Ronan O’Rahilly, the first pirate radio station founder, dies at age 79

Ronan O’Rahilly, the first pirate radio station founder, dies at age 79

The founder of Radio Caroline, Ronan O’Rahilly has died aged 79.

Mr O’Rahilly, who lived in Ireland, had been diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2013.

His death was announced by the current Radio Caroline, which still exists off the Essex coast.

Radio Caroline was the first of several pirate radio stations that challenged BBC radio’s dominance in the 1960s.

After the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act was passed in 1967, Radio Caroline continued to broadcast from ships until 1991, when the Ross Revenge ran aground off the Kent coast.

The station, which started broadcasting again on medium wave in 2017, helped pave the way for modern commercial radio.