An BBC agus an Ghaeilge

Thart fá 25 bliain ó shin, thosaigh BBC Tuaisceart Éireann ag craoladh i nGaeilge, as an stiúideo ar Bhóthar Northland, Doire, 15 bomaite gach tráthnóna, cúig lá sa tseachtain, agus ollchlár ar an Domhnach. Bhí foireann áitiúil den scoth acu. Dúirt cara de mo chuid a bhí ag foghlaim Gaeilge ag an am: “Caithfidh mé na cláracha a chur ar téip. Ní mhairfidh seo.” (Dála an scéil, Baisteoir a bhí ann: is ministéir anois é.) Ach b’fhéidir go raibh foireann Dhoire rómhaith: bhog ár n-Aintín an t-aonad go Béal Feirste. D’éirigh an taisteal ródhian ar an fhoireann, agus fuair an chuid is mó acu obair eile. B’fhéidir go raibh mé claonta, ach níor shíl mé go raibh an dream i mBéal Feirste leath chomh maith is a bhí an fhoireann i nDoire. Bhí stuaic orm dá bharr ar feadh tamaill. Ach caithfidh mé a rá gur tháinig biseach ar an scéal. Cuireann an BBC seirbhís den scoth ar fáil do lucht na Gaeilge anois. An t-aon ghearán atá agam ná nach dtugtar am go leor don Ghaeilge fós.

Bíonn ’Blas’ ar Raidió Uladh cúíg lá sa tseachtain ar a seacht a chlog. Bíonn ’Caschlár’ ann ar an Satharn ar a sé, le Brian Mullen (‘an-réimse ceoil’). Tugann Robbie Hannan ‘togha an cheoil thraidisiúnta’ dúinn ar ‘Cúlán’ ar an Domhnach ar 18.00.

Tá dul chun cinn dochreidte déanta ag an BBC maidir le cláracha teilifíse Gaeilge. Fiche bliain ó shin, ní raibh faic na fríde ann. Anois craoltar ‘Imeall Geal’ ar an Luan ar BBC2 ar 22.00 - ‘scoth na siamsaíochta’ le beirt láithreoirí díograiseacha. Chríochnaigh an dara sraith de ‘Luí na Talún’ ar na mallaibh, cláracha ar dóigh faoin timpeallacht. Soláthraíonn an BBC a lán ábhair do pháistí agus d’fhoghlaimeoirí ar an idirlíon. Gabh chuig: www.bbc.co.uk/irish/english/.

* Aifreann Craolfaidh Raidió na Gaeltachta ‘Aifreann an Lae’ beo ó Theach Nasaire i nDoire an Domhnach seo ar 11.30.

The BBC and Irish

Around 25 years ago, BBC Northern Ireland started broadcasting in Irish from the Northland Road studio in Derry, 15 minutes every evening, 5 days per week, with an omnibus programme on Sundays. They had a local team. A friend of mine who was learning Irish at the time said to me: “I must tape the programmes. This won’t last.” (By the way, he was a Baptist. He is now a minister.) But perhaps the Derry team was too good: Auntie moved the unit to Belfast. The travelling became too much for the team and most of them got other jobs. Maybe I was biased, but I didn’t think that the people in Belfast were half as good as the team that had been in Derry. I went into a huff for some time because of it. But I must say that things improved. The BBC gives Irish speakers an excellent service now. My only complaint is that Irish doesn’t get enough time still.

‘Blas’ is on Radio Ulster five days a week. ‘Caschlár’is on every Saturday, with Brian Mullen (a great range of music). Robbie Hannan gives us “the best of traditional music” on ’Cúlán’ on Sundays at 18.00.

The BBC has made great progress with regard to television programmes. Twenty years ago, there was absolutely nothing. Now ‘Imeall Geal’ is broadcast on Mondays on BBC2 at 22.00 - ‘top entertainment’, with two enthusiastic presenters. The second series of ‘Luí na Talún’ finished recently - excellent programmes concerning the environment. The BBC provides lots of material for children and learners on the Internet. Go to: bbc.co.uk/irish/english/.

* Raidió na Gaeltachta will broadcast Mass live from Nazareth House, Derry this Sunday at 11.30.