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    Irish and the media

Irish language publishing

Foinse ‘Fountain, source’ This is an Irish-language newspaper. It was founded in 1996 and its offices are located in An Cheathrú Rua (Carraroe) in the Connemara Gaeltacht. It recently ceased independent publication and now (2012) appears as a supplement to the Irish Independent newspaper on Wednesdays. There is a support website at

The Irish Times, a major national newspaper in Ireland, though aimed at an English-speaking audience has a regular feature in Irish, An Teanga Bheo (‘The living langauge’) which discusses current affairs and matters of relevance to a wider audience. The material is also available on the internet at (subscription necessary).

Radio na Gaeltachta ‘Gaeltacht radio’ (web address: Founded in 1972, this is an Irish-only radio station which broadcasts primarily to the speakers in the northern, western and southern dialect regions. It provides news and current affairs coverage for native Irish speakers, but increasingly includes coverage of broader issues. The radio station has centres in the north, west and south and the forms of Irish from these regions are represented to roughly equal extents in the programmes offered. This fact has had a benificial effect for native speakers of the various regions: because all main dialects are represented, the comprehension of different dialects has increased by speakers being exposed to the speech of people from other dialect regions on this radio station.

Radió na Life ‘Liffey Radio’ (web address: This is an Irish-language radio station providing coverage in the greater Dublin area (‘Liffey’ is the name of the river on which Dublin is situated). It started broadcasting in 1993 and has been providing a topical and contemporary service since.

Telefís na Gaeilge ‘Irish television’ (web address: Founded in 1996, this is an Irish-language television station, located in the Connemara Gaeltacht about 30 kilometres west of Galway city. The station is usually known as TG4 (read: [ti: dʒi: kʲæhɪrʲ], the last element is ceathair, Irish ‘four’). This is because it was initially planned as the fourth channel of the national broadcasting corporation Radio Telefís Éireann ‘Irish Radio and Television’, normally shortened to the alphabetism RTE. As opposed to Radio na Gaeltachta, TG4 does not broadcast exclusively in Irish, a matter on which opinions are divided. However, it has meant that there is now an ever increasing exposure of English speakers to Irish on television, especially to native speaker Irish used by programme presenters. In 2007 TG4 became formally independent of RTE.

BBC Northern Ireland also devotes some its service to the Irish language. This is featured in Blas ‘Irish accent, taste’ (web address: which includes interviews, news and general information on education, sport and the arts.


Lá Nua ‘New day’ was a daily newspaper published in Northern Ireland and dedicated to Irish issues throughout the entire island. It actively supported the cause of Irish in the north, e.g. by providing full coverage of related events such as the establishment of Irish-medium schools or the use of Irish in public in Northern Ireland. It ceased publication in December 2008.

Irish language publishing

An Gúm ‘The scheme’ Founded in 1926, this was formerly part of the Department of Education and is now part of Foras na Gaeilge, the cross-border institution for the Irish language. For many decades it was the main Irish-language publisher in Ireland and was also concerned with translation work from English to Irish and with translations from other (European) languages. An Gúm also publishes teaching material such as a dictionary as do educational publishers in Ireland. There are other smaller commercial publishers who produce both fictional and non-fictional works in Irish. Cló Iar-Chonnachta ‘West Connemara Publishing’, located in the Connemara Gaeltacht, Coiscéim ‘Footstep’ and Cois Life ‘By the Liffey’, the latter two in Dublin, are examples of active publishers of Irish language books.