New channel IrishTV launches in Westport

IrishTV founders Pierce O’Reilly and Mairéad Ní Mhaoilchiaráin

IrishTV founders Pierce O’Reilly and Mairéad Ní Mhaoilchiaráin

Ireland’s newest television channel was launched last night (Thursday ) in Westport.

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny officially pushed the ‘on button’ at IrishTV at an event in Knockranney House Hotel. The launch event was also broadcast live on IrishTV and included a special message of support from singing legend Daniel O’Donnell.

Irish TV, based in Westport, will now broadcast homegrown programming around the world in a bid to connect with the Irish diaspora in the UK, Europe, and America.

The channel is available on Sky channel 191, Freesat 400, Eircom’s eVision and online at Irishtv.ie and Irishtv.com

It was founded as a digital media platform by Pierce O’Reilly and Mairéad Ní Mhaoilchiaráin. The team then secured backing from London based businessman John Griffin and last month announced the €15 million project to catapult IrishTV to an international audience.

Mr O’Reilly decribed the new venture as “an innovative TV platform to tell local stories to a global audience”.

“The reaction to IrishTV from every sector of the community has been hugely positive and it gives all our crews in every county and corner of Ireland great belief in what they are doing,” he added.

Speaking ahead of last night’s launch, the Taoiseach congratulated the team behind the new channel.

"IrishTV will literally bring the essence of Ireland to the Irish abroad and allow them to be updated on issues and news stories particular to their area.

“I commend and congratulate them on their foresight and determination in terms of getting this project off the ground and I want to wish everyone at IrishTV every success for the future.”

The schedule of programming on IrishTV will include 50 home-produced programmes, including a weekly County Matters show for each county in Ireland, helping the Irish abroad to stay in touch with what’s happening in their home county.

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