[lg policy] Ireland: Glamour rather than ghetto for Gaeilge at Awards

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Sun May 15 16:07:57 EDT 2016

 Glamour rather than ghetto for Gaeilge at Awards Friday 13 May 2016
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[image: Glamour as gaeilge. The Irish language media awards take place
Glamour as gaeilge. The Irish language media awards take place tonight

*The Oireachtas na Gaeilge Media Awards are taking place in Galway tonight
- think of them as the 'Irish language IFTAS'. Host Aengus Mac Grianna says
that apart from the glamour and gúnas, working as gaeilge is no longer
considered a 'ghetto'.*

I’ve been presenting the Oireachtas na Gaeilge Media Awards for the past
few years, and it really is a night I look forward to. It started off
small, but has grown dramatically over the past few years, and is now a
truly glamorous and stylish event to match any awards night I’ve attended.

I’m really excited that President Higgins will be joining us on the night,
as he was central to the setting up of TG4 twenty years ago as Minister for
Arts. The station is being awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, which is
truly deserved for so many reasons.

*The uber-cool teen drama, EIPIC, was made for TG4*

When TG4 was being set up, many feared it would lead to the
'ghetto-isation' of Irish. But that hasn’t happened. In fact many of its
viewers include people who are not fluent and are therefore exposed to
Irish on a regular basis.

Not only that, but TG4 has given quite a few presenters the platform to
develop their skills and move to English language programmes as well. These
include people like Gráinne and Síle Seoige, Daithí Ó Sé, Maura Derrane,
and Hector.

In the Newsroom, former TG4 Nuacht employees include our Legal Affairs
Correspondent, Orla O’Donnell, Joe Mag Raollaigh and Máire Treasa Ní
Cheallaigh. So rather than ghetto-ising the Irish Language, TG4 has
contributed to a greater movement of Irish speakers within the media

*Fluent in Irish, English and afternoon chat*

When I began broadcasting many moons ago it was much more difficult to move
from Irish language broadcasting to English. That has changed dramatically
in RTÉ over the years. Again there are several presenters, including
myself, who switch easily from Irish to English.

They include, Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh, Sharon Ní Bheoláin, Fiachna Ó Braonáin
from the Hothouse Flowers, 2FM's Eoghan McDermott and Blathnaid Treacy and
many more. There's also a new Irish language policy in place in RTÉ  to
provide content as gaeilge on all platforms of the station, which should
help de-stigmatise Irish for many and give it more than just a token
gesture across our schedule.

*More of the RTÉ Gaelige babes, Blathnaids & Eoghan*

Oireachtas na Gaeilge Media Awards ceremony itself is such good craic,
starting with plenty of red carpet glamour, a drinks reception, and then
the awards themselves. This year Páidí Ó Lionáird, Róisín O’Hara, Tristan
Rosenstock will be battling it out with others for TV Presenter of the
Year, while the break-out TV hit, *EIPIC*, and Seo Linn's Stiofán Ó Fearail
are also up for awards.

*Stiofaín Ó Fearail from Seo Linn*

In addition to the Rising Star of the Year Award, there's also the
hotly-contested Best Online award. To me, the award demonstrates how the
Irish language has moved with the times and has embraced new technology.
Online content in Irish has enabled people, especially young people, not
only to get their information in Irish, but has also enabled them to
respond publicly to it with a greater sense of connectivity between Irish

This bodes well for the future of the language methinks. Anyway, must
dash! Galway here I come!


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