President of Ireland and President of the Federal Republic of Germany visit the Conamara Gaeltacht as part of a three day State Visit

29 October, 2021

min read

President Michael D. Higgins and President of the Federal Republic of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier together with their wives Sabina Higgins and Elke Büdenbender visited the Ros na Rún studios today (29/10/21) in An Spidéal, as part of the German President’s three-day state visit to Ireland.

The visit by the Presidents to Ros na Rún was to acknowledge TG4’s 25th anniversary which takes place on Halloween night. President Higgins founded TG4 when he was Minister for Arts. Over the past 25 years, TnaG’s vision has been to promote the Irish language and culture in people’s lives in Ireland and worldwide. TG4’s motto ‘Súil Eile’ is to show the world from a different perspective. The Presidents were given a taste of the cultural, linguistic, and economic importance of TG4, especially Gaeltacht regions.

Also present were the Chairperson of the Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta Anna Ní Ghallachair and the Chief Executive Officer Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh who had a leading role in training and development in the sector since TG4 was established.  Údarás na Gaeltachta continues to work closely with TG4 to support development, sustainability of employment in the creative sector in Gaeltacht areas.

They were also joined by current Council of State member, Seán Ó Cuirreáin, former Council of State member Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, and Mícheál Ó Conghaile, founder Cló Iar-Chonnacht.

They were treated to a live action scene from Ros na Rún actors and a musical performance by box player Johnny Óg Connolly sean-nós singer Pól Ó Ceannabháin.  Johnny Óg Connolly is a renowned traditional Irish musician and composer.  Pól Ó Ceannabháin won the coveted sean-nós singing competition, Corn Uí Riada at Oireachtas na Gaeilge in 2012, was awarded TG4 Gradam Ceoil Singer of the year in 2016 and was ambassador for Culture Night Ireland 2020.

Referring to the event Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh, Chief Executive Officer of Údarás na Gaeltachta commented:

“The audio-visual sector is vitally important to the Irish language and the Gaeltacht itself and it is a source of pride for Údarás na Gaeltachta to have had a central role in the growth of the sector over the last forty years and especially in advance of the establishment twenty-five years ago of Teilifís na Gaeilge or TG4 as it is now known. Audio-visual companies, whom are client companies of Údarás na Gaeltachta, have received awards from all over the world in recognition of their innovative and creative works which are being produced here in the Gaeltacht.  We are delighted to have had the opportunity today to highlight those intertwined aspects of Gaeltacht tradition and innovation to both Presidents.”

Siún Ní Raghallaigh, Chairperson of the TG4 Board spoke about TG4’s anniversary and future of the station:

“Since it launched in 1996, TG4 has been a champion of Irish culture, creativity and talent and has grown its audience both at home and worldwide through the TG4 player. 2021 is an important milestone for TG4 as we celebrate our 25th year on air and look forward to continuing to invest in a vibrant, creative independent sector which ensures TG4 and the Irish language remain relevant and important part of Ireland’s Public Service Media.”