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TG4 at 20

If you didn't already know TG4 began broadcasting 20 years ago today. Since then it has proven itself to be the quintessential public service broadcaster. It entertains, it informs and it educates. It gave us a different view (suil eile) and it proved that Irish TV could be strong, in an era when we were bereft of strong national TV. For those of us in 2 TV land it gave us an expectation as to what TV3 should have been, and 2 years later we were slightly disappointed.

TG4 for me started two things. It gave me a late love for our native language and it showed me that with persistence something could happen.

For those of you reading this that are anti-Gealige, look at it this way after years of RTE ignoring the language the proponents of an Irish Language channel were able to show that RTE were unwilling and unable to provide a modern sustainable and wanted service.

It is unfortunate that other part of the schedule on RTE are just as weak for other important areas of culture as they were back then for Irish Language programming.

At that time RTE aired just 5% Irish Language programming and during the summer months this reduce even further.

For those of us in 2 TV Land it gave us a choice. For younger audiences where Cable TV provided music, movies and entertainment, TG4 provided those programmes as an alternative to Network 2's yuff programming. Now we had Pop4 and Top Thirty Hits, No Disco and RiRa, The Den and CulaBula.

For Soap lovers it introduced a twice weekly soap called Ros Na Run, in its first year it had a mainstay gay couple and the year ended in a climax that saw Liam waiting and hoping to be stood up on his wedding day, only to have the bride (Berni) arrive. It continues on TG4 with stories on abortion, teen pregnancy, murders, thieves, gossips and humour.

CU Burn became a quiet cult hit about an undertaker in Donegal, while chat shows Comhra and Fir 's Mna took a softer approach to the genre. Though Sibin took an all too familiar take on Nighthawks.

All this coupled with Traditional Music, Movies, HBO programmes and News. What more could you look for in a station?

You can imagine how RTE and audiences felt with the pending arrival of TV3. Could it be that they might launch an English language version of TG4, a nightly home produce soap opera, a strong alternative chat show, a sitcom or two. Imagine the uproar if the upstart TV3 actually produced a strong sit-com, particular so soon after Father Ted!!!

You can be sure TV3 did none of these things, but RTE did improve because of TG4. RTE2 began producing Drama and Comedy with the arrival of Paths to Freedom and Bachelors Walk, while RTE ONE was beset by new and original drama. Perhaps TG4 just gave RTE that kick up the arse they clearly needed.

This is why I support TG4..... ach agus tá ach mor atá ann.

Nil alan gealige agam. Ta mo gaeilge, mar a duirt Bosco, uafásach. Cinnte, nil mo bearla Seamus Seoige ach...

Ag an am seo ta me ag féachana fiseann nua on TG4 ar an idirline. Nil aon gaeilge ann, ta gach duine ag caint as bearla. Cen Fath? An bhfuil Eoghan Mac Diarmada áblta a caint i ngaeilge. Bhí sé ag láithreoir claracha as teanga riomhe sin.

An bhfuil Eagla ar peiladoirí CGL tar eis imirt cluiche a ra cupla focal as gaeilge?

Cheapim go bhfuil an chuid is mó peiladoirí beagnach tar eis scoil.

‘Sheannamid go maith ach nilamide ann, ta an-dioma orm.

Taimid ar fheabhas. "Contae anim" abu.

agus ca bhfuil TG4HD ar saorview? ach sin e sceal eile.

lá breithe shona TG4XX