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"Wavescan" is a weekly program for long distance radio hobbyists produced by Dr. Adrian M. Peterson, Coordinator of International Relations for Adventist World Radio. AWR carries the program over many of its stations (including shortwave). Adrian Peterson is a highly regarded DXer and radio historian, and often includes features on radio history in his program. We are reproducing those features below, with Dr. Peterson's permission and assistance.


Wavescan 409, October 27, 2002

The Mystery of Irish Radio History - Early Shortwave Era

Yes, it is true; there was indeed a shortwave service on the air in Ireland in pre-war days.  It was just a small unit and it was on the air spasmodically for a period of around three years.  This is the story.

In last weekís program, we mentioned the fact that a high powered mediumwave station was erected in 1932 near Athlone in the centre of the Emerald Isle.  This station was on the air without callsign, and it identified as ìRadio Eireannî.

In June 1938, the American radio magazine, ìRadio News,î announced that a 2 kw station was under construction near Moydrum in Ireland.  In March of the following year, the same magazine announced that the station was now on the air and testing on five different channels with a power output ranging from 2 to 5 kw.

The transmitter was constructed and installed by the Marconi Company of England and it was co-sited with the larger mediumwave unit at Moydrum, a small village near Athlone.  Programming was generally a parallel relay with the mediumwave unit.

ìRadio Eireannî on shortwave was heard in the United States, Australia and New Zealand, as well as throughout the British Isles and in continental Europe.  Several QSLs, probably in the form of a typed letter, were received in the United States and Australia.

In mid 1939, the scheduling from ìRaido Eireannî was described as irregular, and apparently the station went silent just before the beginning of the 1939 emergency in continental Europe.  However, a year later the same shortwave transmitter was noted on the air again with the same style of programming in English as noted previously. 

At this stage it was announced that the programming was directed towards the United States, though it was heard just as well in the South Pacific.  The final monitoring report of ìRadio Eireannî with 2 kw on shortwave appeared in the Australian magazine ìRadio & Hobbies,î in December 1941. 

That then was the end of the first era of shortwave broadcasting in Ireland, an era that lasted a little under three years.