The SoundChannel (not sure where the extra "L" on the logo came from) was launched in December 1986, with an advertised frequency of 98.7FM, although if memory serves me correctly, the station initially broadcast around the 103.8FM and 102FM mark on the band. Boasting a lineup of many familiar faces (or rather voices) from the Limerick area, some of whom are still going strong today, the station promised Limerick an initial step into "the American model" of radio.
Launching the station, which was run from 78 O'Connell St by a company called "Omnia Communications", the late Jim Kemmy (himself a former presenter with Big L) called on the Government to provide Limerick with legal local radio, saying that "Limerick is big enough to support 2 local radio services, 1 owned and run by the local community and another which would be a 'private station' with certain safeguards and guidelines laid down by an independent broadcasting authority". While that sentiment still applies (or, at least, should still be applied) , one curious aspect of Mr Kemmy's speech was in his conclusion: "An independent service could work hand-in-hand with national radio and broadcast the best of what's available from RTE."
The initial schedule was listed in "Vol 1, No 1" of "The SoundChannel News"
in December 1986. The 4-7 Drivetime show was presented by the late Benny Keane (RIP), while Leo Kirby, who presented the Evening Show from 9-12, can currently be heard every Thursday evening on Regional Hospital Radio on 107.2FM
Newspaper courtesy of, and with thanks to, Ian B.