Sunday 20 April 2014

Pirate radio stations cause chaos for emergency services

PIRATE radio and TV stations were causing chaos in 1983 for communications systems within the Irish emergency and transport services.

Confidential documents, released from the state archives, showed the government was determined to increase fines to clamp down on the soaring number of pirate stations.

One memo, dated April 23, warned: "Illegal radio stations have caused serious interference to authorised services in this country.

"Formal complaints have been received regarding harmful interference caused by unlicensed stations here to authorised broadcasting stations overseas.

Interference has also been caused to airport fire services, taxiing aircraft and aircraft immediately after take-off, to ambulance and garda radio networks and to radio and television reception."

In a separate memo to Posts and Telegraphs Minister Jim Mitchell, a civil servant warned that there were now 50 illegal radio stations operating in Ireland.

Such was the level of interference that emergency services were being impacted.

Of even greater concern, Dublin Airport had reported a total of 22 incidents in 1982 where radio frequency interference was recorded.

Irish Independent

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