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Ferris calls for TG4 to be put on secure financial footing

8 October, 2008


Speaking in the Dáil today on the Broadcasting Bill 2008 Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris said TG4 must be placed on a proper and secure financial footing. Deputy Ferris said the Bill should set out the percentage of programming and airtime will be devoted to Irish language broadcasts and Irish produced content.

He said, "Sub Section 66 of the Bill appears to set stringent criteria in relation to content, including, in sub section (d), conditions regarding the Irish language and other aspects of Irish culture.

"However, I would be happier if the Bill actually spelt out in concrete terms how this will be implemented, by setting out for example the percentage of programming and airtime devoted to Irish language broadcasts and with regard to the level of Irish produced content.

"In relation to TG4, it is necessary to clarify a number of issues. Everyone agrees that TG4 has been a welcome development not only with regards to Irish language programming but in its coverage of sport.

"It is incumbent on the Minister therefore to ensure that the channel is placed on a proper funding basis. It is not enough to leave that contingent on what might be decided by any new authority as is proposed in this Bill.

"TG4 must be placed on a proper and secure financial footing now. The new Taoiseach has made clear, and is obviously sincere in regard to, his commitment to Irish. His Government then has an opportunity with this legislation to introduce the required amendments to ensure that TG4 is properly catered for." ENDS

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