Boys and Girls marks radio century

Eoin Conlon, Boys and Girls with Jenny Greene, RTE Joe Duffy, Dee Woods, Radio Nova and Bobby Kerr, Newstalk

The story of the birth of Irish radio during the 1916 Rising will be re-enacted on air simultaneously by 37 radio stations nationwide today at 5.30pm, 100 years to the original date and the exact time of the declaration of the Irish Republic, Ireland’s first broadcast to the nation and the world. In a joint initiative between RTE Radio and the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI), a 80-second morse code themed radio experience called ‘The Sound of Sixteen’ imagines the battling sounds and dangerous atmosphere of the times.

Devised by ad agency Boys and Girls, it also reprises the morse code message written by James Connolly and transmitted by Marconi operator David Burke. That first Easter Tuesday message read: “Irish Republic declared in Dublin today. Irish troops have captured city and are in full possession. Enemy cannot move in city. The whole country rising.”

The broadcast took place 190 metres from the GPO at what was then The Wireless School of Telegraphy at 10-11 Sackville Street – now O’Connell Street. Niamh O’Shea, RTE Radio, says the first broadcast was the brainchild of rebel Joseph Mary Plunkett, a wireless expert who recognised the power of radio. Lisa Ní Choisdealbha, IBI, says the first broadcast was apparently heard by boats in the Atlantic, stations in Germany and by Japanese fishermen.

Pictured at a photocall are Eoin Conlon, Boys and Girls with Jenny Greene, 2FM, Joe Duffy, RTE Radio 1, Dee Woods, Radio Nova and Bobby Kerr, Newstalk.

The full story of the the first broadcast is told at










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