Mayo company IrishTV will create 150 full-time jobs when the new Westport-based TV station is launched by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny on May 1.
Ireland’s first international television channel was founded by Westport couple Pierce O’Reilly and Mairead Ní Mhaoilchiaráin. IrishTV will broadcast across the UK, Ireland and Europe on Sky Channel 191, and Freesat and in the US on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS ). Broadcasting 24 hours a day, IrishTV will feature 50 unique home-produced programmes a week, with original content each night from 6 to 12pm. The station is dedicated to bringing local stories to a global audience.
IrishTV will also be providing an international platform for specific RTE Digital content, which will centre on news and politics.
The €15 million project will also have an online service available across all devices on IrishTV.com
IrishTV’s chairman is multi-millionaire John Griffin, an Achill native who has recently sold the UK’s largest minicab service, Addison Lee, for €360 million.
“With a focus on connecting people to their locality, IrishTV aims to shine a light on rural Ireland and bring the real essence of Irish life to a worldwide audience,” said CEO Pierce O’Reilly.
He went on to say, “IrishTV is an all-Ireland channel and each of the 32 counties will have their own half-hour County Matters show once a week, produced by IrishTV’s own nationwide production network. Three people will be employed in each county in production, presentation and commercial positions on the County Matters shows, while 37 staff will be based at IrishTV headquarters at Westport Industrial Park, with a further five in our northern office in Donaghmore, Tyrone.
“Securing the deals both with Sky in the UK and Europe and PBS in the US has enabled us to potentially capture a large portion of the Irish diaspora – people who will now be closer to home than ever. This will also create a positive commercial offering for advertisers, both at home and abroad,” he added.