Sign of the Times ?

Breda Heffernan has an article in the Irish Independent, An Irish solution to an English problem, in which she announces that Raidio na Gaeltachta is to change direction in an attempt to attract young listeners.

Chart and International shows will start from May, 9 PM to 1 AM, Monday to Friday, which will contain music with English lyrics. Previous to this Instrumental versions of hits by bands such as U2 were broadcast.
Is this a pragmatic and sustainable response to a problem or is it a further weakening in response to social and commercial pressure which will damage the language? In effect, an admission of defeat ?

  • lamh_dearg

    It’s a pragmatic response to the realities of life.

    Absolutism or linguistic apartheid will hasten rather than delay the demise of Irish.

  • maca

    Ambrose, shouldn’t that be an “English solution to an Irish problem” since it’s English language songs which will help boost an Irish language station 😉

    Anyway it’s a good idea, though I think they need more of it… 9pm to 1am, how about from 6pm on, or even all day?

  • Davros

    Seems to be moving in the opposite direction to the other recent change – in respect of names and signs where English has been removed .

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    I’m in favour of a service in addition to RTÉ RnaG which provides a valuable service in itself. An all day station geared at young people would be the answer with presenters speaking in Irish presenting an assortment of songs, English, Irish and others, that would appeal to that audience.

    Why dilute the valuable service being provided by RTÉ RnaG by compelling it to give up its purely Irish language programme time for English language lyrics when such lyrics can be heard on all other stations? Additionality is what’s needed.

  • maca

    “in respect of names and signs where English has been removed”

    According to one ‘local’ (who I think posted here) the change means maps will be brought into line with what is the reality on the ground. Last time I drove through a Gaeltacht area I saw Irish only signs so I think it has been like this anyway for many years.
    I don’t see it as a step backwards.

    They do the same thing in Finland by the way 😉

  • slackjaw

    For those interested in the promotion of the Irish language, the move makes a lot of sense. Younger people and non-Irish speakers now have a reason to listen to RnaG.

    No-one normal is interested in picking up a bit of Irish on a casual basis is ever going to turn on RnaG to listen to some oul fella with his false teeth out blathering on about crossings to Tory island in the 50s. (I’m not saying that this is presently the type of thing that gets broadcast, but the perception is hard to shake) But if Irish is used to present music programmes, popular or specialist, they might be inclined to listen in.

  • Green Party Supporter

    in the Flanders, their TV programmes ain’t dubbed in Dutch – its subtitled in Dutch with English staying there yet on TG4, english-language films are not subtitled in Irish, never mind dubbed in Irish – what’s the point in having them if TG4 can’t do anything about it?

    if Irish is to be saved and substainable, we need more stuff subtitled in Irish – on TV and on cinemas – if smaller states can do it, no reason why we can’t do it too!

  • Droch_Bhuachaill

    Níl anseo ach freagra RnaG ar an gcoimhlint agus an gComórtas a bheidh acu nuair a thosnóidh an stáisiún nua Gaeilge, dírithe ar dhaoine óga, ag craoladh, mar a dhfógair an tAire le déanaí:

    HEADLINE: Support for Irish-language radio station for young people

    BYLINE: Lorna Siggins, Western Correspondent

    The Irish-language radio station, Raidio na Gaeltachta, could soon be complemented by a “RnaG 2” if the results of a new survey are implemented.

    The survey, which was co-funded by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) and Foras na Gaeilge, found there was 75 per cent support among respondents for an Irish-language radio station for young people.

    Entitled “Turning On and Tuning In to Irish Language Radio in the 21st Century”, the telephone survey of a representative sample of 1,000 people and a further 200 Gaeltacht residents was carried out by MORI Ireland.

    Some 3.4 per cent of respondents said they listened to Irish-language radio daily, and 25 per cent of those surveyed reported that they listened to Irish-language radio on “some” basis.

    The Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Mr O Cuiv, said this was “a clear endorsement of the excellent work that Raidio na Gaeltachta has been doing since its foundation” and support for “the growing levels of Irish-language programming on commercial and community radio stations”.

    However, the survey made it clear that a one-size-fits-all approach was no longer feasible, he added.

    The need for Irish-language radio for the 15-35 age group was originally outlined in a report submitted by Coiste Comhairleach na nOg (the Millennium Youth Advisory Committee) in March 2001 to the Minister of State in the Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands at the time, Ms Mary Coughlan.

    “We have to face up to the reality that, if Irish is to thrive and grow, we must provide a broad range of services to Irish-language speakers all over Ireland,” Mr O Cuiv said yesterday.

    “Although there will always be resistance from certain quarters regarding improvements to Irish-language services for the public, today’s survey shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Irish public supports the work that the Government is doing in this regard.”

    “Eighty-nine per cent of those surveyed feel that promoting the Irish language is important either to them personally, or to the country as a whole, or both,” the Minister noted.

    He said he would discuss the the survey with the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Mr Dempsey, with the BCI and with RTE and Raidio na Gaeltachta.