Irish Pirate Radio

Irish Pirate Radio

Pirate radio in Ireland has had a long history, with hundreds of radio stations having operated from within the country. Due to past lax enforcement of the rules, the lack of commercial radio until 1989, and the small physical size of the country, pirate radio has proliferated up to recent years. They were tolerated by the government which only occasionally raided them in an effort to show compliance with Irish law, although the national broadcaster, RTÉ, took a harsher approach, including radio jamming.

Whilst the number of recorded pirate radio stations was in the hundreds, only a few have been notable enough to be remembered. This is because at different stages, pirate stations were the mainstay of radio listenership, particularly in Dublin.

Unlike other countries, Irish pirate stations were almost always on land, with publicly available phone numbers and addresses, advertising and known presenters. A recent government crackdown now means Ireland has one of the most hardline anti-pirate policies in Europe, and few major stations survive.

Stations nowadays are usually FM-based. In the 1980s however, most major stations broadcast on both MW and FM. There have also been several shortwave pirate stations in Ireland, but pirate shortwave broadcasting has declined greatly, as with SW broadcasting in general. The early pioneering pirates were usually MW only. One of the first stations was Radio Milinda which broadcast on 300 metres MW. It was the very first radio station to be raided and prosecuted. It was raided on the 17/12/1972 and the subsequent court case took place on the 08/02/1973. They were fined £2 each and all the equipment was confiscated.

Read more about Irish Pirate RadioPirate Radio Today, Offshore Radio, Northern Ireland

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