Seachtain na Gaeilge is the ideal time for RTÉ to demonstrate a renewed commitment to the Irish language, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Speaking in the Seanad during a debate on Seachtain na Gaeilge, Senator Seán Kyne said that as the national broadcaster, RTÉ has a responsibility to Irish speakers and to all who have an interest in the Irish language.
Senator Kyne, Fine Gael Seanad Spokesperson on the Irish Language, said, “Notwithstanding the excellent work of RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta – which next month celebrates 50 years on air – RTÉ is failing in other areas, such as television and online, when it comes to the Irish language.
“At times, there appears to be an attitude that providing Irish language content is a job solely for TG4. This is not the case and RTÉ has a duty to everyone – Irish language speakers as well as English language speakers.
“RTÉ states that its vision is ‘to champion Irish culture by captivating audiences with trusted, engaging and challenging content; celebrating our country’s rich diversity; and cultivating Ireland’s talent’. The Irish language is central to our culture and is part of our country’s rich diversity and therefore must be included in RTÉ’s vision.
“While there are longer-term changes needed at RTÉ, there’s also a number of concrete steps that RTÉ could take now to show its renewed commitment to Irish and to help increase its use and visibility in everyday life.
“Firstly, a link to the ‘nuacht’ page on RTE.ie needs to be placed directly alongside the link to the ‘news’ page. Similarly, on the RTÉ News app, the ‘nuacht’ landing page should be the option immediately after the ‘news’ landing page. At the moment, you have to swipe left seven times to reach it. That is not equality.
“Secondly, a small but impactful change could be made to the RTÉ News Now channel on TV by providing an hourly news update ‘as Gaeilge’.
“There are just two examples of the steps that RTÉ could take to demonstrate its commitment to the Irish language and in doing so better fulfil its role as a public service broadcaster,’ concluded Senator Kyne.