That’s Pirate Radio Part 2 – ‘Doctor Don’ Moore

June 7, 2007 at 12:07 am 19 comments

‘Doctor Don’ Moore was the man who popularised pirate radio in Ireland, before moving on to a more legitimate career as a traveling faith healer (seriously). His rise began in the mid 1970s when RTE was a musical mess, having snubbed pop music, rock and roll, glam rock, prog rock and disco. >>>

Early Days

Four radio hobbyists had paved the way for the pirate radio explosion that was about to ignite. Tony Boylan began broadcasting in the 1940s, and Davitt Kelly in the early 1960s. Ken Sheehan started Radio Dublin in 1966, and ran it with his friend Roger ‘Prince Terry’ Lloyd until it closed in 1972.

I had grown up watching Slade and Suzie Quatro on Top of the Pops on the telly every Thursday evening, then sneaking downstairs to the sitting room at night to tune my parent’s enormous radio in to Radio Luxembourg. Then everything changed, around the time that I got my first portable radio.

The Doctor and the Captain

In 1975, Doctor Don Moore arrived. He was a young fast-talking, long-haired electrician, and he relaunched Radio Dublin, broadcasting music at weekends from his home in Cabra. When he needed someone to fix his transmitter, Don turned to the raspy-voiced, early-middle-aged owner of an electrical repair shop, Eamon ‘the Captain’ Cooke.

The unlawful status of Don’s radio venture did not deter Cooke, who as a Republican had been jailed for loving Ireland (also for shooting with intent, possession of firearms, arson, malicious damage, dangerous driving and contempt of court.) He was later jailed again for sexually abusing young girls at the radio station.

The Split and A.R.D.

The Doctor and the Captain soon split, after a row about how the station should be run, and maybe also about the profits from selling t-shirts. For a while, in traditional Irish style, the pair ran rival Radio Dublins from their respective homes.

Don then joined forces with a rival pirate outfit, the imaginatively-named Alternative Radio Dublin, or A.R.D., which had been started the previous year in a garden shed in Drimnagh.

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Entry filed under: Culture, Most Viewed.

Fifty Years of Spinners and Winners The Sorted Party Are On Your Doorstep

19 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Twenty Major  |  June 7, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    Did you ever get your hands on a book called Radio Daze (I think)? It was all about the Dublin pirate stations from Radio Dublin up as far as the mid-late 80s, I think, with all the Nova, Sunshine, Energy stuff.

    I had a copy but for the life of me I can’t find it anywhere.

    Reply
  • 2. Ger Roe  |  June 7, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    The book was called ‘Radio Radio’ – written by Peter Mulryan.
    His original draft was produced as a final year project for a 3rd level communications course, but he adapted it in to a book in 1988 – just as the original IRTC was formed to introduce legal local radio.

    Peter sometimes presented on RTE TV at the time (‘Youngline’ and prog announcements) and he went on to be a TV Director. Last I heard mention of him he was based at RTE cork (about three years ago) but that may have been for a short contract.

    The book was a great read….. but the pictures were even better.

    Reply
  • 3. Michael Nugent  |  June 7, 2007 at 2:44 pm

    Do you have an ISBN for the book?

    Reply
  • 4. Twenty Major  |  June 7, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    That’s the one Ger, cheers. Some awesome pics in there. I think there’s one of Tony Dixon with the biggest shirt collar I’ve ever seen. Wish I could find the book.

    Michael – I’d say it’s out of print now.

    Reply
  • 5. Ger Roe  |  June 7, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    I’ll dig out my copy and have a look for the ref number.
    It’s long out of print now.

    BTW Michael, I enjoyed the interview on Phantom earlier. I was telling Simon that I remember seeing you at various CBC set up’s in the 80’s – way back in the days of talking in to microphones taped to brush handles, from studio’s assembled in shop windows. It was all great stuff.

    Reply
  • 6. Michael Nugent  |  June 7, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    Thanks for that, Ger. My favourite station name from those days was Snowflake.

    Reply
  • 7. Ger Roe  |  June 13, 2007 at 11:55 am

    Michael,

    The ISBN for Peter’s book is – 1870300033
    I haven’t managed to dig out my copy yet, but I found this reference on the web. It was published in 1988 by Bordeline Publications.

    I have seen some amazon lsecond hand listings for it – selling for $70 + USD.

    Hope this is of use to you.

    Regards,

    Ger Roe.

    Reply
  • 8. Ger Roe  |  June 13, 2007 at 11:56 am

    Sorry, Typo in the last post – should be Borderline Publications.

    Reply
  • 9. Michael Nugent  |  June 13, 2007 at 12:32 pm

    Thanks for that, Ger. I’ll try to track it down.

    Reply
  • 10. Michael Nugent  |  July 13, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    I’ve just got a copy of that book, Ger. It’s excellent. I’ll put a review of it up on the site when I get a chance.

    Reply
  • 11. Jimmy Lynch  |  January 23, 2008 at 12:44 am

    IVE JUST GOT A P.C. @ THIS STAGE OF MY LIFE. THERE WAS A BOOK I OWN BUT MANAGED TO LOSE. I KNEW THE TITLE; IT WAS CALLED RADIO RADIO. I DIDNT KNOW THE AUTHOR…..I HAPPENED TO LOCATE YOU. SOMEONE ELSE WAS LOOKING FOR THIS BOOK. MICHAEL I THINK. THE REASON I WAS LOOKING FOR IT IS BECAUSE THERES A PICTURE OF ME AND THE REST OF THE RADIO MELINDA CREW IN IT. I WOULD LOVE TO GET A COPY OF IT. I GOT SOME GOOD INFORMATION FROM YOU THANKS.

    Reply
  • 12. Richie Kearns  |  February 6, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    I’d love to get a copy of that book too.. A very Big Hello to Jimmy Lynch.. I too was with Melinda

    Reply
  • 13. Richie Kearns  |  February 6, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    I managed to track down a copy of the book at abebooks.com. I have ordered one $70 including postage.

    Reply
  • 14. Richie Kearns  |  February 6, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    Does anyone have an email address for Jmmy Lynch.

    Reply
  • 15. Michael Nugent  |  February 6, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    Richie,

    I have emailed Jimmy Lynch and given him your email address.

    Miichael

    Reply
  • 16. Richie Kearns  |  February 6, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    Thanks Michael…

    Further to the Book ” Radio Radio” There are two or three secondhand copies available on the net ranging in price from $70 to $100 plus…GOOGLE ” ISBN 1870300033 ” and it’ll get you the sellers….

    Reply
  • 17. michael lynch  |  February 10, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    hi Michael

    Could you pass me on jimmy lynch,and richie kearns e-mail address please?

    Reply
  • 18. Michael Nugent  |  February 11, 2008 at 12:30 am

    Michael,

    I’ve just sent them to you.

    Michael

    Reply
  • 19. Richie Kearns  |  February 16, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    checkout the site
    http://www.radiomilinda.com

    Any info on radio milinda???
    Photos???
    Press Clippings?????

    Cheeeeerrrsssss…..

    Reply

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A blog by Michael Nugent

Welcome to my blog about living in the maddest country on earth. Please feel free to leave a comment.

I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohemians football club in the 1970s.

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Bionic Bohs

As mentioned above, if you like Irish football and/or cultural nostalgia, I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohs in the 1970s.

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