From Lockdown Project to Licensed Radio

Freedom FM Templeogue

Local former pirate station gets the go ahead to broadcast across Ireland.

Freedom FM is to make a return to Dublin’s FM band this week, over 18 years since its last radio broadcast. And this time they are extending their reach to Cork, Limerick and Galway cities. The former pirate station, who commenced an online service as part of a lockdown project last year, will broadcast on FM for thirty days with a temporary license granted by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). Programmes are due to commence on Saturday the 18th September and will continue until Sunday the 17th of October.

Freedom FM first appeared in March 1995 broadcasting from a garden shed in the Dublin suburb of Templeogue. Transmissions from the shed continued until the vast majority of pirate radio stations in Dublin were forced off air in May 2003.

“Like many people last year during the extended lockdowns I found I had more time on my hands than I wanted. I suggested to Paul Kavanagh and Ralph McGarry, who co-founded the original station with me in 1995, we bring Freedom FM back as an online station’, said Sean Power, the main driver behind the station. “We launched in August 2020 with over 20 of the original DJs playing music from the 90s and noughties. The relaunch was all about reliving your youth for people who grew up during those two decades.” “Many of the DJs began broadcasting on the pirate station in their teens. Now in their late thirties, and early forties, and scattered across the globe, it was like getting the band back together. We’ve had so much fun over the past 12 months”.  

The station has been able to use modern technology to allow DJs broadcast from studios in their own homes, from anywhere around the world, with shows coming from as far afield as Vancouver, New York, and Sydney, as well as closer to home in Dublin, Meath, Kildare, Louth, Galway and Limerick.

The success of the online version encouraged the trio to consider returning to the FM band, but this time with a license. And with a bit of exuberance, they decided to push the boat out and apply to broadcast to Cork, Limerick and Galway cities too. An application was submitted to the BAI in May, and contracts were signed in September. 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 on 105.2FM in Dublin, and on different frequencies in the other broadcast areas. The station is no longer broadcasting from amongst the lawnmower, flower pots and paint pots in the garden shed in Templeogue, but has developed a custom built studio in Dublin 12.

Pictured: Paul Kavanagh, Sean Power with BAI contract, Ralph McGarry Freedom FM

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of www.newsgroup.ie with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at info@newsgroup.ie.

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