Conradh na Gaeilge agrees with the majority of the recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Irish language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands in their report on the challenges pertaining to Irish language broadcasting.
Conradh na Gaeilge welcomes the report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Irish language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands and the majority of its recommendations on ways to overcome the challenges facing Irish language broadcasting published today, Tuesday, 7 June, and calls on the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, on the Government and on the relevant agencies to act on them without delay.
The President of Conradh the Gaeilge, Niall Comer, said: “The Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Irish language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands are to be praised for the comprehensive report they have compiled which recognises many of the challenges in achieving fairness for the Irish language in broadcasting. The Government should act immediately on the recommendation in the report that the funding which was removed from TG4’s budget during the economic recession be restored. Of course, TG4 operates on a budget which is less than half the budget S4C in Wales receives and restoring the €6 million to TG4 would make a big difference to the amount of Irish language programmes broadcast to the public.”
As well as the restoration of the funding for TG4, there are many other good recommendations in the report like creating content for learners of the language, that RTÉ should fulfil its statuary duty in respect of the Irish language, that the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) should establish an Irish language consultative committee and that the BAI should re-employ an Irish language Officer, amongst others.
Julian de Spáinn, the General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge said: “Although Conradh na Gaeilge strongly agrees with the Dáil Committee that there should be a 24 hour radio service in Irish aimed at young people in Ireland, we don’t agree that that service should be under the remit of RTÉ as a 24 hour service in Irish aimed at young people is already being supplied by Raidió Rí-Rá on various platforms for more than ten years now. Since the station was established, Conradh na Gaeilge has been calling for Raidió Rí-Rá to be provided on FM on a full-time basis and that is the goal that any extra support in this area should be directed towards.
Conradh na Gaeilge will be putting pressure on the Government and the relevant agencies to act on most of the recommendations of the report and to get the appropriate support for Raidió Rí-Rá to be made available on FM so that all young people in the country can access the station.