As we began to explain yesterday for the very first time anywhere, the beginning of Radio Caroline was as an offshoot from Radio Atlanta, but it still remained one project.
But it did not begin with a fable that Ronan O'Rahilly's father was a wealthy man who was visited as a potential investor by Australian Allan James Crawford. Yet that is the way in which the subject of Greenore, Eire, is always introduced and referred to in the host of newspaper and magazine articles; books; audio accounts on radio, and video explanations on television. They begin with a statement and then move on to another point very quickly in an attempt to deceive their readers, listeners and viewers on this subject.
Those recitals by so-called 'experts' are all bogus; false; rubbish; nonsense, and contradictions of documented fact! Usually they overcome their 'problem' with the truth by skipping right over it. Our favorite example of this process Is the basis for a skit in early Steve Martin comedy routines. You should listen to it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T28ouCAUl4w
Let me give you some classic examples of what I call the 'Steve Martin Process', as it applies here:
Before Radio Caroline there was little in the way of pop music being broadcast in the UK: False. Before Radio Caroline even emitted a test signal the Beatles were already big in the UK and beginning to take the USA by storm. How was that possible? The Beatles were not alone in this tidal wave of sound. How could that possibly be true? But it is.
Georgie Fame wanted to make a record, but he was unable to do so, His manager Ronan O'Rahilly made a demo and tried to get the BBC to play it, and then Radio Luxembourg. No go. "Right!" exclaimed Ronan, "I have to start my own radio station". But he didn't and he wasn't Georgie Fame's manager and EMI had alreadly released an LP by Georgie Fame, months before Radio Caroline came on the air.
Ronan O'Rahilly had a wealthy father who owned the only private port in Ireland, so Ronan did a deal with Allan Crawford and both his radio ship, and Ronan's radio ship were outfitted there. Well, Ronan's dad was not wealthy and he did not own a private port in Ireland and Radio Caroline had been partially outfitted in Rotterdam by Wijsmuller.
Ronan flew to Texas to buy some transmitters and on his way he saw a picture of five years old Caroline Kennedy crawling under her Dad's desk, and he was the President of the USA, and she did this in front of diplomats which caused serious discussion to cease. "Right!" said Ronan. "I will name my station after her, it will be called 'Radio Caroline'." But none of that is true and the myth about Caroline Kennedy did not begin until the Spring of 1965.
However, as these examples show, you first make a definitively bold statement and then, before anyone has a chance to question its authenticity, you move on to the next point which you expand upon in great detail. Now no one remembers what your first point was, but the next time you make that same first point, it will be accepted as an existing and unquestioned statement of truth.
That's how this game has been played - until now.
Paul Rusling was just the latest to try it out after stealing his foundational work, and then he twisted it to fit the old myths. But his time is now up!
Here comes the person who peers behind the curtains of deception!
All of these various previously published explanations about the start of Radio Caroline all mention a hodge-podge of seemingly unconnected attempts to start offshore radio stations. Then they end-up with an old fuddy-duddy like Allan Crawford who is then out-smarted by a young and vibrant Ronan O'Rahilly.
Ronan may not have got the 'Steve Martin' approach from Steve Martin, but Ronan O'Rahilly was so full of crap it was portrayed as cow pancakes, it made sensible people following in his footsteps be very careful where they trod. Most of his followers plodded on through his fields of dung and consequently their works stink of rotting rubbish.
This is where all of that gets flushed down the toilet.
So whereas Steve Martin intended to make his audience laugh, the O'Rahilly hacks tend to pick your pockets by getting you to pay for their rubbish, and then they laugh at you for being such a fool.
Hey, it worked up until now.
It worked for Paul Rusling and he even had the audacity to call his nonsense a 'bible', which it is: a bible of nonsense.
We have already established that Ronan's father was cash-strapped and was looking for his own investors. That alone makes nonsense of the idea that Ronan would suggest to Allan Crawford that he should hit his father up for money in order to finance Radio Atlanta. But that is what all of the nonsense authors tell you that he did.
We are showing you why that didn't happen, and why Crawford would not have been stupid enough to attempt it.
It becomes apparent that the use of Greenore, Eire to outfit the mv Fredericia and mv Mi Amigo was a last minute affair. Remember that. It is a key point.
It looks as if the original location was to have been closer to Harry Spencer's boat yard on the Isle of Wight. But then information came into Pye that a raid by the GPO would take place if they remained within the UK. That is what happened to Pye with their operation at Sheerness involving GBOK, and aside from the con man Arnold Swanson, that same team was headed by Alfred Nicholas Thomas, and he was now involved with Radio Atlanta and its spin-off Radio Caroline.
It also becomes apparent that Gordon McLendon blocked use of the mv Mi Amigo until a guinea pig was used to test further application or non-application of the 'Hovering Acts'.
Ronan O'Rahilly had been sent to Houston, Texas by Crawford in June 1963, and that is where he was introduced to Captain De Jong Lanau of Wijsmuller, and that is how Wijsmuller ended up with both the Fredericia and Mi Amigo in their care.
The Mi Amigo was ready to go - except for a new mast and antenna.
The Fredericia was just a retired ferry boat, and so everything had to be added. At Rottedam the imported transmitters were loaded and installed, but not the generating power. So when the Fredericia ended-up at Greenore, workers had to be found to install everything necessary to turn it into a radio ship.
Supervising the work was Harry Spencer, and Harry hired Dundalk Engineering Works to carry out the necessary jobs. The only problem was that because it was a secret project, everyone had to be conned into believing that this was really the reopening of the Port at Greenore with both a passenger ferry service aboard the Fredericia, and a cargo service aboard the Mi Amigo.
But of course, it was not.
So when Dundalk Engineering Works discovered the truth, they pulled the plug.
Ronan's dad was also furious.
He hated the English. He was furious, and he called for Harry Spencer, who was English, to come from Greenore to his home near Dublin, and explain his actions. So Harry went with Ronan to Dublin to see his father. After all, it was Ronan who had been paid off to con his father for use of the Greenore property which was owned by a company controlled by his dad.
Obviously Ronan managed to get his dad to let Harry continue to use the property at Greenore, and Harry managed to get a Roman Catholic priest to help him persuade Dundalk Engineering Works to let their employees return to work.
After the Fredericia departed, that's when Grenada TV people showed up to make an edition of 'World in Action', and it was none to flattering about Greenore, and that also upset everyone. Fortunately by the time it was shown on television, everyone had left Greenore.
But all of this unmasking resulted in the Mi Amigo getting booted out of Greenore rather quickly, before Harry had finished work on the mast, and that almost caused it to collapse. They were lucky to escape another disaster when the ship had to put in for emergency repairs at Falmouth, England. That was complicated, but because it was a foreign ship and it was not broadcasting, and because it had an emergency need for a port of call, the GPO was told to leave it alone.
So what about Ove and his account of all this?
Well Ove lied and puffed himself up by inventing an account of his involvement that was then disputed by George Saunders, and which then backfired on Ove, all because of the problems created at Greenore by Dundalk Engineering Works employees. They came back begrudgingly and sabotaged the job, which Ove claimed responsibility for.
George Saunders who was provisionally hired by Gilman and then approved by Thomas at Greenore, got the job looking after the transmission side on board the Mi Amigo. Then the problems began to show up on the Fredericia, and he was told by Gilman to go and fix the problem.
Now that would have been strange if Atlanta and Caroline were two different projects, but they were same project at two locations. Not only that, but John Howard Gilman was now running the technical side of everything at 6 Chesterfield Gardens, and he was reporting to Allan James Crawford. Gilman's secretary was Dorothy (Kitty) Black!
Oh, one other thing. Gilman was also added to the board of directors controlling Hengown Ltd which supplied all of the djs. The Atlanta and Caroline djs all been trained at 47 Dean Street, which of course is where Allan James Crawford had his office and studio.
You see, the true story makes sense, but the anorak version is both ridiculous and stupid!
Ove injected himself into a fable, because the events he described did not happen.
The events George Saunders described did happen.
How do we know?
Well, Ove talked to anoraks in the same way that Johnnie Walker and others made up stories long after the events had taken place, but just as JW was then contradicted by Don Pierson with the facts in evidence; George Saunders had to create bureaucratic paperwork for Gilman and Crawford, and he did that at the time that events were taking place.
Because money was involved.
George had to be paid outside his job description, and he was paid accordingly! George was also ordering a lot of replacement parts, and their invoices had to be paid, as well as the delivery of goods to the dockside on the Isle of Man, and transported (exported) to the mv Caroline, ex-Fredericia.
But there is much more documentary evidence to support all of this, and none to support the fables of Rusling and company!
For his part, Ove Sjöström decided to 'tell all', meaning 'invent all', "during a seminar at an exhibition called 'Radio in Handen' ...." which is where "....he gave a talk on April 14, 2007 in Stockholm, Sweden" Participating with Ove Sjöström was Seve Ungermark, News Editor on Radio Nord; Ronny Forslund; Göran Lindemark and Ingemar Lindqvist. Because this talk was then translated from Swedish into English, some of that translated work has been tweaked without changing the meaning of the original text.
Now Ove was a Ham radio operator who began promoting his CV as if he was in the same league as George Saunders, and that made George very angry, because Ove was not in the same league at all. Without knowing what had happened at Greenore concerning Dundalk Engineering Works, Ove took credit for a disaster which he was not responsible for!
Here is more from Ove at that seminar where he tries to fool the technically unwashed audience into thinking that he knows his stuff. Of course he is ad-libbing years after the event and making up stories (like Johnnie Walker), as he goes along,
He said: "Speaking about 'Radio Nord' .... The transmitters were two Continental Electronics on each side of a combiner. .... we used one transmitter and that was the same on Caroline (ex-Fredericia) because we wanted to have one in stand by and that proved to be quite a good idea because something happened during Radio Nord time at two occasions. The generator to the radio station bolted off and the power tubes where destroyed. They were those ceramic tubes, three of them giving 5 kW each. The fan stopped and we drove the tubes quite hard so all those tubes went kaput. At the first occasion we had no spare tubes, so we swiftly ordered home new ones, in the meantime we had that other transmitter to use. So we worked almost around the clock down there to get all in order. The transmitter side was ready, but on the studio side there was still some work to do. I also had the opportunity to learn the special technique to measure antennas with the reactance and impedance and that whole part. What they did not knew about and what I did not know about and nobody else knew about was that it was crazy to be in a harbor doing such work. To measure on an antenna about 38 meters high in the neighborhood of the harbor cranes. That was a problem that surfaced also later."
Ove continued .... "Now I realize that the time flies and I have to say something about Caroline. One day I got a phone call, I lived with my parents in Sollentuna at that time and my mother told me that someone had called and asked for me during the day. She did not understand English but they understood the situation so they called again half an hour after I came home from work. That was Ronan O'Rahilly, he presented himself from London and he had a project on the way to start a radio boat and he had got information from the Americans that I had knowledge about radio boats. So he was asking me if I could come over to Ireland to help them to equip their ship."
This is where Ove starts to also invent mythology for Ronan O'Rahilly to build upon. Johnnie Walker used exactly the same approach thinking that no one would contradict him, but Don Pierson heard him, and he dismissed what he said as rubbish. Ditto applies to Ove and Ronan.
So Ove rattled on: "We arranged so I travelled over to stay there for a couple of months. I said 'it is OK if you send me a ticket' and he called again after a quarter of an hour and told me that my ticket was waiting at Arlanda International Airport. So then I travelled over to Dublin and that was another of those funny situations. I travelled with SAS down to Copenhagen and then I went with Airlingus from Copenhagen to Dublin and on that flight I was the one and only passenger so that fight was not very profitable. When I arrived at Dublin they had rented a car for me and in addition I had the benefit to give a lift to some blokes that came from the London office. That rented car was later used by everybody so it was probably only to drive it to the scrap yard afterwards!"
Who is "they" and what "blokes that came from the London office"? Ove is now getting into his stride by spitting out misinformation. He makes stuff up as he goes along.
"Anyway, when I came up to Greenore owned by Ronan’s father, it is a little yard, an Englishman was already there and he had fitted the transmitters and started to build the studio and I saw that this job was huge."
Did Ove ever go to Greenore?
Ronan's father did not own "a little yard" at Greenore. Then there is this "Englishman" who "was already there and he had fitted the transmiters and started to build the studio ...."
The property at Greenore was owned by Weatherwell Ltd., which is not the same as saying that "Ronan's father" owned this "little yard" at Greenore. Then we come to the workers at Greenore. They were not English, they were Irish from Dundalk Engineering Works. Harry Spencer who commissioned that company was English, but he was not installing transmitters nor was he building a studio.
But Ove continued:
"So I called one of my colleges from Radio Nord Jan Gunnarsson and told him”you must come over ‘Janne’ and help me to get this operation started within reasonable time”. So he came over and we managed to start the whole thing. We had already a certain routine on it so all went well. We had learned our lesson, like if we wanted to tune the aerial we should not stay in harbor doing that."
Now there was Harry Spencer who was in charge of all work. He was also building the two masts and hanging the two antennas, and they were both designed by John Howard Gilman. He was expert in such matters, which Ove was not. More than that, Gilman was there with Thomas and so was George Saunders! All three of them were English, and all three of them knew more than Ove.
However, Ove had more to add about all this:
"But in England everything was routine as ‘Janne’ and I knew what to keep an eye on and what to do. We did a whole lot in Greenore that we knew we did not want to do at sea. The first thing we had to tackle was the fact that they had welded the Mercedes power generators, they had two generators for the power supply of the radio station and they had welded them into the hull of the boat to have them properly assembled. That was not a good idea because that made the whole ship vibrating coursing a lot of noise. So I told them that I refused to go to sea if this is not done correctly. So they came back with some rubber attachments, lifted the generators so that they could attach those rubber feet. So in that way the noise got reasonable. Anyway, the noise was still there when I sat in the control room, which was not that well sound proofed as the studio was in the beginning."
Now this is where Ove's fantasy collides with Harry Spencer's reality check.
Here is Ove describing the same incident that Harry Spencer described, only Ove is talking about it after the work of installation had already been performed. Then along comes Ove as the "expert" to tell everyone about their mistakes.
Ove is ridiculous; like Johnnie Walker!
But there is even more from Ove:
"Later when we moored outside London, Ronan O'Rahilly made a phone call to the ship asking me if I was staying for some days. He did not know if I was supposed to go home or something. 'Yes, I will stay fore a while', I told him."
Okay, now when was this supposed to have happened?
Ove's account clashes with a GPO account about a fly-by-night company that just got a phone installed under the name of Rosswood Ltd. In fact, the GPO history of this phone and its usage is well documented.
If the phone call that Ove describes took place, then it had to have been from the same phone documented by the GPO. If that is so. then it clears up a mystery as to who and what 'Rosswood Ltd' was. Clearly it was a phone installed by Ian Cowper Ross using his parents home as a credit reference. They lived at Reynards Wood on Woolmer Hill in Haslemere, Surrey in a house with land attached, and which Ian's father named Charles Edward Ross, had leased.
To hammer in his square peg into a round hole, Rusling claimed that everyone called Ian's Dad 'Jimmy', which is yet another example of rubbish being sold as reality. Since Ronan was broke and always used other people to get money, and he always used their assets to serve his own needs, the phone call described by Ove, would confirm what the GPO had reported.
Ove, still talking about Ronan O'Rahilly, then added:
"So he came out and we went into the cabin and closed the door. He then told me that there is another boat on the way called Radio Atlanta and that was the old Bon Jour they had bought from the Yanks. He wondered if I could do something to delay them because they had have a discussion and it was no good to get a competitor and they had reasoned that the first one that came on air was going to get the market. So he was asking me if I could help with that matter and I told him “of course I will do it."
Now this is where Ove's lies begin to confront each other head-on.
If Ove had been at Greenore at all, then he would have known about the mv Mi Amigo, since it was the last ship out, and it looks as if that ship was ejected from the port, rather than departing as planned.
Ove gives the time frame for his supposed visit to Greenore, as being at the time that Dundalk Engineering Works had their employees out there. This seems to imply that he was not there at all!
We asked George Saunders about the next bit from Ove"
"So when the boat came we went over in one of our lifeboats and told them that we where two technicians that was once working on that boat and we where interested to come onboard to look how it looked like now. We knew that they had done certain changes."
Now the only "technicians" being referred to who would have been on board the mv Mi Amigo at that time, were either the American Milan Leggett, who sailed over from Galveston with the ship on behalf of Gordon McLendon in order to keep an eye on his interests, and Alfred Nicholas Thomas, who Allan James Crawford refers to in a letter in context of the time that 'Bob Scot' and 'Johnny Jackson' were on board. Then came George Saunders, and he does not remember Ove showing up in the way Ove described:
"When we came onboard we realized that there were not done that many changes. ‘Janne’ and I had decided what to do, but ‘Janne’ was not too keen on the idea. So ‘Janne‘ took the people aside so I went down in the transmitter room and did a couple of things so they were delayed I think for ten days until they received spare parts from the USA. That was enough so they got behind and Caroline managed to establish them self and took all of the market. Luckily such matters are now ‘barred under the statute of limitations’. But I certainly do not want to meet the bloke that owned that station. I know that they had some suspicions as they realized the day after when they started the transmitter and then they got the information that two Swedes had been onboard and that we had been working on the ship before. But I made it in a way so that there was no evidence, I knew how to do it, it was not too complicated. That was not a pretty thing to do but I was young and wanted to help my company."
Ove just made up stuff to be swallowed like a '7-Eleven' 'Big Gulp'.
"Then they merged and the ship I was working on was an old Danish ferry boat that had been sailing between the Danish isles. That was a large ship about tree times as large as old Bon Jour, so they figured out that this ship was more suitable to be used outside Isle of Man then the old Bon Jour was. So Bon Jour was left outside London and we sailed around the coast and anchored out of Ramsey in Ramsey Bay. There we where well sheltered and that was the location we used."
Then came a round table question and answer session:
"Seve: But what happened later, how long did you stay with Radio Caroline?
Ove: With Radio Caroline I stayed almost for two years."
Now how Ove manages to make himself invisible for those two years is another matter. There is no doubt that he was on the Fredericia off the Isle of Man, because that is when and where George Saunders sacked him. Yet Ove was stupid enough to take 'credit' for the sabotage job undertaken by employees of Dundalk Engineering Works, and they seem to have done that when Ove was not there, if he was ever there at all!
Ove continues: "The idea was to come over and help them get started. I shifted duty as chief engineer with ‘Janne’ Gunnarsson, but then ‘Janne’ went home, he basically had the mentality of an Englishman with his dry humor and could directly be supposed as an Englishman. But for some reason he did not enjoy it, I really do not understand why."
"So I had to find a new bloke to replace him. Then Ronan O'Rahilly felt the pressure, so every time I had a shore leave I got to go around to the office to have a chat with Ronan and so on. So he offered me a double salary if I stayed, because he was worried that I also wanted to leave."
Now listen to the vanity of Ove:
"No one had the same insights, because those that assembled the equipment on Caroline were Carrington. He had a company and worked earlier on the BBC and had helped BBC to get started with the first live broadcasts building studios and so on. A very capable bloke, but he had not any skills about measuring the antennas, not those parts and could not retune the transmitters to change frequency and all that."
If Ove actually knew anything about Arthur Carrington, then he would know that what he claimed about him was more rubbish. Carrington was a former employee of Marconi who mainly sold television cameras to the trade! But Ove got away with his fiction, and that fueled his ego to add even more:
"So Ronan felt the pressure and offered me a good salary; a very good salary; and that was paid to a bank account in Lichtenstein (LOL). Because the checks could in the beginning come from Ireland; they could come from Luxembourg; they could come from Lichtenstein and from all possible kind of places (LOL). So he had evidently associates everywhere. But it worked very well with Ronan. He was a strait fellow, (sic), if there was something he did not like he said so, like 'That we must grab and change'."
If Ove knew anything at all about Ronan O'Rahilly, he knew that he was anything but a "straight fellow" - Ronan was a crook, a con man who lied his way through life. That we can prove with no difficulty at all. So was Ove cut from the same cloth?
Now we get to Ove referring to his run-in with George Saunders:
"I will never forget the time I was called down to London about half a year before I quit. You see, my deputy got ill and they sent up the fellow that was chief engineer on Caroline South to replace him. And when he came up there, he discovered that that ship was not managed technically as a radio ship should be done. He got really concerned. So when he returned, he reported how cruelly mismanaged the north-ship was. 'In that way, it may just not be allowed to be done!' Because as an Englishman; everything must go by the rulebook."
Ove then claims that George Saunders had been working for the BBC, before he went to work for Gilman and Thomas. But George left school and went to work for Marconi. It was his first job. But after awhile George got bored and he was then hired by John Howard Gilman. Therefore what Ove is claiming is total nonsense:
"Further more, earlier he [George Saunders] was working on the BBC. So, the book of rules was not to be forgotten! Every evening on the south ship he had introduced a rule. As you know there was a key to the power supply of the transmitter that was being turned to start it. He took out that key and placed it under his bed pillow and he got up in the morning to start the transmitter. But I had arranged so that the DJ on duty did that. I think we had something like seven different meters on the transmitter and I did a little mark with a pen on them."
"So, if the meter was on that mark everything was OK. If some meter was not on the mark, the DJ woke up the technician on duty. I felt that it was unnecessary to wake up a technician just to turn on a switch that everyone could easily do. Further more there was a delay, so if you turned on High Power to early before the green lamp lit, nothing unexpected happened because of the delay starting things correctly anyway."
"So I saw no danger with that. But of course I came from Sweden and I experienced that in those days there was a very large difference between Swedish and English technical culture. 'In England they followed the Book of Rules!' Maybe that was how it was done on Sveriges Radio too; I do not know (LOL). I was a like that, the main thing was that it worked and then if it is not according to the rulebook; so what?"
Ove continued with his make-believe diatribe:
"Then I was called down to London where he had reported to the board. He had sent a report to the board and also given one to Ronan. So I was called down to London and came into the boardroom and there sat those seven grim looking gentlemen and looked at me. I saw that sword hanging in the air. I understood that there was something serious coming and I had no idea what it was about."
"They told me to sit down and I got something to drink. They told me that they had heard from,,,, well I do not remember his name now. They had got a report about the disgraceful state on the north ship. How could that go on in such a way that I allowed a disc jokey to turn on the transmitter?"
"I told them exactly how that was and then they just started to burst out with laughter and then it was a thing of the past. So they took that in the correct way and that I felt was amazing. I also explained that many of the DJs on that ship were also interested in the technology and we cooperated and solved different problems."
Now according to George Saunders, Tom Lodge came to him and complained about the dangerous condition of an expensive conduit running through the studio, because it was glowing red and clearly something was dangerously wrong. Therefore, since Tom Lodge had a senior position among the djs on the Fredericia, it is difficult to see how Ove could possibly justify his remarks about the djs being "interested in the technology". They were not "cooperating and solving different problems", they were scared stiff that their lives were being put in danger just by going into the radio studio, and this was supposedly before Caroline North changed from tapes to all 'live' programming:
"So it took not a long time before, maybe after the first fourteen days, before we abandoned this studio and control room concept and they operated everything themselves. We did some modifications to make it work smoother. Well, apart from that we had to soundproof the control room, because we had only soundproofed the studio at first."
In conclusion, Ove then had some more remarks about Radio Nord, and what he added were anecdotal comments that relate to the controversial book by Bill Weaver:
".... this project did not give the Americans the money that they expected. I want to claim that the large advertisers never came; just smaller advertisers and you know how much barter there was. Sometimes the office at Kammakargatan was full of Westinghouse refrigerators that were standing in the corridors. That must have been very frustrating to have a damn good business idea and not be able to make it work."
According to Bill Weaver in his book 'Triple Double Cross' [see Blog entry 7/21/2020], Jack Kotschack was a crook and possibly a Soviet 'asset'. Bill Weaver was sent by McLendon to sack him, and that was during the same time period that Weaver closed down Radio Nord. Weaver also claimed that it was part of a CIA operation.
Tomorrow, more comments from George Saunders.
[Note: This version of an interview with Ove Sjöström can be found in its entirety at this location: http://www.bobleroi.co.uk/ScrapBook/CarolineRollCall/Ove%20Sj%F6st%F6m%20.pdf
When other sources are used for quotations by Ove Sjöström, they will also be cited.]
The reason for citing Ove Sjöström at this time, is due to the controversy that later erupted over the poor maintenance of the new transmitters on board the mv Caroline when it was anchored off the Isle of Man. While details of the equipping and outfitting of the mv Mi Amigo in all of its incarnations up to the time that it eventually dropped anchor in 1964 off Brightlingsea, Essex again (having originally anchored there in 1962 under the name Magda Maria; little if anything has been written and published about the equipping and outfitting of the mv Caroline, ex-Fredericia. As we have previously shown in detail, most of the earlier information was deliberately misleading and published in booklet form by a public relations company.
That company cited a person identified as Arthur Carrington, as the person responsible for all of the work on the mv Caroline to get it ready for broadcasting. But as we have already shown in detail, Arthur Carrington did not have the background for that kind of work. He was a specialist in television cameras, having previously worked for Marconi, and then ITA program contractors. Yet, as you will read, Ove Sjöström also cites the work of Arthur Carrington.
However, when we unravel this story thread back to its point of origin, the key person who emerges is Harry Spencer. On a date after December 30, 1963, which is when the mv Fredericia was towed from Denmark to Rotterdam by Wijsmuller; and possibly before January 8, 1964 when DFDS, its previous owner, sold the vessel as a ferry to the Panamanian company Astrenic S.A., and certainly before January 30, 1964, Harry Spencer was asked to attend a meeting on an unspecified date at the office and studio of Allan James Crawford, which was located at 47 Dean Street in London. [See our Timeline page via link above.]
It was at 47 Dean Street that Harry Spencer met Alfred Nicholas Thomas who was an expert in transmitter engineering. Thomas had spent a lifetime of work for the British Broadcasting Corporation on related projects, before his 1959 official retirement. He then went to work for the Pye Group of companies and became variously involved with VRON (Radio Veronica), and its English language station CNBC, and then GBOK which had emerged from a smaller project known as 'Voice of Slough'.
Alfred Nicholas Thomas was a colleague of John Howard Gilman. He was another long-time BBC expert with a knowledge of antennas. Gilman had also retired and begun work with Thomas on the GBOK project at Sheerness. That was a project involving Farrington; a company owned by the Pye Group.
The career paths of Thomas and Gilman involving Pye then brought them to the attention of Allan James Crawford and his first offshore radio station venture. It was to have been based upon the former Trinity House Vessel (THV) Satellite, and Crawford had a mortgage on the ship which was docked at the Isle of Wight, not far from where Harry Spencer had his own dockyard.
The other person that Harry Spencer met at 47 Dean Street was Captain De Jong Lanau. He was Superintendent of Wijsmuller Towing, and that company had both the mv Fredericia (Caroline), and mv Mi Amigo under contract. Accompanying De Jong at that meeting was Ronan O'Rahilly. Allan James Crawford said he first met Ronan O'Rahilly at the beginning of 1963, and in June 1963, Crawford sent him on a mission to see Bill Weaver in Houston, Texas.
The point of this recital is that De Jong of Wijsmuller was in charge of everything, and he then hired Harry Spencer - after Harry Spencer passed a bidding presentation for two jobs (Fredericia plus Mi Amigo), at Rotterdam. There are indications that Harry Spencer was accompanied by Alfred Nicholas Thomas when he went to El Ferrol, Spain to meet the arrival of the mv Mi Amigo. So that would give us a pecking order of De Jong; Spencer and Thomas, with each person being responsible for an area of expertise in one project involving two ships.
We know that John Howard Gilman brought in George Saunders, but Saunders then had to pass a final interview by Thomas at Greenore at which Gilman was also present.
We also know the Spencer erected the masts on the Fredericia; Mi Amigo; Comet (Radio Scotland) and Oceaan VII (Radio 270), and that all of them used antennas designed by John Howard Gilman. It is also important to note that never again after its initial use to fit the masts on Fredericia and Mi Amigo, would Greenore be used by another radio ship.
Nowhere in this line-up does the name of Arthur Carrington appear, and nor is there a need for anyone with specialist knowledge in television cameras. But there was another project shaping up next door to the home of Charles Orr Stanley of Pye, which not only was related to television and radio broadcasting, but had backstory connections to both Houston, Texas and London, England, although it was not a project relating to Radio Caroline.
This brings us back to Harry Spencer, because not only was he contracted to erect the masts and rig the antennas, but he was also responsible for all of the mechanical work. That is, aside from nautical jobs that had to be undertaken on both the mv Fredericia, and mv Mi Amigo. Since most of the non-nautical work being undertaken was on board the mv Fredericia (because the mv Mi Amigo was just lacking a new mast and antenna), then it is interesting to note who Harry Spencer contracted to do the physical non-nautical construction work.
The answer is Dundalk Engineering Works, and that is where part of the 'hidden' side of this story comes to light, and it also demands a more in-depth look at the entire history of ownership concerning all former property acthat belonged to the Dundalk-Newry-Greenore Railway at Greenore, Eire. It also requires a study of the personal and business relationship of Aodogán O'Rahilly to that property.
The reason is very clear: Harry Spencer was employing personnel from Dundalk Engineering Works. He was not employing personnel who were working on a personal basis for Aodogán O'Rahilly. How much Aodogán O'Rahilly actually knew about the project that Harry Spencer was working on is another matter, because Aodogán O'Rahilly did not live in Greenore. Both his company and his home were some distance away and close to Dublin.
In fact, there is evidence that points to the fact that Aodogán O'Rahilly had no real knowledge about what Harry Spencer was doing at Greenore, and his former ignorance may point to the reason why Harry Spencer went to see Aodogán O'Rahilly. If the reason behind Dundalk Engineering Works issuing their order for work stoppage on the mv Caroline had reached the ears of Aodogán O'Rahilly, he may well have demanded to Harry Spencer came to see him, with his son Ronan.
Ronan knew what was going on because he had been present at that big meeting at 47 Dean Street. But while Ronan O'Rahilly was a gad-fly whose main concern was his own personal well being, his father was of the old school and hated the English. At least those English people who were part of its Establishment propping up the British Crown which had subjugated Ireland for centuries. According to Harry Spencer, when he did get to meet Aodogán O'Rahilly, it was to meet a man who turned his back on him and asked his son to interpret Harry's reaction.
Now if Aodogán O'Rahilly hated the English that much, then clearly Harry's visit was no social call. It was instead, more likely to have been a demand by Aodogán O'Rahilly to know what was going on at his company property at Greenore. Clearly, Harry Spencer and Aodogán O'Rahilly were not on the same team working on one project together.
There are some other pointers to consider. Stories have come back about the mv Mi Amigo being moved away from the quay in dangerous conditions in order to allow another vessel to come and take its place. There is the 'incident' wherein the mv Mi Amigo appears to have left Greenore without work on the mast being properly completed, and this resulted in the ship having to put into port at Falmouth for emergency repairs to take place.
So how did this project end up at Greenore? The answer seems to point to Ronan O'Rahilly meeting Allan James Crawford at the beginning of 1963, and then Ronan O'Rahilly being sent by Allan James Crawford to Houston, Texas in June 1963. The purpose of that visit was to see Bill Weaver and persuade him and his boss Gordon McLendon, that their fears relating to the reapplication of the 'Hovering Acts' were null and void. According to the legal Opinion that Ronan took with him, a QC had determined that the British would not try to seize the ship if it began broadcasting to the UK.
However, not only had Weaver been in London in 1962, but his boss Gordon McLendon had been working on a television and radio project in Eire prior to 1960, and both of them were well aware of the 'Hovering Acts'. McLendon; Charles Michelson and Charles Orr Stanley of Pye had all been engaged in a bidding war trying to get approval for a radio station as part of a quid pro quo to build the Irish television service. So McLendon would sell, but not lease the Mi Amigo. McLendon wanted the buyer to take all responsibility for financial loss as the new owner, if the British government seized the radio ship.
Ronan O'Rahilly had failed in his mission for Allan James Crawford.
However, while he was in Houston, Ronan O'Rahilly met Captain De Jong Lanau, because Wijsmuller had extensive contacts with companies involved with the embyonic Texas offshore oil industry. The bottom line for Crawford was that advice brought back from Texas was that he would have to use another ship to prove that the coast was clear for the Mi Amigo to operate. Then a lease might be possible.
By bringing in Thomas and Gilman from GBOK, Crawford was also bringing Charles Orr Stanley of the Pye Group, who was their employer. This new proposal then resulted in the formulation of a new game plan which in turn expanded the group to include Jocelyn Stevens and a host of other people. All of them centered around Allan James Crawford who was already using Ronan O'Rahilly and it was the expanded group which then brought in Harry Spencer. He was already known to Crawford because of the ill-fated THV Satellite project.
Now this is where the story gets murky because so many people distorted the truth to the point of creating lies. One item that does surface is the admission by Crawford that he had already met Aodogán O'Rahilly at his home next door to Dublin, Eire. But why?
To Aodogán O'Rahilly, the Australian Allan James Crawford was not a hated Englishman, and while we know from Crawford that he did discuss business with O'Rahilly, it was not the kind of business that Crawford described. Crawford says that he was taken to Eire by Ronan, in order to meet his father as a potential investor in Crawford's radio station project. But Aodogán O'Rahilly was broke and looking for an investor in his own business! He was not a potential investor.
There is however, a more devious scenario.
Aodogán O'Rahilly was managing director of a building materials company called Weatherwell Ltd. This company had bought two adjacent properties as a result of two auctions. One was the abandoned Greenore Railway Hotel, and the other one was the abandoned Greenore railway station. Both properties adjoined each other and a quay from where a sea-base freight service had operated. But when that shipping service came to a halt at the end of 1951, the railway line also closed. The last time a passenger ferry service had operated from Greenore was back in 1940. When port activity ceased, Irish Customs withdrew its officers. The hotel tried to limp on after 1951 by catering to the adjoining golf club clientele, but in the end it also closed down.
Therefore if Allan James Crawford dangled a newly purchased former Danish ferry boat in front of Aodogán O'Rahilly as a means of restarting both passenger and freight services from Greenore, then it would not be too difficult to see him imagine that Eire Customs might restaff its empty hut which remained on the Greenore properties. Pye had several manufacturing companies in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and it made the proposition worthy of consideration.
There was just one problem: no one was telling the real truth about anything!
First of all the only reason for talking to Aodogán O'Rahilly seems to have arisen out of necessity, because from what Harry Spencer has written, the mv Fredericia was going to be fitted with a mast near to his yard on the Isle of Wight. But Pye must have been tipped-off at the last minute that the possibility existed of another raid by the GPO. previously experienced such a raid by the GPO on GBOK which was being constructed on board a hulk that was tied up alongside their Faraday factory at Sheerness, Kent.
While the mv Mi Amigo only needed a new mast and antenna, the mv Fredericia required the installation of a studio, transmitters, and generators. This is where Dundalk Engineering Works enter the picture. Clearly that company did not know what the real purpose was behind the mv Fredericia. Harry Spencer wrote: "I needed extra staff for this work, about half a dozen in all including engineers, welders, burners, etc., which we got from Dundalk Engineering Works." That's a lot of extra "staff" for just one job. But that was not the only job.
This is where Ove Sjöström reenters our storyline. He said (quoting again from the same source listed above):
".... when I came up to Greenore owned by Ronan’s father, it is a little yard, an Englishman was already there and he had fitted the transmitters and started to build the studio and I saw that this job was huge."
From this description it might be wrongly assumed that he is referring to Alfred Nicholas Thomas, or even John Howard Gilman. But Ove Sjöström corrects this false conclusion when he stated that:
".... those that assembled the equipment on Caroline were Carrington. He had a company and worked earlier on the BBC and had helped BBC to get started with the first live broadcasts building studios and so on. A very capable bloke, but he had not any skills about measuring the antennas, not those parts and could not retune the transmitters to change frequency and all that."
But that is not just untrue, it is also nonsense. The 'Carrington' that Ove Sjöström is referring to is Arthur Carrington, whose name was first introduced by David Block of Leslie Perrin and Associates. That public relations firm produced the original booklet about Radio Caroline in which the mythology about Arthur Carrington was first introduced as fact.. [See our Blog entry for 7/5/2020 where this is explained in great detail.]
Carrington was ex-Marconi. He had specialized in heading sales teams promoting Marconi television cameras. He did not work for the BBC. In fact, he left Marconi to work on television studios shared by two ITA program franchisees.
Because we know who made those transmitters and the conditions under which they arrived for installation on the mv Fredericia, we can show that they were installed at Rotterdam, before the ship got to Greenore. From the time that the mv Fredericia left Denmark and was taken by Wijsmuller to Rotterdam, it remained there for 44 days before leaving port.
What was installed at Greenore was the generator to powers them, and for that work Dundalk Engineering Works were hired. When their employees discovered what the ship was actually going to do, they refused to work on it, and it took were some sort of religious blackmail by a Roman Catholic priest to make them return to work.
However, Ove Sjöström claimed that Arthur Carrington had already installed the transmitters on the ship by the time it reached Greenore: ".... he had fitted the transmitters and started to build the studio ...." But George Saunders noted that whoever had ordered and then installed the studio equipment seemed to have done so according to U.S. Federal Communication Commission mandates. Not only had someone bought duplicates of equipment installed on the mv Mi Amigo, but ordered and has they installed American equipment that would only be necessary if the station was trying to comply with American rules and regulations. But of course, the mv Fredericia was not attempting to provide a legally licensed service to the USA, but an unlicensed service to the UK.
Ove Sjöström made many claims about the involvement of Ronan O'Rahilly and his own terms of employment, but none of that information was true and it was first claimed years after the events concerned. But by inserting himself into the storyline, Ove Sjöström then made himself vulnerable to real events that did follow, and he got blamed for them. This is where George Saunders reenters the story, and that will be explained tomorrow.
It has taken some time to edit for publication (without changing his content), the rest of the interview with Ove Sjöström, and because his version contradicts known and provable facts in evidence, we will pursue that tomorrow. In the meantime please take a look at the Timeline which reflects a totally different account of Radio Caroline, that is in context of known facts in evidence.
The Timeline has now been updated. Events already covered in the Blog are now being added to the Timeline, in order to make the storyline easier to follow, prior to its publication in book format.
Added: date of the last train from Greenore at the end of 1951; dates of departure of both the mv Mi Amigo and mv Fredericia at the end of 1963, and several dates in early 1964 involving events prior to the first test broadcast by Radio Caroline.
More information will now be added on a regular basis to the Timeline.
Yesterday we discussed Harry Spencer's account about the installation of generators on the mv Fredericia. Harry ran into problems with the employees of Dundalk Engineering Works who downed tools immediately they learned what the mv Fredericia would be doing. They had been told that this ship was to be a new ferry boat to revive the business that once operated out of Greenore, prior to January 1952.
This is what Harry Spencer had to say about this matter. "We had some German generators to fit on the mv Caroline, I had made some suggestions where to site them, I marked out areas of steel bulkheads that would have to be cut, and marked out on the deck where the plant would be sited. I needed extra staff for this work, about half a dozen in all including engineers, welders, burners, etc., which we got from Dundalk Engineering Works. The work continued apace, but when the company discovered that this was to be a radio ship, the workers did not return." Based upon the recall of Harry Spencer, this event took place some time around February 25, 1964.
The other key dates that need to be considered are these: Wijsmuller assisted in the purchase of the Fredericia at Copenhagen, Denmark on December 30, 1963 which is when it was taken to Rotterdam. On a date prior to January 30, 1964 Harry Spencer went to 47 Dean Street to meet Allan James Crawford. On February 5. 1964, the mv Mi Amigo arrived at El Ferrol, Spain and Harry Spencer was there to inspect it. On February 13, 1964, Harry Spencer arrived at Greenore, Ireland and discovered that the mv Fredericia was already there. Based upon the recall of Harry Spencer, the installation of the generators took place some time around February 25, 1964.
When George Saunders arrived at Greenore for his job interview with Alfred Nicholas Thomas, which seems to have been around the date of Friday, March 13, 1964, the mv Mi Amigo was tied up next to the mv Fredericia. On March 27, 1964 , the mv Fredericia renamed Caroline, left Greenore bound for an anchorage off the coast of Essex, England which when and where the radio ship began test broadcasts upon arrival. The Granada TV documentary which was part of the 'World in Action', that was shown on May 12, 1964, but the film crew was at Greenore after the mv Fredericia had left, because it only showed the mv Mi Amigo in port at the time, but still photographs showed that the was not much distance between them, and John Howard Gilman's initial introduction to the ship, after they arrived from Dundalk, recounts them walking past the mv Fredericia on the quay, to reach the mv Mi Amigo.
According to this time scale the work and confusing confrontation regarding the generators installation by Dundalk Engineering Works, had already taken place before George Saunders arrived at Greenore.
Now we come to the third person in this story, and he is a Swede named Ove Sjöström. [See picture top-right.] Ove had previously worked on the mv Mi Amigo under its name of Bon Jour when the ship was the home of Radio Nord. But later, on board the mv Caroline, ex-Fredericia, Ove made a recording for his friends in Sweden, although Ove does not give a date for his audio letter, which is in response to a tape he had received from the person he was talking to in reply. The only clue offered is when the transcribed notes say that he made it "in the Spring of 1964. but he did provide his location: "At the moment we are anchored outside Ramsey on Isle of Man at about 5 kilometers from the beach." This recording was later transcribed into English and put online, and the following quotations are excerpts from that transcript:
"The studio I am sitting in just now is approximately 2x4 meters; a little studio. I am speaking about one meter from the microphone so you hear the background noise from the generators. This noise is not going out over the air that much as I have cut out the frequency band now, so that at 250 cycles it is approximate minus one dB; at 30 cycles it is minus 10.5 dB. From 500 cycles up to 15000 cycles it is within +/- 0.5 dB, so in fact it is more or less a hi-fi sound on this station and it is great to achieve that. The generators are two Mercedes diesels each of 125 hp with a switch panel from which everything is switched automatically. Not yet can we start the generators from up here, but I am preparing for this to be possible." These are the same generators that were installed by Dundalk Engineering Works on site at Greenore.
Ove continues: "The working force on board is myself as chief technician plus three panel operators. .... The antenna makes it possible to go down as far as 1175 kc so we are having great possibility to move on. And if we can go down to 300 meters this also means that we are going to get a larger coverage in our ground wave, which in fact matters most to us." Translated, this means (1175 KiloHertz, or close to 256 meters, with 300 meters representing approximately 1000 KiloHertz.) Initially, Radio Caroline advertised that it was broadcasting on 199 meters, which is 1510 KiloHertz.
The so-called 'merger' seems to be one of confusion for Ove, because he says that: "Around the end of August, the program will probably be changed completely, now when we have merged with Atlanta. Then all recordings will be done in London. At the moment they are building studios, four of them, to make it possible to arrange recordings from there and then they are double them off and send one copy to each ship. So we are going to broadcast the same program at the same time from both of the ships and probably all of the programming to be on tape in the future and nothing directly from the ships as it has been done up to this date."
It was during this time that Chris Moore was supposed to become the 'Caroline Network' Program Director, but for mainly practical reasons that did not happen and both stations mainly used 'live' presentations from the two ships. However, from the very first day on air, Caroline's early programs from the mv Fredericia were broadcasting tapes made at Allan Crawford's studios at 47 Dean Street in London. This is something that Ove has little first hand knowledge about, because he admits this: "Unfortunately I have been very little in London at our head office .... next time I am going to London in middle of August then I shall bring home all the photos from this ship, the studios in London ...."
Tomorrow this thread will continue with Ove's observations and it will be followed by George Saunders' commentary about the poor state of engineering on the mv Caroline.
Harry Spencer, who we have referred to previously, is the person who was called by Allan James Crawford to come up from the Isle of Wight to Crawford's office and studio at 47 Dean Street.
Spencer was a specialist when it came to rigging masts on ships, and in this instance he was to install two masts to support two antennas, both designed by John Howard Gilman for installation on two ships.
Spencer recorded his involvement with Crawford in an Appendix to a book written by Ralph C. Humphries. In the instances where Spencer wrote from first-hand personal knowledge of an event, his recital appears to be accurate and very specific. But where he recited information that he had derived from other people, and where he had no direct knowledge, his account is both vague and contradicted by events authenticated by other means. There is more than one example of these errors in his written work. Therefore, with that caveat in mind, we draw now your attention to his own following accounts, which are based upon his first-hand knowledge:
On Wednesday, February 5, 1964, Harry Spencer was at El Ferrol in Spain, awaiting the arrival of the mv Mi Amigo with Captain de Jong Lanau of Wijsmuller.
On Thursday, February 13, 1964, mv Fredericia departed Rotterdam, Holland, bound for the Isle of Wight, but then changed course for Greenore, Eire. It would appear that work on the two masts was originally going to be performed in the Isle of Wight, within the territorial waters of the United Kingdom. If so, then the switch to Greenore was a last minute decision. Did the word come down that the GPO was about to raid the ships, just as it had raided GBOK at Sheerness?
Remember, paperwork exists to prove that the GPO was discussing the idea of jamming Radio Caroline when it first started up! Even the idea of boarding the ship was considered and even tried out. It should be noted that Crawford's original ship, the THV Satellite, was docked at the Isle of Wight, so the mv Fredericia was redirected to Greenore at the last moment!.
Harry Spencer drove to Holyhead; took his car loaded with equipment on the ferry to Dun Laoghaire, near Dublin, Eire, and then drove on over to Greenore. When he arrived at Greenore, the mv Fredericia was already docked alongside the abandoned railway terminal. Spencer was given a cabin to stay in while he worked on the ship.
While working on the mv Fredericia, he was invited to a meal with the O'Rahilly family, and Harry Spencer wrote:
"Mr O'Rahilly senior was a definite republican, he was a product of the 1916 and 1922, problems and solutions. He would not speak to me, or even look at me, in fact he sat with his back to me. I could hear him ask his son, 'What's the English man saying now', or 'what is he doing?'"
Spencer also wrote that:
".... the mv Mi Amigo had since arrived and the Fredericia, which had now been renamed Caroline, was nearing completion. The captain, and some of his crew, wanted a good night out, before the ship sailed, so we all went to Dublin. Plenty of alcohol was consumed, and some of the crew dallied with ladies of the night."
"We had some German generators to fit on the mv Caroline, I had made some suggestions where to site them, I marked out areas of steel bulkheads that would have to be cut, and marked out on the deck where the plant would be sited."
"I needed extra staff for this work, about half a dozen in all including engineers, welders, burners, etc., which we got from Dundalk Engineering Works. The work continued apace, but when the company discovered that this was to be a radio ship, the workers did not return."
"Two social events took place around this time; firstly we were invited to the crane driver's house, to watch a Cassisus Clay fight ...." [As previously noted, this event took place on February 25, 1964, which was two days prior to the formation and registration of Planet Productions Limited in Dublin on February 27, 1964. At the second event, Harry Spencer wrote that he had a social evening with food and dancing:]
"I then entered a conversation with a local Catholic priest who asked me how the work was progressing. I told him that we were having a problem, because the Dundalk Engineering would not allow their men to work on the ships, once they found out what they were really going to be used for."
"'Well now, when would you be wanting these Dundalk men to come?', he asked."
"Ideally tomorrow, but I don't think that they will be allowed to come."
"'Ah well, we will see about that', he smirked.'"
"The next day the workers duly arrived, such was the power of the priest, in Ireland, at that time."
So there is the issue: there is the problem that caused George Saunders to be sent to fix the pending disaster on board the mv Caroline. George blamed Ove Sjöström, but it seems now that Ove was not to blame!
Ronan O'Rahilly was a convenient patsy, he was not the man driving the project. That man was Charles Orr Stanley who was a Protestant Irishman with a home near Cork. That is also where REM island was being built for Radio and TV Noordzee! But it seems that this 'Radio Caroline' project was sprung on O'Rahilly Senior at the last minute - because O'Rahilly Senior was short of money! In other words, Aodogán O'Rahilly was bought off with the help of his son!
Remember, Aodogán O'Rahilly was by birth an Englishman, having been born at Hove near Brighton, and he married a U.S. citizen and lived in a house built with plans bought at a New York department store! But more than this, Aodogán went to the USA with his begging bowl right after WWII, and got rewarded with money from the US Marshall Plan. This is the same man whose brother was pro-Nazi and wanted Hitler to defeat the United Kingdom!
We will also be bringing you the story of George Saunders and his clash with Ove Sjöström into this mix. We will explain why Aodogán O'Rahilly begrudingly allowed his facility at Greenore to be used, and what Aodogán O'Rahilly and the rest of the O'Rahilly family did not want you to know.
This theme will continue tomorrow!
At the start of World War II, its Taoiseach Éamon de Valera, adopted a course of neo-neutrality, in that he helped the Allied cause more than he helped the Axis powers. But when Adolph Hitler took his own life, both the Irish President and De Valera caused eyebrows to raise when they signed the Nazi book of condolences in Dublin.
The second version of 'The O'Rahilly' gave his name to a Dundalk football club, but the third version of 'The O'Rahilly', the one who was a barrister; he openly cheered on Adolph Hitler. While Heinkel was bombing London, he hoped that the Nazi Germans would invade the United Kingdom; separate it from Northern Ireland, and then hand over the captive counties to Eire, thus uniting of all of the island of Ireland as one nation.
Then we move up in time to the tangled history of the Nineteen Fifties at Dundalk. 'The Drogheda Independent' for Saturday, January 23, 1954, even described their football club as being 'B' Company 1st Batt. I.R.A.
The reason for juxtaposing two images of Heinkel products, is because one of their products bombed civilians in England (while the barrister also named 'The O'Rahilly' cheered them on.) The other Heinkel product was intended to rescue jobs at the Dundalk Locomotive Works!
Now this is not the image of the O'Rahilly family that has been served up to the trolls who buy into the anorak version of Radio Caroline. When we get to unravelling just how the O'Rahilly family came to control the former railway property at Greenore, more shocks and surprises will await brainwashed minds. So it might be a good idea at this stage to remember just how many lies the unwitting Catholic priest was told to say about Ronan O'Rahilly. Please refer to this video which first appeared on our Blog entry for 4/23/2020.
But the only way this can be explained properly is by peeling back the layers of misinformation that have been fed from the pages of troll books, and then deceived everyone!
However, because the truth is diametrically opposed to the fake stories, and because so many questions are likely to be asked, it is necessary to reveal the side of the story that has been concealed, very slowly; one fact at a time. That is what we are doing.
It is not just sloppy reporting to say that Ronan O'Rahilly's father bought Greenore railway station from British Railways, it is totally untrue. How Ronan's father acquired his financing is also an interesting story, and we will be explaining the answers to all of the questions within the episodes that follow.
But in the meantime, here is a question for the trolls to ponder:
If the O'Rahilly family had a history of hatred for what the English had done to the Irish over the centuries, then why on earth would Ronan's father suddenly turn around and assist a lot of English people create an English pop music station called Radio Caroline?
You will discover the answers here, in editions of this Blog that will follow this one.
Ireland was by no means a united country within the Republic, and neither was the occupation of Northern Ireland the only issue. There were also religious divisions between Catholics and Protestants, and some of those issues tied back to the invasion and conquest of the British Isles by King William and his Dutch Army and the war he waged in what is now Northern Ireland. This was all papered-over as a 'Glorious Revolution', but there was nothing 'glorious' and peaceful about it. The British Crown used the same General Post Office (GPO) to rewrite history that had been used back in 1660 when its new monarchy was created following the defeat of the united republican form of government led by Oliver Cromwell. (See the video at: http://yesterdayneverhappened.com )
But in Ireland the nationalists added a new and distinguishing layer based upon the adoption and promotion of the Gaelic language (Athbheochan na Gaeilge), which was a movement that began in the late nineteenth-century. The promotion of an Irish language was intended to separate the people of the island of Ireland from the people of the island of Great Britain, but it was a movement that was limited in appeal and acceptance.
It was from this same line of thought that journalist Michael Joseph Rahilly came to the fore, more after his death, than during his life. He was the person who also called himself 'The O'Rahilly', after a forebear who was a poet that originally invented that term. Michael, and his American wife, gave birth in England to a son named Egan John Eoin O'Sullivan, who called himself Aodogán, and another son named Richard McEllistrim Rahilly who became a barrister at law.
Richard was known as Mac to his friends, but in court he also called himself 'The O'Rahilly', just like his grandfather, and the ancestral poet before them. The roots of Mac were firmly planted in the Gaelic language of his father, and politically he had been on the side of Adolph Hitler. His hope was that Nazi Germany would defeat the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and then the Republic of Ireland could be reunited as one nation ruled from Dublin.
This is where the roots of Radio Eireann are entwined with one faction who attempted to use a revised Gaelic language to separate the Irish from the English, and it also adversely worked against the the interests of three people who were in their own ways pioneers of European broadcasting.
These three also had broadcasting interests in Ireland during the Nineteen Fifties, and their interests came face-to-face with the Gaelic movement, and they lost out to it. These three people are: Charles Orr Stanley, Chairman of the Pye Group of companies and a Protestant Irishman with his own roots in a home near Cork, Eire; Gordon McLendon of Dallas, Texas, whose company was the owner of the mv Mi Amigo, and Charles Michelson, who was the creator of Radio Tangier International; Radio Europe I, and Radio Monte Carlo.
Further details about these three men and their involvement with offshore broadcasting, will appear later.
Tomorrow we will look at what happened to the facilities at Greenore.
The story (shown right), reflects the actual situation at Greenore on September 29, 1951. The Seller was the Dundalk, Newry and Greenore Company, which came under the ownership of LMS which was represented in the Republic of Ireland by Great Northern Railway (Ireland) company, (GNRI).
When the British half of these railway interests were nationalized in 1947 and then brought under the banner of British Railways (BR), the British half of this contract pulled out of the agreement which included the Dundalk Locomotive Works.
So while the Dundalk Locomotive Works immediately became an industrial and political problem that resulted in the stop-gap creation of the Great Northern Railway Board (GNRB) which was jointly owned by both the Irish and British governments, the Greenore property was simply dumped on to the open market.
The GNRB had its hands full of problems at Dundalk with all of the about-to-be employees deprived of a job with income, and GNRB's attempt to resolve their immediate situation was not very successful. But Greenore was now a property deprived of any population, save for the few who lived in houses adjacent to the golf course; hotel and railway station which were all a part of one property that had been turned over to Messrs. Jackson Stops and McCabe; a Dublin firm of auctioneers.
Although there was no population left in Greenore to really cause problems, unlike Dundalk, the local Irish government officials did engage in a blame game. (See the news story above.) Clearly no one was going to worry about the houses; golf course and railway station, but the ferry service was another matter. But again, we need to recall that back in 1940 the passenger service was terminated and all that was left was a once-a-week freight (cargo) service going by sea from Greenore in the Republic of Ireland to Holyhead in the United Kingdom which originated from the island of Great Britain, and not from Ireland.
That once-a-week ship which had sailed since 1940 from Holyhead in Great Britain, in 1947 came under the ultimate control of British Railways (BR) after nationalization, and so BR switched its inherited connection points from Holyhead on the island of Anglesey (Wales); to Heysham in Northern England, and then it made another new connection to Belfast in Northern Ireland. This gave the nationalized industry which was owned by the British Crown corporation sole known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, two connection points within its own jurisdiction. Clearly this had also helped to inspire the derogatory editorial against nationalization, which had appeared on the same page of the same issue of The Argus newspaper, as two stories relating to Greenore and its demise. See Part 4 [Extra] for details.
This move had then prompted one MP in 1951, to suggest that Greenore could be saved by a little goodwill by both governments in order to assist Irish exporters to England. But, the story noted, there were no boats available, and then there was still the issue of World War II which had only ended six years earlier, and during which the Republic of Ireland had declared itself to be a neutral nation during the conflict. So goodwill which had been lacking back then, was in 1951 still no where in sight.
Something else to be considered: The 'boats' that were "not available" were British 'boats'! Not Irish 'boats'.
Now look again at the geographical location of Greenore. It sits just across the divided waters of Carlingford Lough from Northern Ireland. Its former rail link north to Neary was now inside Northern Ireland. The roads going to the peninsula on which Greenore is situated, were poorly maintained and not conducive to heavy freight traffic.
In short: who would want it?
In an attempt to discover the answer to that question, the matter was turned over to a firm of auctioneers in Dublin who were instructed to sell the property in any way possible. This also led to the entire matter being given a public airing prior to auction, which is reflected in the two news items that appeared in The Argus newspaper for Saturday, September 29, 1951.
More about the auction, tomorrow.
Copyright 2021 with all rights reserved.