At the present moment in time, there are two national television networks broadcasting in the English language across Ireland. Their output ranges from the public service channels RTÉ One, RTÉ2, RTÉ News Now and RTÉjr to the private alternatives TV3, 3e and be3. There are also four major TV networks in the United Kingdom with a local presence in the north-east of the country, supplying big-budget stations like BBC One Northern Ireland, BBC Two Northern Ireland, UTV, Channel 4, E4 and Channel 5. All of these naturally operate through the medium of the English language. Finally there is plethora of anglophone broadcasters available to Irish viewers via satellite and cable subscriptions, numbering in the many dozens, as well as several online streaming services from media companies such as Netflix and Amazon.
Obviously then, with the TV market saturated by English-speaking domestic and foreign broadcasters, the subject of the greatest complaint, criticism and animosity for some Irish politicians is the one television channel on the island functioning in our indigenous language. From the Limerick Leader:
FORMER mayor John Gilligan wants to see TG4 provide an English language commentary option on its live sporting events.
TG4, which broadcasts almost exclusively in the Irish language, shows a number of sporting events throughout the year, including Munster’s Pro-14 matches and secondary GAA competitions.
But Cllr Gilligan believes it is unfair that its commentary is only available in Irish – and wants the broadcaster to provide an interactive option giving simultaneous English commentary.
“We deserve the right to have the game in English – so at least we can understand it,” the outspoken councillor said.
While the inhabitants of the Big House may be gone, the below-stairs Uncle Séan is still with us. And just as pathetic is his attitudes as ever.