RTÉ name change fixes spelling error that lasted 40 years


IT TOOK more than 40 years but a grammatical error in the name of the national broadcaster has finally been corrected.

Up until last week RTÉ stood for Radio Telefís Éireann, however this name has been changed to Raidió Teilifís Éireann.

The correction was brought in under the Broadcasting Act 2009 which was signed into law by President Mary McAleese last week.

“We have been going by RTÉ for so long that it is not a huge change and will be able to be brought in very quickly,” an RTÉ spokeswoman said yesterday.

The broadcaster now plans to change official documents and letterheads to reflect the new name.

However, costs for such changes would be “minimal” and would be kept down because the body has its own in-house printing and graphic designer, she said.

“All on-air logos are RTÉ so while there might be some changes to letterheads etc, it will be the bare minimum,” she said.

President of Conradh na Gaeilge Pádraig Mac Fhearghusa said the grammatical error had been a “minor irritant” to people involved in printing through Irish who regarded it as more of a logo.

The name was also confusing for those trying to teach children to spell the word television in Irish he said.

The change has taken on the standardised version of “raidió” and “teilifís” as in the Irish-English dictionary of Niall Ó Dónaill which was published in 1977 and the standardised dictionary of Tomás de Bhaldraithe which was published in 1959, he explained.

This is not the first name change for the broadcaster. The national radio services was set up as 2RN in 1926 and became Radio Éireann in 1937.

It began broadcasting a television station in the 1960s and the authority changed its name from Radio Éireann to Radio Telefís Éireann.