The Atlantic Irish And Celts

Following on from a previous post examining the “Celtic from the West” theory, a quick thank you to ASF reader, Mark, for reminding me of the tetralogy, “Atlantean“, by the iconic Conamara-based film-maker Bob Quinn. His 1981 documentary series for RTÉ was one of the first to popularise in Ireland the argument that the early prehistory of western Europe should be reorientated towards its… Read More The Atlantic Irish And Celts

RTÉ’s Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous

During the height of the post-Celtic Tiger economic collapse I remember driving from Malahide to Howth, two middle-ranking suburbs in north county Dublin, and observing the number of up-market cars, BMWs, Audis and Mercedes, along with more exotic beasts like Porsches and Jaguars, on the roads or parked up outside homes and businesses. The thought stuck me then,… Read More RTÉ’s Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous

The Scottish Government Backs BBC Alba In The Wake Of Tory Budget Cuts

Last November I featured news from Britain on the decision by the Conservative Party government in London to make savage cuts to the public funding of S4C, the Welsh language television channel, and BBC Alba, its Scottish Gaelic equivalent. Now the SNP government in Edinburgh has intervened in the controversy, pledging to meet the fiscal shortfall in BBC Alba’s annual budget by continuing its… Read More The Scottish Government Backs BBC Alba In The Wake Of Tory Budget Cuts

Eoghan Harris: L’état C’est Moi!

Is there anyone who believes more in the preternatural abilities of the newspaper polemicist Eoghan Harris than Eoghan Harris himself? Judging by his most recent paean to his own ego, one suspects not. From his regular Sunday Independent blog column: “Last Monday, on Newstalk’s Lunchtime with Jonathan Healy, I did a post-mortem on the General Election… Read More Eoghan Harris: L’état C’est Moi!

The Three Amigos And Others At The RTÉ Leaders’ Debate

Last night was the Leaders’ Debate on RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live and it was a somewhat more even-tempered affair than the previous TV3-Newstalk broadcast. For a start it included a fair balance between the parties of the Right (Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Labour and Renua) and those of the Left (Sinn Féin, Social Democrats and Anti-Austerity Alliance/People Before Profit).… Read More The Three Amigos And Others At The RTÉ Leaders’ Debate

Patrick Pearse And RTÉ’s Rebellion

With all the controversy stirred up by RTÉ’s dismal television dramatisation of the 1916 Easter Rising, its strange overtones of colonial denialism perhaps best summed up by the programme’s title, “Rebellion” (not, “Revolution”), I was reminded of this paragraph from a 2013 article by professor Bryan Fanning in the Dublin Review of Books. While examining a long forgotten “science-fiction” style story by Patrick Pearse published… Read More Patrick Pearse And RTÉ’s Rebellion

¡Viva Irlanda! I’m Irish – Speak Spanish!

In recent weeks the TG4 period drama, An Klondike, has garnered favourable reviews from across the Anglophone press and media in Ireland, gaining plaudits from even the most cynical critics of Irish language broadcasting. For a channel that has been underfunded and pilloried since its establishment, the Conamara-based television station has built up an enviable reputation for producing well-crafted dramas, comedies and documentaries that… Read More ¡Viva Irlanda! I’m Irish – Speak Spanish!

VHS Memories: Bedspring Bob

If you’re familiar with Irish TV broadcasts from the 1980s and early ’90s you’ll certainly remember the less-than-professional advertising that used to populate the commercial breaks of RTÉ and TG4 (or UTV). It wasn’t quite at the same level as local public access channels in the United States but at times it didn’t seem that far off, either. These days such things… Read More VHS Memories: Bedspring Bob

The Green Party, Taking Us For Fools

It really is our fault. Yes, you and me, and all the other fools who year after year, decade after decade, keep electing idiots and charlatans to high office. For only fools could fall for the harebrained PR stunts of the attention-hungry careerists who populate our political parties. From today’s Irish Times: “The national broadcaster RTÉ should be asked to vacate its… Read More The Green Party, Taking Us For Fools

Collusion Or The Secret History Of The British “Jihad” In Ireland

One might well regard it as forty years and several hundred deaths too late but RTÉ, Ireland’s public service broadcaster, seems to have finally recognised the need to investigate and report on the details of Britain’s historic “dirty war” in the north-east of the country. Perhaps it is the passing of an older generation of British-sympathisers within the corporation, men and women who formerly… Read More Collusion Or The Secret History Of The British “Jihad” In Ireland

The Torture Files

So the News and Current Affairs Department of RTÉ, our self-proclaimed “national broadcaster” (no sniggering, please), has suddenly become aware that there were two sides to the conflict that raged in the north-eastern part of our island-nation during the 1970s, ‘80s and 1990s. Yes, the war wasn’t solely caused by Irish Republicans (actually it truly… Read More The Torture Files

Chief Superintendent Harry Breen, What You Weren’t Told

In all of the discussions emanating from the controversy around last year’s Smithwick report it is strange that no one in the media in Ireland or elsewhere has examined in any detail the professional histories of Superintendent Bob Buchanan and Chief Superintendent Harry Breen, the two senior officers of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) killed… Read More Chief Superintendent Harry Breen, What You Weren’t Told

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… Read More TG4 Scoops It Rivals

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… Read More Trash TV Versus Irish TV

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.… Read More TG4 And RnaG – Time For A Single Irish Public Broadcasting Service

Census 2011 And An Inconvenient Truth – Irish-Speaking Citizens On The Rise

The latest, much publicised release of data by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) from the 2011 Census of Ireland provides a very mixed picture of the situation for the Irish-speaking population of the country, especially in relation to other linguistic groups. Whereas Irish speakers have traditionally faced an overwhelming (and frequently hostile) English-speaking majority now… Read More Census 2011 And An Inconvenient Truth – Irish-Speaking Citizens On The Rise