How an idea to do something during Covid resulted in a radio station that’s about to broadcast across Ireland.
On one long sunny Summer’s afternoon during Lockdown in 2020, three friends met virtually over Zoom to discuss an idea to start an online radio station. This idea has since transformed into a multi-city radio station with 40 volunteer presenters that is about to broadcast on FM across Ireland. Freedom FM recently signed contracts issued by Coimisiún na Meán which will allow it to broadcast on FM for 30 days across Ireland from 30th of September, meaning it will be able to bring it’s blend of music from the 90s and noughties as well as specialist music shows from those two decades to a radio listening audience across the country.
“Like many people during the extended lockdowns I found I had more time on my hands than I wanted”, said Sean Power, the main driver behind the station. “I suggested to Paul Kavanagh and Ralph McGarry we set up an online station for a bit of fun. We got more friends involved, and before we knew it we had over a dozen presenters playing music and presenting programmes from their home studios”.
“I work in the broadcast technology sector and was familiar with home studio setups so I was able to facilitate presenters’ broadcasts from studios in their own homes. Since then, we’ve grown that number to 40 presenters who produce shows from as far afield as Vancouver, and New York, as well as closer to home in Dublin, Meath, Kildare, Louth, Galway, Tipperary, Cavan and Cork”.
“Whilst we started off as a Lockdown project during Covid, things have changed and we’ve had to build a brand-new studio to allow presenters who no longer wanted to broadcast from home to present their shows from a proper radio studio,” said Sean.
The success of the online station, and growth in the number of presenters encouraged the trio to consider applying for a 30-day temporary FM radio licence from Coimisiún na Meán. The station switched on its eight transmitters on Saturday 30th September and will broadcast until 29th October to listeners in Dublin City and County, Galway, Limerick and Cork cities, as well as to counties Wexford, Wicklow, Kildare and north County Cork. The station will remain online during that time too.
Freedom FM will be reliving the 90s and noughties with a mixture of Pop, R‘nB, Dance and Rock music as well as specialist music shows around the clock during it’s time on air and will broadcast on 105.2FM in Dublin, and on different frequencies in the other broadcast areas.
Pictured: Paul Kavanagh, Sean Power, Aidan Power taking a break from building a new radio studio.