Beat rewind: Beat presenters look back at when they were 17

Beat rewind: Beat presenters look back at when they were 17

Beat 102 103 is celebrating 17 years of broadcast across the South East of Ireland.

First launched in 2003 at 1:02, Beat became Ireland's first regional radio station broadcasting in Wexford, Waterford, Kilkenny, Carlow and South Tipperary.

To celebrate the milestone, Beat presenters are taking a look back at their 17th year and some of the stand-out memories from that time.



Trish Archer - Beat Breakfast

17 year old me was a woman of the world or so I thought. I was working in my first job for a year and my obsession with clothes really peaked at 17.

I worked in a little boutique store where I really made good use of my half off staff discount.

I rarely remember getting a pay cheque at the end of the month.


My Nokia 3310i was practically glued to my hands and I dreamed of having my first car. I remember pestering my parents for a little motor to no avail.

I also remember getting my first bank card at that age and that really made me feel like I had entered adulthood.

Niall Power - Beat Breakfast

To be honest; I don't remember any huge stand-out moments from when I turned 17.


I was in school at that time so much like 2020, every day rolled into each other.

Vincent Bradley - Beat Breakfast

My memories of turning 17 are pretty hazy, as it's now more than half my lifetime ago!
I started sixth year the week of my birthday and it's the latter part of that school year - coming up to the exams - that I still remember the most. They were good times, and I regret that I have so little pictorial evidence (no mobile phones!). Actually, maybe it's a good thing!
I still can't get my head around that fact it's so long ago.

David Hammond - Beat's Big Lunch/Beat At Work

I don’t remember much about turning 17. I do remember thinking okay: I may not be able to buy scratch cards, or go to the pub or vote but at least I can start driving.... weirdly enough I didn’t start driving until I was 21, maybe 17 - 20 were my lazy years.

School was in full swing, I was in 6th year and I had just received my mock results... I literally failed everything apart from English, Irish and Maths so ....that was a fun time. Oh 17 was also the year I got 1% in a class test, that was funny... well looking back on it now it was funny, wasn’t so funny at the time.

Oh I’m pretty sure I was going through my emo phase at 17... or at least coming out of it... I was so sure it wasn’t a “phase”.

So yeah that was my 17th year, what a simpler time. A time of getting my meals made for me, a time of living rent free in a house and also a time when all that I needed to worry about was how can I get out of going to school today. Happy 17th birthday beat xo

Darren Rice - Beat Drive

The one thing that stands out to me about my 17th birthday was that it was the year I finally got a set of vinyl DJ decks as a present, I’d wanted them since I was maybe 13/14 despite not having a clue how to use them.

That kinda set me on a bit of a wild path that led me here…..bedroom DJ to club DJ….won a national competition, gained some profile & ended up on the radio, not sure if Radio DJ is the final form but we’ll see 😊

Debbie Ridgard - The Top 7 at 7/ The Takeover

The majority of my teenage years have started to become one solid memory at this stage (god I sound ancient saying that!). That's with the exception of 17.

I really thought I was all grown-up but looking back at the photos from only 10 years ago; I was still such a baby. I remember dying my hair black as a bit of a rebellion as people used to comment on my blonde hair all the time. It took me years to get my hair somewhat back to normal!

I turned 17 in an odd style, to be honest. Do you remember the ash clouds incident in 2010? Well, I do and will forever!

My birthday was the same day as my aunt's wedding which we celebrated in a tiny village outside Paris called Harcourt. The wedding was beautiful but the unlucky person that I am; I fainted from the heat just as my lovely aunt Susan was walking out of the church a married woman. Scarlett for me.

We were then supposed to fly home a day or two later but the infamous volcanic ash clouds that came from an eruption in Iceland cancelled all flights in France. We were stuck in the village for around a week which didn't go unnoticed by the locals. There were only 1000 people living in the village and around 200 of us Irish were stranded there.

Later that year I went to my first Debs; the De La Salle Debs in The Tower hotel. As you can tell from the desperately shy photos, I hadn't broken out of my shell just yet.

Rob O'Connor - Irish Beats

Throughout my teens, I was a massive R.E.M fan. I had all their albums on tape - some were bought and others were bootlegs (remember - home taping is killing music!).

A couple of days before my 17th birthday, R.E.M. played Slane Castle – I couldn’t believe my luck when the gig was announced!

There was even a new up-and-coming group called Oasis as the main support act. Standing in a field, surrounded by friends listening to some of the biggest bands in the world. There are worse birthday celebrations.

Shonagh Lyons - Beat's Big Saturday

I was in fifth year when I turned seventeen so I remember school seemed slightly more serious.

Having done fourth year and loving very second of it the thought of settling down to study took some time to get my head around!   It was the age for me when a regular Saturday in Wexford involved 'walkin the town' before drama class!

I also had a part time job that summer in the phone shop and I was delighted with myself as I was the only one to have a brand new mini red Nokia phone. Good times!

Chris Ward - Old School Party/ SportsBeat

Back when I was 17 I had only been living in Carlow a couple of years.

I was the typical teenager; playing tunes and loving TY!

Michelle Heffernan - Music De Domhnaigh

I remember going to my favourite restaurant with my family in my Ursuline uniform! I still love that same Italian restaurant, my sister and I have it booked for our return this July!

That year I got to go to my first music festival (oxegen 06) woop! I also began debating which probably lent itself a little to the career I'm in now! If I could go back to turning 17 I would in a heartbeat! So much possibilities ahead! I feel it's the same for Beat!

Julie Gartland - Sundays Top 7 at 7

My 17th birthday was 5 years ago, and I’m a June baby so had just finished fourth year in school! Can’t really remember the day itself but I can assure you I spent majority of it doing what I do best - eating.