25 Years of Near

Welcome to a special anniversary page celebrating Near FM’s 25th year on air. Here you will find a collection of audio, images and memories from over the years.

If you have any audio or pictures or can recommend someone to be interviewed for 25th Stories please email reception@near.ie.

Near FM’s origins goes back to the pirate radios from the 1980s and credit unions and food co-ops from the 1970s, and even the dizzy awakening of freedom and civil rights of the1960s.

Back to when local people decided that the north side of the City, with its undeserved negative reputation propagated by the media, needed its own radio service to tell its own stories, positive stories.

In a little corner office upstairs in the Coolock Development Centre, the offices and studios of Near FM 101.5 opened its doors on August 26th 1995. Smoking was allowed in offices in those days, and in studios.

Do you remember:

When Margaret Tumelty was manager, Declan McLoughlin was doing a Theology programme and Between the Lines had a host of presenters and producers including Ger Dorgan, Zandra Ball, and Dermot Brangan?

Refugee Radio, when refugees and asylum seekers produced all our programmes for a week and asylum seeker and presenter, Kensika Monshengwo officially opened the new studios in 1998 when Ivor Callely was Lord Mayor?

When Tony Flood presented country music, Catherine Allen did Arts and her dad John, Classical music? Sinead Spain was on Saturday mornings?

These are some of the memories you will find here, or do you remember: 

Jazz with Louis and Spiff, Michael Farrell playing requiems on Sunday mornings, Fiona Scally moved from TY youth programme to new bands programme and Niamh Coffey presenting as Gaeilge twice a week

Geraldine Wynne was producing a series on the Bunratty Masonettes, where she lived with her daughter. Barney was on Maritime history and Radio drama began with Declan Cahill and Deborah Gaffney. Niamh Farren was on Outreach and Martin McGhee on TV.

Angela Chapman and Lorraine Walsh handling admin and wages in the old office at the CDC. Moira Stowe and Shane Wearen on Local Point (Shane recently became a grandad). The Doyle Sisters, Marnie and Linda and Gerry Connolly from Colaiste Dhulaigh racing up Bunratty Road with a minidisc containing that week’ students programme.

Do you remember why studio duty had to climb a stepladder every day at 4.30? Did you listen to Livewire with Metal McGuire or Sean Whelan on Lunchtime Miscellany? Sea area weather reports via fax and Christmas parties in the ABFC piano room?

Near FM would not have developed and survived without the continued commitment and enthusiasm of each and every volunteer and member of staff. Those cold dark nights in community centres and school halls, trying to drum up support for community radio, were not in vain.

25 years on, Near FM is a vibrant organisation, never sitting still for too long and always looking to future developments.