That’s Pirate Radio Part 12 – Rambo’s Law

June 20, 2007 at 12:16 am 5 comments

By 1987, RTE Radio 2, re-branded as 2FM, competed with super-pirates Sunshine, Super Q and Energy, and about seventy other pirates around the country. But nobody could match the biggest literal outlaw to muddy the metaphorical waters. When Fianna Fáil returned to Government, Ray ‘Rambo’ Burke began five years as Minister for Energy, then Industry, then Justice. >>>

Rambo’s New Bill

Inexplicably, Burke retained the extra portfolio of Communications throughout all of these moves. Rambo, who to put it mildly did not like RTE, quickly introduced a new Bill to both curb pirate radio and license new commercial stations.

Many important issues were addressed in the Dáil debate. Fine Gael’s Gay Mitchell agreed that RTE needed competition because

Their interviewers have a very arrogant attitude… for example, they have difficulty addressing me as Mr Mitchell, Deputy Mitchell or Gay. They say, Good morning Gay Mitchell.

And Fianna Fáil’s Tom Kitt slammed RTE for playing the recent Pet Shop Boys hit, You Are Always On My Mind. He fumed that

This was an upbeat version of a Willie Nelson song, and I believe it was an insult to many music lovers like me… the music industry should seriously consider banning this type of treatment of established and well-loved songs.

Rambo’s New Law

Rambo’s Bill soon became law. Thankfully, Burke was forced to amend one key provision. He wanted himself, as Minister, to personally license the new stations, but the Dáil insisted on an independent licensing body, the IRTC.

An era officially ended on 31 December 1988, when almost all of the country’s pirates closed down. Radio Dublin was one of the few that continued broadcasting despite the new law.

Next Post in Series – Century Radio
Previous Post in Series: We’re Jamming
First Post in Series: Radio Dublin 253

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Entry filed under: Culture, Politics.

Quiz – The Five Streets of Henry Moore Ten Worst Places to Hear a Cúpla Focail

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Twenty Major  |  June 20, 2007 at 12:23 am

    A Fianna Fail politician told me once that the IRTC was ‘the most corrupt body in Ireland’.

    And with a straight face too. He wasn’t joking. And he was right.

    Reply
  • 2. Michael Nugent  |  June 20, 2007 at 12:31 am

    I wonder how he would have described a meeting between the IRTC, Rambo and the owners of Century Radio?

    Reply
  • 3. pirate-fan  |  June 20, 2007 at 2:09 am

    has anyone seen pirate radio usa, the movie? (www.bside.com/films/pirateradiousa) … it’s pretty neat that it’s made by two pirates and that it sells for so cheap. i bought it and checked it out, it’s a good movie, and it helps fellow pirates!

    Reply
  • 4. Twenty Major  |  June 20, 2007 at 9:49 am

    I wonder how he would have described a meeting between the IRTC, Rambo and the owners of Century Radio?

    Century. What a complete load of crap that was. I still maintain they should have given it to Carey. It would have been entertaining on all fronts.

    Reply
  • 5. dude5499  |  April 11, 2008 at 6:21 am

    Very well! Are you dudes agree with me? When I read it I was like: oh man!Sounds great! This is just what I was searching for! All is true, and checked, I’m sure.

    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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