RTE International service put on indefinite hold…

First it was to launch by this year’s end. Then by St Patrick’s Day next year. Now, the satellite Diaspora TV service is to be postponed, possibly until the end of 2009 and given the bleeding edge cuts in the domestic budget, possibly indefinately. According to Minister Eamon Ryan there are 850,000 Irish born people living in Britain (and last year’s Broadcasting Act imposes obligations upon the state broadcaster to provide a service outside the island). Brian Greene suggests they just use RTE 2 for its orginal purpose (ie for the rights problematic programmes) and take the Sky encryption off RTE One… As he says: Simple! In the meantime Irish TV reckons it’s two fingers up to the Irish in Britain from the mandarins of Montrose… The Irish Post has a campaign on the go… RTE are maintaining radio (ahem, shouldn’t that be tv – ed) silence on the matter and letting the Minister take the rap…

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  • DK

    I can get rte and TG4 on virgin cable in Belfast. Does it appear on cable in England?

  • I guess it’s all about money. Basically there ain’t any.

    It might be cheaper to pay for a laptop and an internet connection for the (relatively few left) Irish in Britain, and let them watch on the internet.

    And anyway, what the hell is ‘Diaspora TV’? Why not just let people watch RTE 1, like at home? I suppose that is the ‘Sky encryption’ suggestion, is it?

    If sky was de-encryted, could people get all the channels? (I think I’m the only person in the western world who is entirely sky-illiterate. Never had it, never will).

  • Mick


    No. You can on satellite if you go through an elaborate process of registering in Ireland. But it is an inordinate faff. You get the NI channels, but nothing but radio from the south. BBC Alba is the best us Gaeilgeoirí can do.

  • Mick,

    BBC Alba is the best us Gaeilgeoirí can do.

    You can do better (just not on the TV). Try http://www.tg4.tv

  • Mick

    Níl rud ar bith ann ach cartlanna. Nach bhfuil? Idir an dhá linn, tá BBC Alba ceart go leor domhsa!

  • Féach ar ‘Beo ar an aer’ …

    Agus nach bhfuil na cartlanna maith go leor?

    Ní thigim cannuint albanach ar chor ar bith. Tá cannuint Thir Chonnaill cheanna deacar domsa!


  • Mick Fealty


    Ach, you must be a southerner then! 😉

    A Cartlann is a Cartlann. You cannot watch it, or hear it if the ‘beo ar an aer’ is not available where you are. Which takes us back to the point of the story above.

  • A Mhick,

    Ach, you must be a southerner then! 😉

    D’fholaim mo chuid gaeilge sa deisceart, ceart go leor, mar nach bhfuil focal gaeilge ar bith sa scoil s’agamsa (i mBéal Feirste).

    To be honest, I don’t know if I can watch Beo ar an Aer, because I haven’t ever tried! (Firewall at work tends to dissuade me). But the Cartlann works OK wherever you are, I think. Can you not watch it in sunny Sasana?

  • Ri Na Deise

    Wrecks my head in the summer. Get withdrawal symptoms from missing the Munster Hurling championship. All the pubs wana show is kickball or kick n catch.:-(

  • Mick

    Can you not watch it in sunny Sasana?


  • Eddie

    RTE made a terrific fuss about opening their new northern headquarters in Belfast a few months ago – just opposite the BBC.

    Yet, I live just 13 miles from their front door on the outskirts of Bangor and, after years of listening to RTE Radio, its removal from the am (medium wave) band just about coincided with the grand launch in Belfast. Not a peep on FM in this area, and where the hell do you get a long-wave radio these days, and why should you have to go to all that trouble?

    As for RTE television, no way can it be received in this part of NI with a terrestrial aerial, so the only way would be to subscribe to Sky, which much as I would like to see and hear RTE, wouldn’t be worth the cost for just one station.

    I wrote to the chairwoman of the RTE authority who made a great speech on Belfast, but reply came there none.

    For all the talk about national aspirations, RTE don’t give a damn about the north. Pity. Their radio programmes were good. Probably still are. But I’ll never be able to hear them again.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘I can get rte and TG4 on virgin cable in Belfast.’

    Same here, If im looking TV3 i have to use normal aerial. Benefits of living in the north side means i get a good signal. Sometimes RTE2 goes off on cable. Dunno why.

    “If sky was de-encryted, could people get all the channels?”

    Tá mé measctha suas, an bhfuil seo ceart?

  • Shades40

    I use a small electric indoor aerial and can get all the channels in Ard Macha.

  • borderline

    At every stage, reception of Irish TV will be subtly blocked in NI. Reason – Bigotry

    Have had interesting conversations with ntl/upc execs

    At every stage, reception of Irish TV will be stupidly blocked in Britain. Reason – Ignorance.

    Have had boring conversations with rte execs.

    I know most of the Irish in Britain will have died by the time it changes, but eventually, a Mhicí, Stewart Brand’s observation that – On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time.- will mean you get to watch Nuacht TG4 whilst swallowing decent scrumpy.

    You just gotta wait……