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WTAF!? Freedom FM got an FM licence!!!

today17 September 2021

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As most of you will know already, Freedom FM started as a pirate radio station back in the day (1995) and was operating outside of the law until we were closed down on that fateful day (Tuesday 20th May 2003) known as black Tuesday. This was the day when Comreg (the Irish governing body of TV/radio) got control of the FM band; not just in Dublin but countrywide. Although pirate radio still exists, it’s nothing like the ’90s & early ’00s when there wasn’t a huge choice of music, particularly for the younger generation.

Freedom FM was run by Paul Kavanagh AKA Andy Walker and Sean Power AKA Simon Davis and the station was run with professionalism in mind. Most pirate stations of the era were run by businessmen and so, they were out to make money so their stations were flooded with advertising. I recall having a couple of minutes of ads on one particular station and thinking, will people stay tuned?? But the thing is that although it was for the people, the bills had to be paid I guess and if making a few quid along the way, all the better (in some peoples minds). However; there was a general acceptance that running ads or making a profit was shining an unwanted light on you and those that stayed away from this model, definitely lasted longer than others. It was felt that because Freedom was well run, particularly from a technical standpoint and although Comreg were aware of us, we weren’t really causing a problem for anyone so we were kind of, well…. left alone for the most part.

Pirate radio was great not just because we played music that wasn’t on general release but we also didn’t have to conform to the rules; no ads, no news, no mandatory Irish content etc so this kind of went against the grain for me personally. This is where Freedom FM was different…….

Both Sean and Paul were absolutely against advertising. In fact, over the 8 years we were on the air and the 5 or so that I spent with them, I only recall a handful of ads. Who remembers grab a cab?? I still have the number ringing in my head so it obviously worked. Most of the ads that ran over the air were for local business and was done without payment. Should I mention PK Lighting and sound?? Maybe ill leave that for another post 🙂 I have such admiration for a station that stayed on for so long but primarily because it was funded from their own pockets. Let me tell you that this is not a cheap hobby! The equipment in the studio was probably circa €10,000 (or more) and the equipment in the mountain site would have been circa €5,000 plus the costs of running all of the equipment and paying rent to the farmer up the mountains to run the transmitter. That; of course; doesn’t include the cost of going out and buying (yes BUYING) the new music every week! This actually still remains the case today with Freedom FM online.

You can read more about the stations beginning and end (On FM anyway) HERE

So now in 2020, Freedom FM has moved to the next stage in its evolution. We applied for and were granted a licence to broadcast in 4 Citys across Ireland from the 18th of September 2021 and will broadcast for 30 days. For more info on the frequencies in each county, pop over FM Frequencies page to see where you can join us. Below is a quick map as to where you can find us

We will also be available online, so for those of you outside the listed areas, you can still join us for your favourite 90’s and 00’s

Also, if you like 90’s & 00’s Hip Hop and RnB, join me every Saturday and Sunday 9-11 PM for RnB Sessions. you can also listen back to my previous shows HERE

Peace out,

Al

Written by: Al Murray

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