Tuesday 16 January 2018

Sinead Ryan: A frisson of illegality, sexy alter egos -- how pirates captured my heart

Chris Carey of Radio Nova
Chris Carey of Radio Nova
Sinead Ryan

Sinead Ryan

These days I find experiences all the time which increasingly make me feel my age, but I was bowled over to realise that it's been 25 years since pirate radio was silenced.

A quarter of a century since 'fun' music radio last consisted of carefully moving a sensitive dial along the erratic medium wave band to try and locate the least scratchy, tinny output of our favourite station, hoping it hadn't been jammed, or raided by the gardai since we last tuned in.

In these days of digital downloads, it's hard to believe that there was a time when RTE represented the sole listening option of the nation unless you had a fancy radio which could locate BBC or the offshore pirates like Caroline and Luxembourg which were a magic and extraordinary thing. Otherwise, whatever was deemed 'good' for us was broadcast and everything else was illegal. There was, quite simply, nothing for teenagers -- no chart music, breezy chat shows or programmes aimed at an audience who weren't born middle aged.

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