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Freedom FM is back and broadcasting on 105.5FM



Freedom FM – Pictured above are Paul Kavanagh, Sean Power and Ralph McGarry, ready to go on air

Freedom FM is back and broadcasting on 105.5FM

By I Love Limerick Correspondent Ann Mc Donald

freedom fm

Sean Power testing out the new Freedom FM studio

Freedom FM, who started off as a pirate radio station in 1995, are back after 17 years.

The station, who are broadcasting on 105.5FM, launched on Saturday, September 18, and play music from the 90s and 00s.

Promising to cater for the musical taste of Generation Y, Freedom FM will play a mix of chart, dance, R n’B and rock from their extensive music library of songs which stretches from 1990 to 2009. The station will also air specialist music programmes and features helping listeners to relive the 90s and noughties.

Sean Power, station manager, said, “To be able to bring the passion of what was Freedom FM as a pirate in the 90s back online and now on FM Legally and relive the best days of our youth through the music and also have 29 people currently involved, it’s a dream come true.”

Established as an online station in August 2020, the station has been able to use modern technology to allow DJs broadcast from studios in their own homes, from anywhere around the world, with shows coming from as far afield as Vancouver, New York, and Sydney, as well as closer to home in Limerick, Galway, Dublin, Meath, Kildare, and Louth.  

“The majority of the original Freedom FM crew are back and involved in the station, including some other people who have worked in the radio industry in some shape over the past number of years, some people I hadn’t seen or talked to since 2003 and through social media I was able to make contact, as I say, it was like getting the band back together!,” Sean explained.

Sean decided to get the station back on air as he felt he had more time on his hands than he wanted during the extended lockdowns last year.

“I roped in two friends, Paul Kavanagh and Ralph McGarry, to establish an online radio station. Before we knew it, we had over 24 people from around the world playing music from the 90s and noughties. All of our presenters and DJs are in their late thirties and early forties. They are having fun on the radio and enjoying the music of their youth. This feeds into the sound of the station; it is all about reliving your youth for people who grew up during those two decades. I think one of our station promos says it perfectly: Freedom FM – broadcasting to Generation Y. Why? Because someone has to!,” he said.

The success of the online version encouraged the team to consider bringing the music of their youth to the FM band, and so they submitted an application to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland in May, and signed contracts in September. The station will broadcast to Limerick as well as Cork, Galway, and Dublin on different frequencies under a 30-day temporary broadcast license from the BAI.  

The original station was setup in 1995 and ran for 8 years from Seans parents back garden shed. It was eventually closed down by Comreg on the famous “Black Tuesday Raids,” where all pirate radio stations in Dublin had their transmitter sites raided and closed down, signalling the close of pirate stations.

The station continues to broadcast around the world online so those living outside the city’s reception area can still tune in across County Limerick via their website or through a smart speaker.

For more information on Freedom FM go HERE 

For more stories about entertainment go HERE 

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.