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RTÉ's Irish Language Output Deemed Insufficient by Official Languages Commissioner
04 Apr 2019 : News Desk
The National Broadcaster is presiding over the ‘complete eradication’ of Irish language programming according to the annual report of an Coimisinéir Teanga, Rónán Ó Domhnaill.

Ó Domhnaill’s report found that the amount of Irish language programming is ‘seriously deficient’, as the investigation displayed that less that 1% of shows aired on RTÉ were in Irish.  

The investigation was carried out following a complaint made by a member of the public and has deemed that the Irish language programming by the National Broadcaster is in breach of the Broadcasting Act.    

Under the statutory requirements outlined in the Broadcasting Act 2009, RTÉ is obliged to provide a comprehensive range of Irish language programming. However, of the 18,657 hours of television programmes broadcast by RTÉ in 2017, just 123 hours were Irish language programmes.

Ó Domhnaill was speaking following the publication of the annual report of the Language Commissioner for 2018 rejecting the station’s defence that he was not taking TG4 into account.

An Coimisinéir Teanga went on to say:

“There are two separate pieces of legislation which were breached here: one relating to Irish language programming; and one relating to Irish language news and current affairs - current affairs is not being catered for at all. The defence regarding TG4 isn’t a valid defence whatsoever. It is a separate price of legislation. The duty and the onus is on RTÉ now to make sure they adhere to the legislation and the provision in it.”

The investigation continued that of €337 million spent on RTÉ television programming in 2017, just over €1 million was spent on Irish language broadcasts. Ó Domhnaill further stipulated that RTÉ was “at odds with the will of the Houses of the Oireachtas”.

An Coimisinéir Teanga recommended that the broadcaster provides his office with an implementation plan within six months outlining how it will meet its requirements as prescribed in the Broadcasting Act 2009.

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