Gary Hamill
Sean McCarthy - A.K.A. Gary Hamill.
"Broadcasting on the Super Pirates in a New Romantic Dublin"

Views on radio in Ireland today:

I am presently the A.M. News Anchor on , Irish media mogul Andy Ruane's 24-hour on-line television news service. IRELAND LIVE is the very first on-line service of it's kind to broadcast from Ireland. It is professional, adventurous, and a ground-breaking concept.

When I left 6 years as a boarder of Rockwell College in Tipperary in 1978, I wanted to pursue a career in film, either as an actor, scriptwriter, or in special effects. I was, by then, heady with Lucas's Star Wars, and reading James Herbert, Stephen King et al.

Music-wise, I was listening to the Human League's Travelogue, bleaching my hair bi-weekly a prism of organic shades, had a cassette tape collection of works touched by the electronic wizardry of Vince Clarke, and was prancing about as a dancer on an RTE set for a music show called Mega Mix aired live each week from Christ Church. I had received an award from the BBC after a short film I had made was featured on John Craven's Screen Test. John Boorman, Seamus Smith, and other prominent figures of the Irish film industry at Ardmore Studios had written letters to me re. My films, which gave me the encouragement to continue in filmmaking. And amidst all of this, came radio, somehow, like the bug it is…with a deadly bite. I was studying for a B.A. in English at UCD and for a BSc in Design at the National College of Art and Design on Thomas Street in Dublin. The latter, I thought, would eventually provide me with Industrial Design skills, a skill that would put me in good stead as I dreamed of heading off to Hollywood to work in special effects. Though already on-air, and three years involved in it, a 'career' in radio hadn't figured in my mind. Film was 'it' for me, not radio at all. With a road to 'film' unfolding before me…you could say, radio found me.

The radio bug bit me in the mid to late seventies, depositing its infectious serum (poison?) unceremoniously into my veins at a sixteenth birthday party on Monastery Drive in Clondalkin, of all places. The village was then a lazy, quiet spot…with a round tower, a local butcher, a wonderful old cinema, and a semi-rural atmosphere. A school days pal of my sister, Liz, was throwing herself a 16th bash. Her parents were away, and she turned her mothers tidy front room into a disco for the night. Everyone seemed to have been invited, but I.

I got wind that a 'celebrated' disc jockey was to be hired for the bash, for Liz was Liz, and no one short of some notoriety would do. Everyone knew of him…. Steve Jones of Radio City.

Radio City was broadcasting right on Capel Street. In those early days, City was 'it'…popular and cool, edgy and fringy. Radio Dublin, Radio City, and Big D were up and running, were in their prime, and were competing for listenership. I was not invited to the birthday party, but got in anyway, as you might, through stealth's door. Decks, speakers, and an array of flashing lights had been set up. And at the back wall, a well-worn poster sellotaped to the wallpaper announcing Radio City's Steve Jones. The place was jammed with people, hived-in like hail stones in a pothole. When Jones arrived in a white van, all hell broke loose, such was his celebrity. He was one of Radio City's top jocks at the time, and I was curiously taken in by the attention he was receiving at the party. That was the very moment I wanted to get into radio. Like all of us…. a performer was lurking inside of me. Like all of us…I was craving the attention broadcasting satisfies, to some degree.

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