That’s Pirate Radio Part 4 – The Big Three

June 8, 2007 at 10:43 pm Leave a comment

None of the listeners knew, but there was more than one law being broken at Radio Dublin. Eamon Cooke was later convicted of sexually abusing some of the many young girls who hung around his house and, when he went on holiday in April 1978, most of his DJs left having burned his transmitter. >>>

The Big D

The mutineers linked up with the ousted founders of A.R.D. and two businessmen to form Big D Radio. This was Ireland’s first 24-hour-a-day pirate, and a young schoolteacher called Dave Fanning hosted the midnight show. Other Big D DJs who later joined RTE were Gerry Ryan and Marty Whelan.

The new station was based in Chapel Lane, beside what is now the ILAC Centre. The musical mutineers were led by James Dillon. The businessmen were boutique owner Noel Kirwin and travel agent Frank Murray.

The mutiny was well planned. For some time, Radio Dublin had been calling itself ‘Radio Dublin – the Big D’. When Cooke left, his DJs phased out the ‘Radio Dublin’ part of the name, before stqrting ‘the Big D’ almost as if it was the same station.

The Big Three

Meanwhile, back in Inchicore, Cooke soon had his own station back on air, now starring Father Michael Cleary, a well-known fundamentalist singing priest who secretly slept with his housekeeper and was a ‘father’ in more ways than one.

There were now three big pirate stations in the Capital. Radio Dublin played mainly pop music and request. A.R.D. was more news and community focused. Big D played more rock than pop. Nobody knew it at the time, but they were about to be swamped by an even bigger wave of pirates.

Next Post in Series: Radio 2 Cominatcha!
Previous Post in Series: Fighting the Law
First Post in Series: Radio Dublin 253


Entry filed under: Culture.

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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.


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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