now also be heard on 98.4MHz. The station have introduced second outputs in the past on a test basis. Most recently they ran a test on 104.1MHz.

Dublin City Beats to the Sound of City FM

A new dance & r ‘n’ b music station is now on air on 94.1MHz to Dublin. Formed from the ashes of Hot FM and The Vibe who were both raided on ‘Black Tuesday’, Dublin’s City FM has been on air with a powerful signal since yesterday afternoon. There is an alternating RDS giving the station name ‘CITY  FM ‘ as well as the message ‘STAND BY’

Choice in court

Cabra’s Choice FM appeared in court today for the second time in relation to charges arising out of last May’s ‘Black Tuesday’ raids. ComReg are seeking a fine of up to E7,000, plus expenses, against the north Dublin station’s owner. The case has been adjourned until May.
Choice FM, who usually broadcast on 96.4MHz, closed last Thursday evening at 11pm. It is unknown whether they will return.

A ‘Grey Wednesday’ for Dublin’s Pirates

Dublin’s FM band was totally clear of unlicensed activity today for the first time since last year’s May ‘Black Tuesday’ raids. Every Dublin-based pirate station was off the air, the vast majority for precautionary reasons.

The unlicensed community have been fearing the worst for the past couple of weeks, and most stations decided not to take the chance of having their equipment confiscated.

ComReg visited some mountain sites today, but it is thought that this was simply to warn landowners of the possible threat of court action for allowing unlicensed broadcasts to originate from their property. However, they have been seen taking photographs of station’s sites in the recent past – usually a precursor to obtaining court warrants in order to enter the property – and this has sent panic through the radio community.

Dance music station Club FM were the last pirate broadcaster on air today. They stopped transmissions at just after 1pm this afternoon. At this stage, every other station had already turned off.

Rhythm FM, who broadcast on 105.7MHz FM, switched off their transmitter last night, as did those behind the carrier on 88.1MHz FM. Other stations had already switched off in the past few days, and those that were left turned off their equipment this morning.

Amongst the stations off the air are: UCB relay on 87.6MHz FM; Jazz FM (90.3MHz); Sugar FM (91.0MHz); the unidentified station on 91.6MHz FM; Ministry FM (93.2MHz); Hot FM (94.1MHz); Nova 947; Gem Radio (97.8MHz); The Vibe (99.4MHz); & Sun FM (101.3MHz).

Today, the only pirate station audible around Dublin city was Passion FM, beaming in on 91.6MHz FM from Kildare. However, by this evening, the usual batch of low-powered stations were back on the air from various locations around the city. Included were: Galaxy 105.3, who have been running live programming tonight; Energy, running automated dance music on 107.6MHz FM; and XFM, the long-term alternative music station who were broadcasting on their usual 107.9MHz.

ComReg have been very active in other parts of the country recently. However, Dublin’s pirates have been relatively free from Comreg interference since the massive attacks of May 20th last year – commonly referred to as ‘Black Tuesday’. Many feel that ComReg are preparing to strike again whilst the memory of last year’s actions are still fresh in the minds.

Festive Station Christmas FM Raised €30,000 For ISPCC

Christmas FM, the temporary radio station which broadcast for a month leading to St Stephen’s Day, raised over €30,000 for their charity partner the ISPCC. The station broadcast live in Dublin on 89.9MHz FM and across the world via the internet on a voluntary basis playing non-stop Christmas tunes. Texts to the station cost €1 and proceeds went to the charity.

A statement from the station’s management reads: “Christmas FM would like to thank everybody who supported the station during our recent temporary licence. We would like to say a sincere thank you and well done to the many djs and presenters from radio stations all over Leinster and beyond whose dedication made the station the success that it was. Credit is also due to the management of those stations who readily agreed to allow their staff to participate in the project. In common with most temporary stations there were very little resources available for pre-launch publicity. We were also conscious of the economic downturn and the fact that a charity-oriented service was a new concept. Despite all this the station literally hit the ground running and remained in full throttle mode for the duration. From the very early stages it became apparent that the impact of the station was going to be a lot bigger than we had dared hope. Over the course of the 30 days we received over 10,500 text messages. The website, christmasfm.ie had almost 4 million hits during the same period. Our online listenership averaged 1,500 per day. Given that the station came from nowhere on November 28th we are extremely pleased with what was achieved and are delighted that the listening public seem to have taken the station and its ethos to heart.”

The station have indicated that they hope to return for next Christmas.