If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact
Hi all,
Vanilla are planning an update to the site on April 24th (next Wednesday). It is a major PHP8 update which is expected to boost performance across the site. The site will be down from 7pm and it is expected to take about an hour to complete. We appreciate your patience during the update.
Thanks all.

Forty years ago, today!


  • Registered Users Posts: 574 ✭✭✭TheBMG

    I was only a kid but remember it well. It was THE headline news story for quite some time after too!

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,618 ✭✭✭Infoanon

    It was the headline news on RTE and the main headline in all the national papers , initially the RTE coverage was vitriolic imho but within days when it became obvious that this was a massive political blunder RTE 'Today Tonight ' was now bemoaning the huge publicity Nova had got from the whole episode. A Today Tonight that had Chris and Robbie as guests !

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,618 ✭✭✭Infoanon

    The closedown on the 19th is held up as one of the best broadcasts in Irish radio history , but for me Declan and Bob Gallico on an extended 'Brekkie ' with Bob singing live is also a classic.

    Extended Brekkie as mid morning presenter, the late Tom Hardy , was in a P&T Hiace taking the long way to Nova Park on Stocking Lane where the Nova FM&AM was and the under construction 50kw was also situated.

    The Kiss FM TX being based in Woodtown.

  • Registered Users Posts: 574 ✭✭✭TheBMG

    not to derail the conversation but I think Kiss 102.7 was based at Murphy’s Quarry (but not on the antenna farm there)

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,618 ✭✭✭Infoanon

    You are correct , the antenna initially hanging from a crane ! , there was a backup TX in Woodtown iirc

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 4,618 ✭✭✭Infoanon

    40 years ago today we awoke to the surprise of Nova being back on the air ! , however shortly after 9am Robbie Robinson broke the news that the P&T had arrived at the Sands Hotel and wanted to remove the Sunshine equipment. Thankfully unaware of a TX on Howth Head.

    By lunchtime Nova had decided to close after threats of further action , what follows is probably one of the greatest moments in Irish Broadcasting history , as DJs said their goodbyes , petitions got signed , flowers were sent ! and Dublin City car horns blasted away at 6am to the chants of 'we want Nova ',

    Publicity you could not buy , slowly the enormity of the political misjudgement was becoming obvious.

    The government had closed Nova ,

    The People wanted Nova back ,

    What was Chris to do ??

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,430 ✭✭✭RINO87

    That's a great piece. Love all the snippets interspersed that really help tell the story.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,739 ✭✭✭Pelvis Parsley

    Some great reading there.

    The makings of a documentary!

  • Registered Users Posts: 108 ✭✭Lord Nelson

    Yes, seems extraordinary that the P&T were blissfully unaware of the Howth TX. I recall talking to the late Peter Gibney about it in the days that followed. When he realised that they were clueless, he spun a yarn on the lines of it taking time for the capacitors to discharge hence there was still a carrier. He frantically phoned the site owner to turn off the tx before the penny dropped!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 574 ✭✭✭TheBMG

    Wasn’t there a story that the P&T had vastly underestimated the amount of kit that the super pirates used? They were due to raid Sunshine on the same day but hours spent dismantling the racks at Nova Park meant they had to wait till the next morning to take a trip up to Portmarnock?

    I also love those photos of Peter Gibney (RIP) with a smoke in his mouth and determined look on his face putting the station back on air!

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 4,618 ✭✭✭Infoanon

    The truth will never be known but the Exidy 50kw TX seemed to be the trigger for the raids , the TV reporting focused on it and there was strong rumours of pressure from the UK though Downtown Radio went as far as to deny any involvement in applying pressure.

    Manx and Red Rose were losing listeners as it was.

    The P&T went to Herbert Street and depending on the version you believe had no interest in the(very expensive ) studio equipment and link TXs or had no warrant for Herbert Street or had a warrant but for the wrong address.

    It was 10.45 am before the Nova Park transmitters were switched off , the P&T at one stage wanting to cut through the coax cable to the 10kw !!

    Then the P&T had to dismantle two AM transmitters , the 10kw on air TX and the 50kw, the FM transmitters at Nova Park and the other sites....,add in the expensive links, the optimods....

    As an aside RTE did not have optmods or any form of audio processing equipment until '84.

    This took an age and Nova staff had to help the P&T load the equipment and ended up providing a vehicle to the P&T such was the under estimation of the task at hand.

    The story goes that Sunshine was to be raided the same day , however there is a train of thought that Sunshine was never intended to be raided , hence the guarantees Robbie got , and that Sunshine only became a victim as an attempt to deflect away from while Nova was really closed.

    Sunshine did lose studio equipment ,their main AM and backup and the powerful studio FM TX.

    Another aside ,the mast at the Sands was untouchable as it was used by Dublin Airport as a beacon for aircraft landing.

    The story goes that the P&T were on the way up to Radio Leinster to raid them next but the station went off air and removed their AM with minutes to spare....

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,739 ✭✭✭Pelvis Parsley

    Excellent. Thank you!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,303 ✭✭✭Antenna

    A bit of footage of above events is shown on Reeling In The Years 1983 which went out again on RTE1 today. The caption on screen indicated that "repeated" raids happened, which is obviously wrong if they backed down from taking any further action (politically unpopular etc) beyond the bolt out of the blue action.