Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Proud voice of the Gaeltacht 40 years a growing

(April 3, 2012)

The technology was creaky, the schedule limited to just two hours a day, and the prospect of sabotage lurked in the background.

But 40 years on from its "venture into the unknown", Raidio na Gaeltachta has overcome its inauspicious and chaotic beginnings to become an Irish institution.

And it almost didn't happen. Engineers worked feverishly through the night to get the studio at Casla in Connemara ready so the national Irish-language station could go to air for its maiden broadcast on Easter Sunday, April 2, 1972.

Construction work was only beginning on its two other studios, in Kerry and Donegal, and it would be another year before they were ready.

Meanwhile, extra gardai were drafted in from Clifden over fears that a dispute about the moving of a post office -- which housed the local telephone exchange -- could lead to the new station being targeted by saboteurs. Fortunately, the telephone lines were not cut by disgruntled natives, and the broadcast went ahead as planned.

More at Independent.ie.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Raidió réalteanna: Raidió na Gaeltachta marks 40 years

(April 2, 2012)

Limited transmission, poor roads but virgin territory – such was the landscape explored by the seven broadcasters hired for the State’s first Irish language radio station which marks its 40th birthday today.

When Raidió na Gaeltachta came on air at 3pm Easter Sunday, April 2nd, 1972, notions of wi-fi enabled digital audio broadcasting, online media players, podcasts or smartphone apps were but a distant dream.

In some locations the Irish language audience did not have wireless sets and neighbours gathered in kitchens to hear history being transmitted.

One Sunday newspaper even reported that the Easter Mass broadcast with Seán Ó Riada’s music was from “a pub”, having misunderstood the station’s reference to the “teach an phobail” or church in Carraroe.

Kerry journalist Breandán Feiriteár, who became ceannaire or head from 1985 to 1994, recalls that the first dedicated studio in Casla was not quite ready. And the Kerry and Donegal studios were still under construction.

More at irishtimes.com and gaelport.com.