It was announced this week that TG4 Leascheannasaí (Deputy Chief Executive ) Pádhraic Ó Ciardha will leave the service on early retirement in February 2018 after over 23 years’ service.
Mr Ó Ciardha, who has been a senior executive with the channel throughout its existence, is the longest serving staff member and has been Leascheannasaí TG4 for the past 18 years. He is widely regarded as one of the main architects of the service.
Immediately before its inception, he had served as fulltime Advisor on Irish Language Broadcasting to both Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and her successor Michael D Higgins, the two Ministers acknowledged as bringing the Teilifís na Gaeilge project from policy aspiration to fruition.
Mr Ó Ciardha’s responsibilities in TG4 have covered a wide range of communications, corporate affairs and governance, public relations and key influencing roles. He also served as Secretary to the TG4 Board and represented the organisation on many sectoral bodies and federations at both national and international levels. He is also the creator of the channel’s acclaimed motto súil eile.
Before joining TG4 in 1994, he had worked in broadcast journalism, establishing the Raidió na Gaeltachta Dublin bureau, as a member of the founding team for RTÉ Radio News ‘Morning Ireland and as Editor of Nuacht RTÉ. He had earlier worked in academics as a Scholar in the School of Celtic Studies at DIAS and lecturer in Maynooth University.
TG4 Director General, Alan Esslemont, paid tribute to Mr Ó Ciardha’s long and distinguished service in the establishment and development of TnaG /TG4:
“Pádhraic’s long and distinguished career is inextricably linked to the birth and development of Teilifís na Gaeilge. As the government’s Advisor on Irish Language Broadcasting, he formed the bridge between the longstanding national and community campaigns for an Irish language channel and the state apparatus which finally delivered Teilifís na Gaeilge. Together with Cathal Goan and Siún Ní Raghallaigh, he developed the blueprint for TnaG. For twenty three years he has been the most visible public representative and voice of TG4.
“He also played a key role in the development of the genre of Irish language sports programming and his background as a journalist in English and Irish ensured that when our programmes touched on controversial subjects, it was always to Pádhraic that our editorial staff looked for advice. As TG4’s representative on many national and international bodies, and as a trusted and congenial colleague he will be greatly missed by everyone connected to TG4 and leaves a gap in our team which will be very difficult to fill,” he concluded.