Posts Tagged ‘ TG4 ’

Pro 12 – Kearney King As The Provinces Nab A Clean Sweep

Rob Kearney dots down the firs of his two tries last Saturday

Rob Kearney dots down the first of his two tries last Saturday

Some of it was simply beautiful, some of it down and dirty nitty gritty, and some of it we’ll just never know as Munster V Treviso was inexplicably not televised. But it’s a clean sweep for the provinces, after an opening round that saw just the one – Connacht – team nab any joy. Ulster and Munster didn’t make it easy over what should have been straight forward enough Italian opposition, but they got the job done. Connacht ground out a win at the death that was just completely unrecognisable from their last two seasons, and Leinster came back to something resembling the defending champions they are. A good weekend indeed. Continue reading

GAA Announces Lucrative Sky Sports Deal


The GAA have announced details of its TV and radio broadcast rights to cover the period 2014-2017, which includes a bumper deal with Sky Sports.

Speaking about the new deals, GAA President Liam O’Nèill said “Making our games more widely available to Irish people abroad was a critical factor in our approach to these negotiations. We felt an obligation to them not to neglect their legitimate appeals to be able to watch live TV coverage of our games.”

Within Ireland, a total of 45 provincial and All-Ireland championship matches will be broadcast live on television annually for the next three years: a total of 31 games will be shown by RTÉ (as per the last contract) and 14 by Sky Sports. Continue reading

IFTA Reveals Shortlist Of Nominees


The Irish Film and Television Academy have announced the shortlist of nominees in 40 strongly contested categories for the 11th annual Irish Film and Television Awards, which takes place on Saturday 5th April at the DoubleTree at Hilton Burlington Road and broadcast primetime on RTÉ ONE (reaching 1.24 Million viewers last year).

Nominations are announced in categories across film and television, celebrating the highest standard of Irish talent over the past twelve months. All IFTA’s categories have been shortlisted by Members of the Irish Film & Television Academy alongside a select Jury panel of industry experts from around the world.  IFTA received 311 titles submitted for consideration in the 2013 Awards. Continue reading

Republic Of Telly Primed For Screenwriting Success

cookerThe Republic Of Telly go head to head with fellow RTE show Love/Hate and Ràsai Na Gaillimhe tomorrow night at the Zebbie Awards after they were nominated by the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild.

The award which is named in honour of acclaimed American actor O. Z. Whitehead, acknowledges the best scripts written by Irish playwrights and screenwriters during the previous year.

Stuart Carolan gets the nod for the season finale of  Love/Hate series 3 while James Cotter, Dermot Whelan, Bernard O’Shea, Shane Mulvey, Jason Butler, Chris Tordoff, Damien Fox, Stephen Shields, and Luc O’Cinnseala share the nomination for the Republic of Telly Christmas Special.

Ahead of the big bash at Dublin’s Sugar Club tomorrow night, we caught up with Stephen Shields to discuss the Republic Of Telly’s nomination and ambitions for the future now that leading star Dermot Whelan has announced his departure from the hit show. Continue reading

Gaelic Language To Be Revived As Clondalkin Looks Set To Gain Gaeltacht Status

Clondalkin, a large suburb of Dublin city could become Ireland’s latest Gaeltacht area thanks to a new bill which would change the definition of what is an official Irish-speaking region. Under the proposed bill, Gaeltachtaí would be defined by linguistic criteria, and not geographic location. Any area around the country could then apply for recognition under the forthcoming legislation. President Michael D Higgins had said during the presidential election that Clondalkin indeed had a case due to the numbers of Irish speakers living there.

From the 18th century, Irish in Ireland began to experience a dramatic decline. There were several reasons for this, including restrictions placed by British rule, and the fact that the Great Famine of 1845 wiped out a large portion of the country’s remaining speakers. And at that time, the main areas of employment were America and England, places in which the Irish language had no use. Reports from that time spoke of parents discouraging their children to speak in the native tongue. The Catholic Church also discouraged its use as far as 1890. As a result, a stigma was attached to the language, one which remained long after independence.

At the end of the 19th century, Gaelic revival movements began to grow and flourish alongside their more secretive nationalist colleagues. The Gaelic League, or Conradh na Gaeilge, launched the movement, attracting such influential supporters as Padraig Pearse and Eamonn de Valera. Linguists have studied the use of Ireland’s own version of the English language, Hiberno-English, and noted that even after people stopped speaking Irish, they would unconsciously use the same grammatical structure, often found in the works of playwrights and writers during this period.

Following the success of the independence movement and the foundation of the Free State, half-hearted efforts were made towards a restoration of the Irish language. Though many Republican leaders would have spoken Irish and maintained an enthusiastic interest in the language, English remained the language of administration, and the government refused to implement the recommendation of the Gaeltacht Commission, who advised for the restoration of Irish as the language of administration in areas where the majority of the population spoke the language. In 1928, Irish was made compulsory for the Junior Certificate, and the Leaving Certificate followed in 1934. However, the process was poorly implemented, and its primary advocate, Professor Timothy Corcoran of UCD, was not even a speaker of the language. Overall, the number of those with Irish as a first language has declined, while numbers have risen for those who speak it as a second language. Recent efforts, such as the Gaelscoileanna, Irish language magazine Foinse and television station TG4 have all aided in making the language more popular and widely spoken. The Official Languages Act of 2003 gave Irish placenames on road signs the same legal force and effect as those in English, in the Gaeltacht the Irish name takes precedent over the English. Today, estimates place the number of fluent speakers from 40,000 to 80,000. Here in the Republic, around 70,000 use Irish as their daily language. Figures from the census indicate around 1.6 million in the country with some knowledge of the language. Gaelscoileanna are surely one of the driving forces behind bringing Irish to a new generation, with 214 primary and post primary schools across the 32 counties, and around 40,000 pupils enrolled and learning the language.

It may take a while to undo the centuries of opposition the Irish language has received. However, in conjunction with those organisations already in place, echoes of the Revival movement from a century previous, this new bill will give the opportunity for the language to take hold outside the traditional areas. Indeed, in early 2009, it was reported that a group of people in Ballymun, Dublin city, had received permission to build homes for those who want to live in an Irish speaking community in the middle of the city. The project is due to be completed this year, and with the introduction of this bill, may not be the last of its kind. Hopefully the language continues to grow and prosper, and we may yet see a day when the majority of the country speak as Gaeilge first and foremost. Because, after all, how would we confuse American tourists without the Cúpla Focal?

TG4 Documentary On Female IRA Members Causes A Stir

A new TG4 series has become mired in controversy after the broadcast of its first episode on Thursday night. Mná an IRA is a six part documentary series which, according to its makers, Loopline Film, will investigate the “involvement of women in active service with the provisional IRA in modern times.”

The series begins with a look into the life of Rose Dugdale, born to a wealthy family in England, educated in Oxford University, before becoming increasingly politically radicalised during the late 1960s and early 1970s, culminating in her joining the Provisional IRA in 1973.

There is something rather unsettling, however, about the way in which she is portrayed. From the beginning, she is referred to, for example, as a former soldier, and a member of Oglaigh na hÉireann, a title reserved for the only legitimate armed forces on this island, the Irish army. The programme charts her ascension in the socialist movement in England, moving over to republicanism in Ireland, interspersed with snippet interviews with former jailed republicans, or academic authorities. They paint a very bleak picture of life for Catholics in the North during the 1970s, certainly evoking sympathy for their existence as second class citizens. What is disturbing is the way in which the violent response, the campaign waged by the IRA which claimed the lives of more civilians than occupiers, is almost normalised. As Rose herself says during one of the many clips of her interview, one had to accept, when taking up the cause of Ireland’s freedom, that you might have to kill people. Darker still is the assumption, “that’s the only way you deal with them.” And this seems quite normal, acceptable. That is not to lay the blame solely at the feet of physical force Republicans; obviously each of those groups in the North was as bad as the other. Dugdale comes out of the programme looking like a freedom fighter, enjoying a well-earned rest after a hard life of necessary violence. And, although the focus of the programme, as stated by its makers, is on those involved in the IRA campaigns and why they joined in the first place, noticeably absent are any hard questions about her decision to pursue the violent route, and, of course, the impact of her actions on the victims and their families.

In an interview with John Murray on RTE radio, Dugdale went even further, dismissing the notion of IRA atrocities. “I wouldn’t accept that the IRA has carried out atrocities,” she contended, “I think that is your language, it is certainly not mine. I think that is a fairly ridiculous statement…” In the end, this is a woman who took part in the raid on Russborough House, pistol whipping an old man and his wife before tying them up in a chair, who threw bombs inside milk cans from a helicopter hoping to land them in a barracks, and who completely condoned a plan in which her boyfriend kidnapped a doctor in an attempt to release her from prison. “Fair play to anyone that was involved in that,” she says. The whole programme seems like a celebration of her life of violence rather than a condemnation. If these were the actions of Unionists, would they be glorified in the same way by TG4?

People may argue over the cause at the heart of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and even more so about the violence wielded by those on either side. That period in our history is a shameful one, regardless of stance, and cannot be understood as well by those of us examining it second hand. What can be understood, however, is that the violence and bloodshed suffered in the North over those 30 years is nothing to be praised, nothing to be glorified, not forgotten certainly, but remembered, something to be learned from. The one positive about these programmes is the insight into the mindset of the people involved in the IRA’s campaign against the British state, the complete willingness to use violence even when there are other methods available, and the way in which they completely rationalise attempts at murder.

Since the programme aired last week, a board member of TG4 has criticised the series, arguing that executives must now take a closer look at the direction of the remaining five episodes. Concubhar O Liathan stated that Mna an IRA is a “serious stain” on the television channel. Writing in the Sunday Independent, O Liathan argued that “If the first programme is any indication of what’s to come, it will be nauseating and heartbreaking for the victims of the IRA and their relatives.”

Kevin Myers, writing in the Irish Independent earlier this week warned of the dangers of halting free speech, speaking of Trinity College’s decision to prevent BNP leader Nick Griffin and Holocaust denying historian, David Irving, from speaking at the Hist. Freedom of speech, he argued “is not dependent on intellect or eloquence or political content. Quite the opposite. It tolerates ideas that are offensive, cretinous, ludicrous, bizarre, grotesque and nauseating, merely drawing the line at incitement to hate or to inflict violence.” People like Rose Dugdale should indeed be allowed their platform, regardless of whether we agree or disagree with her. We just have to be careful what they say from it and how we shape it.