RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta to Celebrate 50 Years with Gala Concert
RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta has announced that it will host a gala concert next month to celebrate fifty years since the station was founded. The commemorative concert titled ‘RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta 50’ will take place at Telegael Studios in An Spidéal, Co. Galway, and will feature a line-up of traditional and country artists performing alongside the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. The concert will be broadcast live on air on 2 April at 7pm, along with a livestream on the station’s website.
RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta first aired on 2 April 1972 – the result of a campaign by the Gaeltacht Civil Rights Movement. The event will be based around the themes of courage, identity and pride of place, reflecting the station’s origins within the civil rights movement, its history as a regional and national radio service, and its role in sustaining and promoting the Irish language and culture.
Performing at the event, along with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, are Iarla Ó Lionáird and Steve Cooney, Johnny Óg Connolly, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, The High Seas, Altan, Cór Chúil Aodha, Cormac Ó Beaglaoich, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Dónal O’Connor, Gerry O’Beirne and Seán Monaghan.
The concert will also feature a programme of sean-nós singing, including performances from Ciarán Ó Gealbháin, Máire Ní Choilm, Micheál Ó Confhaola, Caitlín Ní Chualáin, Páidí Mhárthain Mac Gearailt, Doimnic Mac Giolla Bhríde, Étáin and Máire Ní Churraoin and Scottish singer Griogair Labhruidh. There will also be sean-nós dancing from Róisín Ní Mhainín, the Hernon family and the Devanney family.
Conamara country singers Beartla Ó Domhnaill, Máirtín Beag Ó Gríofa and Anna Marie Nic Dhonncha will also perform at the concert, as well as youth music groups Ceoltóirí Óga Chois Fharraige from Conamara and An Crann Óg from Donegal.
The programme will be presented by Neansaí Ní Choisdealbha, Michelle Nic Grianna and Sláine Ní Chathalláin. David Brophy will conduct the orchestra, and musical arrangements will be by Cormac McCarthy.
Commenting on the event, Gearóid Mac Donncha of RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta said:
At its heart, this concert will demonstrate the vibrancy, courage, pride, confidence, and rich heritage of the Gaeltacht and Irish-language community. It will be a celebration of that community, those who campaigned with the Gaeltacht Civil Rights Movement, those who founded the radio service in the early 1970s and past and current staff, our loyal listeners, everyone involved in Gaeltacht life and the Irish language community, and the young people growing up today who will keep the flame alive into the future.
Dee Forbes, Director-General of RTÉ, added:
Born out of the language movement of the late sixties and early seventies, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta sought to give voice and preserve voice, to develop it and champion it. RnaG has done just that, and more, across five remarkable decades.
Today, RnaG continues to bring together our Gaeltachtaí, while providing an essential regional, national and international news service to all Irish-language speakers nationwide and around the globe. As a champion of our traditional arts, our sports, and our language, the contribution of RnaG to the protection, preservation and promotion of the Irish-language is immense.
As well as the live radio broadcast on 2 April, highlights from the concert will feature in a TV programme to be broadcast on RTÉ One on 23 April.