RTÉ vs. TG4
RTÉ vs. TG4

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 turn out its increasingly hard to swallow diet of trashy British and American imports while its main independent rival, British-owned TV3/3e, will sink ever further into the stinking gutter of sewer-pipe television. All this of course on the back of news that the existing (and notoriously inefficient) TV licence fee is to be replaced by a mandatory Broadcasting Charge on all households which at least has the merit of not pissing away 20 million euros a year in paying off the “administration charges” imposed by An Post. Of course it seems the vast majority of the money will go into propping up that self-entitled palace of elitism in Donnybrook with perhaps a chunk carved off to feed the rapacious appetites of the hedge-fund managers in London that own much of tabloid channels TV3 and 3e.

Of course no one thought to ask the bleedin’ obvious question. Why the hell is the nation-state of Ireland funding a public broadcasting television and radio network in English when that is already amply provided for by the private sector both at home and from overseas? Surely a public broadcast service exists to provide what no one else will? In the case of Ireland, national television and radio channels in the indigenous language of the island-nation of Ireland.

The simple truth is that TG4 should not exist because RTÉ should already be what TG4 is!

You want cost savings, you want more bang for your buck, you want to provide home-grown public service broadcasting, you want to serve and enlarge the Irish-speaking population of the country? Then do the obvious thing, stop pissing about, and transform RTÉ from an English language broadcaster to an Irish language broadcaster.

Leave English language broadcasting to the private sector, make sure there are regulations in place to secure domestic ownership and levels of quality (which are virtually non-existent at the moment), and then let them get on with it.

Ah stop. I’m speaking too much sense so that will never happen. The so-called experts would never permit it. Sure where would we be without all those ancient BBC and ITV shows rebroadcast on RTÉ? Not to mention the television psychics of TV3?

Sometimes I really do despise this state I live in. The state we all live in.

7 comments on “Irish TV? We Should Be So Lucky!

  1. Jim Monaghan

    I date back to the sixties and never heard of Rabbitte being in a Trotskyist group.But I would say that many leftists are cosmopolitans rather than internationalist. Socialism should be about highest denominator culture and diversity not just a lowest common denominator thing where we all speak international english.I am for compulsory Irish to Leaving Cet. level in the 26 counties.

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    • an lorcánach

      who in their right mind wouldn’t slap rabbitte if they saw him on the street – url.ie/i7bn – (just saying!) – jim: apart from thephoenix.ie (essential reading), have a look at conor kostick’s “revolution in ireland : popular militancy 1917 to 1923” – url.ie/i7bp – (again, just saying!) – beir bua, p.

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    • I probably took that from Martin’s description of Rabbitte: “Trotsky of Tallaght has become the mudguard of Fine Gael”. When in mid-flow and all that 😉

      Would Marxist or Leninist would be more accurate? At least formerly.

      Oh, I know from talking to some in the SP that their view on the Irish language is pretty dire despite Joe as leader. One party member in particular laid out to me why Irish was a stumbling block to working class unity in Ireland and Britain, etc. English was the language of international revolution! I even heard it from a (mid-level) SF member who thought Irish might be an impediment to a reunited Ireland and that it should be discarded. Had the same discussion with a couple of Labour Party canvassers at the door during the general election. Literature in English, Polish, Russian, etc. Asked for the Irish versions and was greeted with surprise and instantly tagged as a trouble-maker (no Irish literature of course). After a few moments of me trying to engage in discussions about Irish language rights I was told people had more important things on their minds than worrying about “that” and they turned their backs on me.

      Some in the Left can have some funny views (as with the Right).

      RTÉ is a massive waste. What is the purpose of public service broadcasting. To do what no private broadcaster will do, and to reflect the “national culture” of the state it is in. We have English language channels by the dozens. Would it be too much to have one properly funded Irish language channel? Or even two?

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      • Pádraig Ó Déin

        Well, if Irish is destined, unfairly, for the abyss of history, I will revoke my citizenship of the Republic(if that is possible for a native Irishman) and exile myself to Iceland. At least there they have an understanding of the importance of language and independence.

        Would you come with me Séamas? A second Flight of the Earls? Except this time it will be “The Flight of the Gaels.” 🙂

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        • an lorcánach

          déan liosta, a dhéineach – plenty of people who’d be takers – or a job, yeah, giz a job! -:) ….proof if needed we’re in a state chassis worse than the 80s! – p.

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        • In the original plan for the national insurrection that became the Easter Rising of 1916 the strategy was eventually to withdraw behind the River Shannon and create a “liberated zone” in Connacht. Still sounds good to me! 😉

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