Updated February 23rd
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1 - BROADCASTING TO THE WORLD
Well, believe it or not there were pirate radio stations
before Nova, Sunshine and Q102! And they weren't half bad either! Radio
Dublin started in the late sixties going through to the late seventies
and beyond, while the likes of Radio Caroline was surfing the waves
in every sense of the word. I was a kid, but you know, I woke up in
the morning, and the first thing i did was check that my favourite radio
stations were still on the air - because often they were not! Seizing
of transmitters in the late seventies was a common past-time of Ireland's
Posts and Telegraphs, who were the folks responsible for stopping illegal
broadcasting, and people having fun on the commercial airwaves.
Lets look at what was on the airwaves of Dublin in, say, 1978. There
was Radio Dublin on 253 Metres MW, ARD on 257MW, a station that broke
away from Radio Dublin. Then there was Big D on 273MW, another breakaway
from radio Dublin. There were other numerous stations, but these were
the big three. Captain Eamonn Cooke was at the helm of Radio Dublin,
which really started it all. He called himself Captain Cooke, which
I found amusing since he was, after all, like a pirate. He relished
in it, and the scene was all but set on the high seas!
recently spoke to someone who was around before the superpirates, a
DJ on ARD (Alternative Radio Dublin) called Stephen Rhodes. Steve gave
me my first break on air - at the tender age of 16. This was on ARD
257MW. The year was 1977. Gee, but was I pleased to be allowed onto
what was Dublin's biggest radio station, to present some songs on the
air. Steven left before the Superpirates for a legal job on BRMB Birmingham.
He now works for the BBC. There were many well known presenters who
started their professional life BEFORE the Superpirates. People like
Declan Meehan (Eastcoast FM), Mark Storey (RTE) John Clarke (2FM) to
name just a few.
Indeed, if Chris Cary and Robbie Robinson had not arrived in Dublin
in 1980 to start Sunshine and Nova, the landscape would have been very
different in terms of the history of Irish radio. Would ARD or Big D
have become superpirates? Would any Irish businessman have had the guts
to pump money into illegal stations? Well, I guess we'll never know.
But we should remember that without those "shoestring" stations
back in the '70's the Superpirates may never have come into being.
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