Mike O’Brien

Radio Eireann and the BBC Light Programme were the only stations until Radio Luxemburg came along with a totally different style of radio. Pop music came along and then Radio Caroline and now there were stations springing up all over the place, catering for young people for the first time.

Here in Ireland “pirate” stations began to broadcast in the late seventies. Here, our first local station – Kilkenny Community Radio – (KCR) came on air in May 1979. Located upstairs in a warehouse on the Ballycallan Road, it was the nursery for aspiring broadcasters.

I was immediately hooked. I drove out that road several times before getting the courage to ask Michael Minogue, the landowner, if I could have a go. “How are you fixed for 8.30 tomorrow morning?” he asked, “Tomorrow?”  I said, wondering what I was getting myself into.

After a sleepless night I drove to the station, met Michael, nervously climbed the metal stairs and sat behind the mixing desk. My hands shook as I cued my first record (“Games People Play”, by Joe South) and, when I turned around to find out what to do next, Michael was gone. And that’s how I started.

I went on to do all kinds of programmes with KCR, Radio Kilkenny and now, Community Radio Kilkenny City.

I’m delighted that, at last, CKRC has been granted a ten year licence to bring the best of community radio to Kilkenny and I look forward to being part of that future.