Gaeltacht Minister Catherine Martin said she was “delighted” today to launch TG4’s new Irish language channel for children – the first of its kind.
The channel, which is named Cúla4, is aimed at 0-12 year-olds, and will include a children’s news service, entertainment content, Irish produced drama, and animation.
The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media says that a “key aim” of the channel will be to “reflect the diverse backgrounds of children living in all parts of Ireland, but particularly in Gaeltacht and Irish speaking communities.”
It will also reportedly “provide Irish language for use in Primary schools.”
“I am delighted to be in Galway today to launch the first ever dedicated Irish language children’s channel,” Minister Martin said today.
“The launch of a dedicated Irish language children’s channel gives TG4 the opportunity to better serve younger Irish audiences. I am very pleased to see the combination of child-focused news, educational and entertainment content in the schedule.
“I welcome the strategy to provide the content digitally which ensures that the content can be accessed on a multiplatform basis, and ensures Cula4 will be where children are. For non-native speakers, this brings the language out of the school environment and into their homes.”
The new station will air for 14 hours daily, from 6am until 8pm, seven days a week. It will also be supported online via the player, Cula4.com and the Cúla4 App.
Minister Martin added that €3.3m in exchequer funding was allocated in the Budget to support the launch.
“I was delighted to secure €3.3m of exchequer funding in Budget 2023 to support the development and launch of Cúla4,” she said.
“The funding provides ongoing support and investment for our regional independent production companies, particularly those in the Gaeltacht areas, as they work closely with TG4 to provide quality Irish children’s content.”
The development comes after Gript asked Minister Martin this week about the “endangered” status of the Irish language globally, and the way in which the language is taught within the education system. That clip can be viewed below.
"Is that not a critical failure?": Gaeltacht Minister Catherine Martin is asked about the Irish language's "endangered" status, despite the fact that most people in Ireland study the language for 13 years at school. Question by @Ben_Scallan.#gript pic.twitter.com/q9uMTe5Jj6
— gript (@griptmedia) September 8, 2023