President to be special guest at TG4 20th birthday

Uachtarán na hÉireann Michael D Higgins.

Uachtarán na hÉireann Michael D Higgins.

President Michael D Higgins will be the guest of honour on Monday night next at a spectactular birthday party at NUI Galway held to mark the 20th anniversary of the opening of TG4.

The event, to be broadcast in a special two-hour programme entitled TG4XX Beo, will be nostalgic for President Higgins as he was Minister for the Arts at the time of the inauguration of the Irish-language TV station.

During the programme, President Higgins will give a live address to mark the occasion.

The Quadrangle at NUI Galway will be the host venue for the official celebrations as it marks the official opening of the Irish language national television station on October 31 1996.

The celebration will see a transformation of the iconic Quadrangle to a major broadcast pavilion for the live TV show TG4XX Beo which will be aired at 9.30pm on Oíche Shamhna.

NUI Galway is proud to have played its part in the development of TG4 and creative industries across the region though the work of the university’s centres in the Gaeltacht. Through its wide-ranging academic activities over many years in centres from Donegal to Connemara, the University has facilitated broad civic participation in an inclusive Irish language identity.

Speaking ahead of the live events planned for Halloween on the NUI Galway campus, President of the university, Dr Jim Browne said the university is delighted to welcome TG4 to the very heart of the campus this weekend.

“The Quadrangle at NUI Galway is a very fitting location for the celebrations to mark 20 years of Ireland’s national language television station.

“In many ways, the Quad is a living metaphor of the nation’s journey and an atmospheric and symbolic location. It is the foundation site of a pioneering intellectual endeavour and for over 170 years our University has demonstrated a history of engagement with the region, nation and wider world,” he said.

“This celebration allows us to join with TG4 in celebrating the cultural diversity and richness of our heritage, in a dynamic and modern context. We look forward to an evening of celebrating the very best of our national identity,” he concluded.

TG4XX Beo will feature many bespoke performances and arrangements over this extraordinary two-hour show including: HotHouse Flowers, Máirtín O’Connor and the Big Band, Prodijig, Duke Special and Ulaid, Imlé with Maitiú Ó Casaide, Nell Ní Chróinín and Séamus Ó Beaglaoích, Aeons agus Muireann Nic Amhlaobh and Seamus Barra Ó Súilleabháin, Pólca 4, Kormac and Daithi, Liam Ó Maonlaí and a specially curated performance with choirs from various Gaeltacht communities plus many more.

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