TG4 launches Irish language children’s channel Cúla4

A new Irish-language children’s channel, Cúla4, has been approved for TG4, Arts Minister Catherine Martin announced today.

The channel will seek to build on the TV channel’s Cúla4 program and will cost €3.2m.

Cúla4 will include a children’s news service, entertainment and educational content, plays and Irish animation.

Ms Martin said the new channel will “reflect the diverse backgrounds of children living in all parts of Ireland but particularly in Gaeltacht and Irish speaking communities”.

TG4 announced last year that it intended to launch its own children’s channel, and work on Cúla4 began earlier this year.

The channel is run by Karina Feirtéar while Niamh Ní Chróinín is the new presenter of Cúla4 and serves as a youth ambassador for TG4 representing Cúla4 at public events and events, on screen as a Cúla4 presenter and as the cross-platform voice of Cúla4.

“Cúla4 will continue to increase the delivery of programming to children from the independent production sector with new content on schedule and on non-linear platforms aimed at children,” said TG4.

Ms Martin said the investment in the new channel “underpins the Government’s commitment to implementing the 20-year Irish language strategy 2010-2030, but is a further boost for the Irish language creative sector”.

TG4 Director General Alan Esslemont said TG4 – and the Irish language media and other Irish language arts organizations – play “an important role in promoting the identity and enrichment of Irish communities and in supporting the transmission of the Irish language from generation to generation”.

“We also need to think about how children develop the skills and creativity they need. Media are crucial in developing children’s understanding, attitudes and participation in society. We must minister to children and youth in safe spaces with trusted content.

“Public service broadcasters have a special role to play in this regard, but Irish-language media face an additional challenge as they compete for viewers in a global and predominantly English-language media market.

“Unless the Irish language media are supported, and unless they are visible, prominent and attractive, they risk losing relevance, particularly to a young Irish audience growing up in a global media environment.

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“More than ever, TG4 needs to increase the relevance of Irish language content, serving and encouraging the young audience that will define the future of Irish as a community language. We need to enrich TG4’s services to children, strengthen children’s relationship with TG4 and thereby maintain their relationship with the Irish language,” said Mr Esselmont.

. TG4 launches Irish language children’s channel Cúla4

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