Cultus Obscuram, Once Upon A Time… Space

  Il était une fois… or “Once Upon a Time…” is an ongoing animated series produced by the multi-talented French television-maker Albert Barillé and his Procidis studio in Paris. Since the late 1970s the franchise has devoted itself to charting the broad evolution of humankind for a children’s audience with each series devoted to one … Continue reading

About these ads

Cultus Obscuram – Mr Rossi, Signor Rossi

Sometimes looking back at Ireland in the 1970s and ‘80s I wonder if the entire nation was quite right in the head. It was a truly surreal time. Forget the war in the north-east against the British, the twin scourges of poverty and emigration, the political scandals and omnipresent corruption, the hegemony of the Roman … Continue reading

Big Boost In Funding For Scottish Language Broadcasting

Some more good news for the Scottish language (Scottish Gaelic) with the announcement by Alex Salmond, Scotland’s First Minister, that a further £2.1 million pounds (2.5 million euros) will be made available to MG Alba, the state-funded media organisation. The group funds Scottish language television and radio programmes in cooperation with the BBC and various … Continue reading

Culture Wars In Ireland And Britain

Hot on the heels of my post discussing the urgent need for the reform of public service broadcasting in Ireland comes news of a veritable revolt by journalists within RTÉ’s normally quiescent ranks as reported by the Irish Times: “Almost 50 staff members in RTÉ have written to Director General, Mr. Noel Curran, to express their … Continue reading

Irish TV And Cinema? Some Hope

I was going through my collection of Blu-ray and DVD movies and box-sets over the weekend, not to mention several hundred hours of digital content on my main HTPC, and it suddenly struck me that less than 1% of the total was actually Irish-made. I have a huge catalogue of films and TV shows from … Continue reading

To Phone Or Not To Phone

I’m normally one of those fevered device-swapping, early-adopting geeks eager to get his or her hands on the next tech device before the present one has barely accrued a layer of dust or a film of fingerprints. However my current mobile phone has served me an unprecedented 3 years simply because I selected a near … Continue reading

Cultus Obscuram – Nightmare Cafe

Another entry in the Cultus Obscuram and this time it is Wes Craven’s TV show “Nightmare Café“, a short-lived supernatural drama from the early 1990s played mainly for dark laughs. At the time the two lead actors, Jack Coleman and Lindsay Frost, were minor US television celebs though the headline billing went to co-star and Craven … Continue reading

Irish TV? We Should Be So Lucky!

So, essentially a big fuck you to the Irish-speaking citizens and communities of Ireland from former Trotskyite rebel-without-a-cause Pat Rabbitte, the minister of communications, as he dismiss out of hand any rise in the tragic-comic budget of TG4, Ireland’s only Irish language television broadcaster. Meanwhile RTÉ, Ireland’s publicly-funded English language television broadcaster, will continue to … Continue reading

No Second Troy

One of the last monolingual Irish-speakers in Ireland being interviewed by the British historian Michael Wood for his 1985 BBC documentary “In Search of the Trojan War”. Does he look like a member of an “affluent, Mercedes-driving, latté-sipping, urban, Gaelic-speaking elite”? Or the last survivor of a people driven to the point of near-extinction? A point, perhaps, for … Continue reading

The Lenovo IdeaCentre Q190 – A Proper HTPC

While many consumers have bought into the commercial push for so-called Smart TVs the majority of the products on the Irish market are far from smart (yet). Very few have true internet browsers at the level of Chrome or Internet Explorer and most are limited to dedicated applications for specific services such as YouTube and Facebook … Continue reading

RTÉ – Reform Or Die

Here’s an interesting snippet from the ever-vigilant NAMA Wine Lake. Guess which TV station was the only television broadcaster in Ireland to make a profit in 2011? Not the country’s official “national” broadcaster RTÉ, which ran up losses totalling some €70 million, despite broadcasting little beyond a diet of cheap overseas programming (with €351 million in revenue for 2011 … Continue reading

Truth Is The First Casualty Of War

Last Monday I watched the second part of TV3’s drama-documentary series, “In the Name of the Republic”, where once again Eunan O’Halpin claimed to offer an analysis of the alleged actions of the Irish Republican Army during the Revolution of 1916-1923. Despite a few days of thinking it over and trying to see some historical value in the whole exercise it is hard to escape … Continue reading

In The Name Of History

I’ve just finished watching a history-documentary (and I use that term advisedly) on Ireland’s British-owned private television channel, TV3, called “In The Name of the Republic”. Presented by Eunan O’Halpin it set out to investigate the alleged “disappearance” of some 200 Irish people during the Irish Revolution, supposedly executed by the Irish Republican Army as part of its struggle against the British Occupation Forces from 1918-1923. … Continue reading

Some Quick Posts

First up a review in the Irish Times of the new TG4/BBC co-production, the comedy-drama “Scúp”, penned by Irish author and screenwriter Colin Bateman (the man behind the mid-2000s BBC hit “Murphy’s Law”): “From reporters having to beg for their salaries to the canny deployment of question marks in headlines to see off libel accusations, … Continue reading

TG4 Scoops It Rivals

Three quick posts on TG4, the real public service broadcaster in Ireland, all from IFTN (the Irish Film & Television Network). Colin Bateman is a well-known Irish novelist and dramatist behind such media hits as Divorcing Jack (the book and movie) and the long-running BBC television crime drama Murphy’s Law. He now has a new eight-part drama on TG4, Scúp, his … Continue reading

That Infamous Nolan Show

Well a lot of people have been discussing last night’s highly controversial Nolan Show from the BBC in Belfast which debated the anti-democracy protests by the extreme of the British Unionist community in the north-east of Ireland. I say “debated” when I probably mean “fought over” as the show descended into chaos with a Unionist-dominated audience attacking virtually every speaker and every non-Unionist contributor to the programme. It may … Continue reading

Ceol Ar An Imeall

Ceol ar an Imeall, TG4’s indie music show, is back tonight at 23.00 on TG4. Lots of Irish bands performing live in studio plus interviews with a host of international acts. A whole gaggle of performances for Ceol ar an Imeall are available to watch for free here. Enjoy! Follow Ceol ar an Imeall on Facebook or Twitter.

Hibernophobes – Or Ireland’s Gaeilgeoir-Hating Press

The Oirish Independent newspaper, that bastion of Anglophone supremacism, carries yet another hate-rant against TG4, the Irish language public broadcaster. Two weeks ago TG4 secured some of its biggest audience figures when 550,000 people tuned in to watch the channel’s live Saturday coverage of the rugby match between Leinster and Munster at the AVIVA stadium. … Continue reading

BBC Alba And The Success Of Scottish Language Broadcasting

The Scotsman newspaper has an in-depth profile of Maggie Cunningham, the new head of BBC Alba, the Scottish language television service. Like Ireland’s TG4, Scotland’s BBC Alba has experienced a marked increase in audience figures over the last year despite its (extremely) limited funding and coverage. As with the Irish language many new Scottish speakers are urban dwellers and in the future the … Continue reading

Big Boost For TG4 Audience Figures

The growing popularity of TG4, the Irish language television station, was underlined by last weekend’s audience figures for the channel. From a report by Hogan’s Stand: “Saturday’s live coverage of the RaboDirect PRO12 match between Leinster and Munster at the AVIVA stadium pulled in a massive audience for the channel. Nielsen TAM, the official measure … Continue reading

BBC Alba Leading The Way For A Scottish Broadcasting Service

Some potentially significant news for Scottish broadcasting reported by the Stage: “Scotland’s first minister, Alex Salmond, has called for the country to have its own public service broadcaster, claiming the current situation is “failing Scottish TV viewers and producers”. Addressing the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Salmond said that Scottish TV viewers and producers are being … Continue reading

Broadcasting In Native Tongues

Some more Native American (and a bit of native Irish) news, from The Atlantic: “Loris Taylor, the CEO and president of Native Public Media, still has the scars on her hands from when she was caught speaking Hopi in school and got the sharp end of the ruler as a result. “They hit so hard, … Continue reading

Mary Tamm – The Perfect Companion

Unfortunately I believe I have got to that certain age when the authors and musicians and actors and actresses of one’s formative years seem to pass from life with alarming regularity. Sometimes one views it with a raised eyebrow and a pinch of surprise or sadness. Sometimes though it instils a real sense of loss, … Continue reading

Bravetongue

Two stories highlighting good news for our fellow Gaels in Scotland as the declining population of Scottish speakers begins to stabilise and we start to see signs of a small resurgence, in part attributable to the official recognition and promotion of Scotland’s native tongue by the SNP government in Edinburgh. From the Scotsman newspaper: “A … Continue reading

Trash TV Versus Irish TV

Last week I reported on the risible claim by some journo over at the Oirish Independent newspaper that staff with the Irish language radio station Raidió na Gaeltachta were on the same exorbitant salaries as the rest of RTÉ’s employees (RnaG is part of the RTÉ corporation – to its misfortune). The article also claimed that RTÉ’s Irish language news and current affairs output which is supplied to RnaG and TG4, as well as broadcast on RTÉ … Continue reading

TG4 And RnaG – Time For A Single Irish Public Broadcasting Service

The Oirish Independent newspaper carries a report announcing “major reforms at RTÉ”, especially in relation to its, er, Irish language output (no sniggering!): “A consolidation of the Irish language assets of RTE, with an amalgamation of Radio na Gaeltachta, TG4 and the Nuacht news service, is planned as part of the national broadcaster’s cost-cutting drive. … Continue reading

Wizards and Warriors

For all you hardcore geeks (myself included) the utterly obscure, utterly surreal Wizards and Warriors, a short-lived American television Fantasy series from the early 1980s. If you remember this you are definitely one of the fraternity. Well done! ;-)

A United Ireland – Digitally At Least

Well, better late than never I suppose. From the Hollywood Reporter (ooh-la-la!): “TV viewers in Northern Ireland will be able to watch digital channels TG4 and RTÉ One and Two from the Republic of Ireland on digital terrestrial TV platform Freeview following Northern Ireland’s transition from analogue to digital TV, the U.K. government said Tuesday. … Continue reading

Craig Ferguson In Scotland

Thought you might like this one. Scottish comedian and (subversive) chat-show host Craig Ferguson has recently been presenting his US-based Late Late Show from Scotland and here is an interview with First Minister Alex Salmond:

Jeremy Brett – The Quintessential Sherlock Holmes

I’ve always been a bit of a Sherlock Homes fan (or the much more impressive Irish form, Searbhlach de Hoilm!), especially since he was born of the imagination and pen of an Irish-Scots writer, one Artúr Iognáid Conán Ó Dúill or Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle. Doyle’s relationship with his ancestral homeland was problematic, to say the … Continue reading

Try Again 2012!

Talking of the Irish language online there is certainly a lot of speculation at the moment about the new website “Try Again 2012” and the associated high-profile advertising campaign around the country (not to mention on social networks like YouTube and at Twitter under the hashtag #tryagain). The Herald seems to have got to the truth behind the rumours: … Continue reading

Teilifís na Life?

Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, the high-profile Welsh Language Society, is to launch a new web-based television service, initially operating for two hours a week. From the BBC: “Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg will transmit Sianel 62 via the web to mark the 50th anniversary of the society. Describing it as the first new Welsh language channel for … Continue reading

The Sunday Independent Has An Article On Irish History – Which Favours The Irish!

Something truly strange must have happened in the offices of the Sunday Anglo Independent over the last few days. Why? Because someone has managed to smuggle an article into the newspaper examining a facet of Irish Republican history that isn’t the usual concoction of lies, propaganda and counter-factual fantasies. Unprecedented! “Armed only with a pot of pink chrysanthemums and a walkie-talkie, … Continue reading

Concubhar Ó Liatháin Deals With His Critics

Following on from my piece examining the criticism of TG4 by Concubhar Ó Liatháin over the airing of a new documentary series, Mná an IRA, by the channel Ó Liatháin makes a spirited defence of his position.

An Irish-American Story

From the Irish Independent a story on Séamus Ó Fianghusa, an Irish-American soldier who is now the subject of a new documentary on TG4: “A SERVING US soldier who learned Irish from the internet is the subject of the first ever warzone documentary to be produced as Gaeilge. Sergeant Séamus ‘Na Gaeilge’ Ó Fianghusa was asked to take … Continue reading

  • blog awards ireland Nominated: Best Politics Blog 2013, Best Personal Blog 2013, Best Blog Post 2013
  • blog awards ireland

    Nominated: Best News/Current Affairs/Political Blog 2014, Best Mobile Blog 2014, Best Blog Post 2014