Irish TV channel coming to a set near you on Saorview

Move to enable ‘local stories’ broadcaster to vie for advertising revenues with competitors

Conspicuous by its presence at the National Ploughing Championships has been Irish TV, the Mayo-based television station which broadcasts to the Irish at home and abroad.

While RTÉ is broadcasting 1½ hours a day live from the ploughing, Irish TV will broadcast 21 hours over the three days.

Irish TV was founded five years ago in Mayo. It has a presence in every county and offices in New York, London, Birmingham and Manchester. It is bankrolled by John Griffin, the London-based millionaire who sold his Addison Lee cab business for £300 million (€350 million) to a private equity business in 2014.

Irish TV chief executive and founder Pierce O’Reilly said the station, which is available on Sky at present, will shortly be on Saorview after protracted negotiations with RTÉ. It will bring the channel into an additional 676,000 users.


It will also allow Irish TV to compete for advertising with established broadcasters.

Irish TV has built a studio at the National Ploughing Championships and launched its autumn schedule from it.

Bucolic bliss

It is an ambitious programme which includes Are We There Yet, involving Coronation Street star Charlie Dawson and former Emmerdale actor Daniel Coll who embark on a road trip around Ireland without cash.

A five-part series Young, Irish and Living the Dream will tell the story of Irish entrepreneurs trying to make it big.

There will also be a documentary on the little known condition Lyme Disease. The Rose Experience goes behind the scenes at the Rose of Tralee and the Irish TV chef Paul Treyvaud will also feature in Travels on the Shannon.

Irish TV already broadcasts a half-hour programme from each county every week. Mr O’Reilly said they already generate 30 hours of their own programmes every week and are ramping up their production.

“We will produce 480 hours of original home-produced programmes over the coming season,” he said.

“We are proud of the fact that we encourage new ideas, commission independent content and show it to a worldwide audience.”

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times