Telefis Eireann will cater for every taste 

31 December 2020 tbs.pm/70667

Note: this article was corrected shortly after publication. Details are at the foot of the post.

Grand opening day on New Year’s Eve

 

 

From The (Dundalk) Argus for 30 December 1961

TELEFIS EIREANN WILL OPEN ON SUNDAY NEXT, NEW YEAR’S EVE AND WE WISH THOSE BEHIND THE MUCH AWAITED ENTERTAINMENT SERVICE THE BEST OF LUCK. MANY IRISH PEOPLE, PARTICULARLY THOSE IN THE SOUTHERN AND WESTERN TIPS OF THE COUNTRY WHO HAVE NOT BEEN ENJOYING THE FREE SERVICE OF B.B.C. AND U.T.V. FOR THE PAST NUMBER OF YEARS, ARE AWAITING WITH GREAT EXPECTATIONS FOR THE FIRST PROGRAMME.

THE SERVICE WILL OPEN WITH A SERIES OF SPECIAL PROGRAMMES TO CELEBRATE THE OCCASION AND THE DETAILS OF THESE PROGRAMMES WILL BE FOUND ELSEWHERE ON THIS PAGE.

THE REGULAR SERVICE WILL COME ON THE AIR AT 5 P.M. EACH EVENING AND WILL CONTINUE UNTIL 11-15, WITH ENTERTAINMENT CATERING FOR EVERY TASTE AND VIEWERS OF ALL AGES.

THE NEWS

A notable feature will be news presentation. There will be three bulletins a night – at a minute past six, at nine o’clock and at five past eleven. The last newscast will be in both Irish and English. The nine o’clock news will be followed every night, except Sunday, by News View, a programme which will take the viewer behind the headlines of each day’s news.

Another nightly programme will be Broadsheet, presented by the well-known Radio Eireann broadcaster, P. P. O’Reilly. This will be a lively entertaining magazine featuring people and events in Ireland.

SPORTS

Sports results will be given after each newscast. On Thursday, Jan. 4, viewers will see the first weekly Irish sporting magazine programme, introduced by Michael O’Hehir. This will be from 8.15 to 9 o’clock and will include On The Spot, a feature in which well-known personalities will appear before a panel of sporting journalists. Sports Final, a round-up of week-end sport will be broadcast for the first time on Sunday, Jan. 7. between 9.15 and 9.30.

 

Courtesy of KillianM2

 

CHILDREN’S SPORT

At 5.30 each Friday afternoon Michael O’Hehir will present Children’s Sport. Each week he will introduce a well-known figure, who will speak about his career in sport and give instructional comments on how his sport is played.

Another children’s programme will be Siopa an Breathnaigh, which will start on Monday, Jan. 1. This twenty minute programme is a serial about an Irish-speaking family who keep a small shop in Dublin.

Also on January 1 at 5.00 is the first edition of At Home and Abroad, a short educational feature to be seen every Monday. Wednesday and Friday. At the same time Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for young viewers there will be Tales of Wonder, stories read by well-known actors and actresses. On Saturday, Jan. 8, they will see the first Children’s Corner, a magazine planned for junior interest.

HOME FARE

St Brigid's cross

The new symbol of Eire Television which is based on the Cross of St. Brigid. The design is by Richard F. Butterworth, art director of Irish Television. [Belfast Telegraph, 4 September 1961]

Home-originated programmes of general interest include Tar Isteach, a bi-lingual variety show set in a small country hotel; Invitation, in which Key Condron welcomes interesting visitors; Pick of the Post, in which Joe Linnane presides over a panel of of well-known people who discuss controversial issues of all kinds from viewers’ letters.

The Patrick O’Hagan Show, a variety programme with the Itish tenor and other musical guests will be seen at 8.30 on Jan. 5.

The first Irish play to be broadcast by Telefis Eireann will be Synge’s The Well of the Saints, on the night of Sunday, Jan. 7.

Other regular features Include The Aquanauts, an underwater adventure series filmed in Florida; Dragnet, with Sergt. Joe Friday; Science Fiction Theatre; Have Gun Will Travel, a western series; The Donna Reed Show; The Rosemary Clooney Show; Hollywood Star Playhouse; The Red Skelton Show; The Honeymooners, a famous comedy series with Jackie Gleeson; and District Attorney, a fast-moving crime series.

 

Announcers

Marie O’Sullivan of Blackrock, Co. Dublin, was a teacher of speech and drama before her appointment by Telefis Eireann. She has been the “voice” of radio, television and cinema commercials, and was the commentator in the Irish travelogue “Honeymoon Island.” She was educated at Castlereagh, Co. Roscommon, the Dominican College, Muckross Park, and University College, Dublin.

★ ★ ★

Nuala Donnelly of Stillorgan, Co. Dublin, was educated at the Loreto Convent, Coleraine. She has taught in schools in England and Ireland, has been a receptionist, an air hostess, a fashion commere and a teacher of elocution.

★ ★ ★

Kathleen Watkins is a harpist and singer who is known not only to stage, radio and television audiences in Ireland but in Britain, America and many of the countries of Western Europe. She returned last week from a five-week tour of the United States. Educated at the Dominican Convent, Sion Hill, Blackrock, she lives at Saggart, Co. Dublin.

 


 

PROGRAMME

 

The opening night’s programme is as follows:—

President Éamon de Valera (1882-1975) filmed by RTÉ for the opening moments of the new service

7. 0 The National Anthem. Eamon de Valera, Uachtaran na hEireann, inaugurates the Irish Television Service.

7. 8 Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

7.20 Siobhan McKenna and Michael MacLiammoir in an inaugural programme of verse.

7.34 “Last October,” a short film of the early work in preparing Irish Television programmes.

8. 0 “A Toast to Telefis Eireann” from the ballroom of the Gresham Hotel.

8.15 “Cead Mile Failte” with Maureen Potter, Jimmy O’Dea and Mary O’Hara.

9.15 News.

9.45 Ireland, 1961, a filmed report of the major events in Ireland during the past year.

10. 0 “A Toast to Telefis Eireann” from the Gresham Hotel, with Brendan O’Dowda as master of ceremonies in a cabaret.

12. 0 The New Year; the cameras join the people in O’Connell St., Dublin, as the Artane Boys’ Band plays in the New Year.

12.20 His Eminence John Cardinal D’Alton speaks to the people of Ireland in the first hour of 1962.

 


 

Print advertisement

 

This New Year’s Eve, a new horizon opens for Ireland… as Telefís Éireann inaugurates the first programmes of the Irish television service.

We invite you and your family to join us on this historic occasion. We promise you it will be a night to remember, with many an exciting night of TV to follow – all through ’62.

As the service extends to other regions of Ireland, our goal will be to bring you all the best – the best in Drama… Public Affairs… Sports… Entertainment… News… to say nothing of some very special delights for the young ones!

Come all you then, this happy New Year’s Eve, and celebrate with us the birth of Irish television.

All the best from

TELEFÍS ÉIREANN

Channel 7 daily in the Mount Kippure transmitting area

P.S. If you’re without a set, see your dealer now, before the Christmas rush begins!

 


 

Print advertisement

 

New Year’s Eve will be the first of a thousand and one nights of distinguished artistes and programmes on Irish Television, representing a happy combination of the best from homa and abroad. Be with us. Bí linn agus beidh linn.

Looking left to right:
Princess Grace (News), Siobhan McKenna (Drama), Michael MacLiammoir (Drama), Ireland in the Congo (Public Affairs), Mary O’Hara (Music), Christy Ring (Sports), Tales of Wonder (Children’s Programmes), Jackie Gleason (Comedy), Hazel Yeomans (Variety), Frank O’Connor (Documentary), John Payne (Adventure).
Watch for full programme details in RTV Guide and in this newspaper.

TELEFÍS ÉIREANN

CHANNEL 7

 


 

Belfast Telegraph masthead

From the Belfast Telegraph for 1 January 1962

Most draw a blank on Channel 7

 

MOST Ulster television viewers who switched to Chanel [sic] Seven last night in the hope of receiving at least a dim picture of the opening of Telefi’s Eireann [sic throughout] found the screen an inky black, with not even a murmur from the sound box.

In South Armagh and other areas on high ground, however, last night’s reception was excellent – but only with the special aerial costing around £18 [around £450 in today’s money, allowing for inflation].

Those living in districts with hills between them and the south had no picture at all.

Mr. W. A. Wylie, radio and television dealer, of Canal Street, Newry, said people living on the higher levels at Newry had good reception, while those in the town itself had practically no picture. Crossmaglen was very good, and so was the Bessbrook area.

Rev. Father Devlin of Cloghogue had splendid reception, but people 100 yards downhill in the direction of Newry were not getting it at all.

Mr. Wylie said that piped TV would be the answer, and a move would be made to raise this in Parliament.

He said some manufacturers had not taken the trouble to make channel 7 coils for sets to be sold in Northern Ireland.

In Belfast a survey of the city by a television hire firm found that what little picture obtained in the higher parts was not of entertainment value.

Mr. Frank Needham, a television engineer, said: “The main trouble is that the Mourne Mountains are blocking the signal from Dublin. The only hope is that the Southern authority will erect a booster station near the Border.”

But the survey showed that one of the lucky parts of the city is the top of the Andersonstown Estate, where the picture could be watched without damaging the eyes.

A television dealer, Mr. T. Just, from Lisburn, reported good reception on his set last night. “We got a good picture,” he said, “and today I have had many inquiries about aerials.”

There were good reports from the Downpatrick area, too.

The station was inaugurated by the President of the Republic, Mr. de Valera, at a banquet in the Gresham Hotel, Dublin.

 


 

Correction: When first published, this article referred to The Argus as being the local paper of Drogheda, based on the British Newspaper Archive labelling it as such. It is actually the local newspaper for Dundalk. We regret the error, and thank Damien Cahill for spotting it.

 

You Say

1 response to this article

ramones1986 8 January 2021 at 11:42 am

Well, if only the then Free State government had adapted language immersion as the official policy in relation to Irish (Gaelic), RTÉ could have captured a good audience, both radio and TV, unless both the BBC and Radio Luxembourg would set up dedicated services in the said language.

On the other hand, the destinies of well-known British broadcasters of Irish origin would differ from RL, especially the likes of Terry Wogan. Who knows…

PS:
Apologies for posting an obviously Alternate History post. Hope you understand. ✌️

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