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
On Tuesday March 8th, at 9:30 pm, TG4 will be broadcasting a documentary on Francis Sheehy-Skeffington, one of the forgotten figures of the Easter Rising of 1916. Unconnected to the revolutionaries, except through familiarity with the broader Irish nationalist movement in Dublin city, Sheehy-Skeffington was detained by British troops during the insurrection and briefly used as a human shield by patrolling soldiers.… Read More TG4 Documentary, “Sheehy-Skeffington: Pacifist”
Well this announcement is indicative of the current status of the Irish language in Ireland. The planned, televised leaders’ debate on TG4 seems to have been all but abandoned after Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams TD, a near-fluent adult learner of Irish, and the Labour Party’s Joan Burton TD, an anglophone non-speaker, suggested fluent substitutes for the live broadcast in the form of Pearse… Read More The Party Leaders Dodge TG4’s Irish Language Debate In #GE16
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!
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
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… Read More Culture Wars In Ireland And Britain
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… Read More Irish TV And Cinema? Some Hope
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… Read More Irish TV? We Should Be So Lucky!
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… Read More RTÉ – Reform Or Die
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,… Read More Some Quick Posts
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
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.
Oh please, someone save me from the half-arsed opinions of right-wing Anglophone buffoons. From Niall O’Dowd’s US-based website Irish Central resident “Irish” correspondent John Spain offers this view on today’s devastating Troika-driven budget in Ireland and what we should be cutting from the state’s spending under the headline “Ordinary Irish suffer yet again…” : “An… Read More Angloban Ignorance Posing As Informed Commentary
Two tech stories for the Irish-speaking community via the Silicon Republic. The first highlights the addition of the TG4 player to the line-up of on-demand television services provided by the major Irish cable and broadband company UPC. “On-demand TV now comes as Gaeilge, as TG4’s line-up is added to UPC On Demand, which has now… Read More Two Tech Stories For Gaeilgeoirí
What other nation in Europe would have such little regard for its history? What other nation in Europe would be so willing, so eager, to destroy the physical embodiments of its identity? The community campaign to thwart the destruction of the 1916 Battlefield Quarter of Dublin City centre continues, as it has done for the… Read More Who Dares To Speak? Morality Versus Venality In Modern Ireland
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… Read More BBC Alba And The Success Of Scottish Language Broadcasting
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… Read More Big Boost For TG4 Audience Figures
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
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
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.… Read More A United Ireland – Digitally At Least
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,… Read More The Sunday Independent Has An Article On Irish History – Which Favours The Irish!
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.