TG4 awarded €1.9m to cover Covid-19 costs

Allocation follows announcement of €3.5m increase in broadcaster’s 2021 funding

Caitríona Ní Chualáin, presenter of TG4 programme for primary school children Cúla4 ar Scoil, which began in April when schools were closed.

Caitríona Ní Chualáin, presenter of TG4 programme for primary school children Cúla4 ar Scoil, which began in April when schools were closed.

 

TG4’s public funding will be boosted by an additional €1.9 million this year to cover expenditure related to Covid-19.

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin said the sum “recognises the extra expenditure TG4 has needed to undertake this year” both to provide special programming and to make sure production is carried out safely.

The money is separate from the €3.5 million increase in funding that the Irish-language public service broadcaster will receive next year under measures announced in last week’s budget, taking its 2021 exchequer funding up to €40.7 million.

“TG4 has done a terrific job in responding to the challenges posed by Covid-19, putting in place programming such as Cúla4 ar Scoil for younger audiences and providing important news and information to keep the public safe and well-informed,” Ms Martin said.

“I’m delighted to be able to support them in this important work.”

The Minister’s department added that the funding will also assist TG4 to further strengthen its partnerships with independent production companies and secure ongoing employment in that sector.

Cúla4 ar Scoil

TG4 director-general Alan Esslemont welcomed the announcement.

“It was very important to us in TG4 to demonstrate our solidarity with independent television companies this year and to attempt to retain employment in the sector. We also wanted to help schools and schoolchildren and we are extremely proud of the series Cúla4 ar Scoil which is going from strength to strength,” Mr Esslemont said.

“TG4 welcomes the statement given by Minister Catherine Martin today and we are very grateful to her and to the department for the degree of confidence they have shown to have in TG4 as a public service broadcaster.”