THE LAUNCH of the first dedicated Irish language children's TV channel in Ireland will help the language thrive and allow young Gaeilgeoirí 'to see themselves represented on screen'.
Cúla4. operated by TG4, began broadcasting as a standalone free-to-air channel on Friday to provide a daily point of contact to the Irish language for children.
It is fronted by presenters Seosamh Mac Seoin from Belfast, Galway's Síle Ní Chonghaile and Niamh Ní Chróinín from Dublin.
Aisling Ní Dhonnabháin and Seán Ó Maoilchiaráin will host the channel's news programme, Nuacht Cúla4.
'Prominent, dynamic and attractive'
Speaking at Friday's launch, the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media said the move would strengthen children’s engagement with the language.
"As Minister for the Irish language and the Gaeltacht, I am particularly pleased to be here today to launch Cúla4, a dedicated Irish language children's channel that will embed and normalise the daily use of Irish for the next generation," said Catherine Martin TD.
"Young people need to be able to visualise themselves achieving great things in all walks of life, and Cúla4 allows young people with Irish to see themselves represented on screen."
— TG4TV (@TG4TV) September 8, 2023
Her views were echoed by TG4's Director General Alan Esslemont, who described the channel's launch as 'historic'.
"Ireland's biggest single contribution to global diversity has been its ability to pass its own language from generation to generation as the living language of homes and communities," he said.
"In that context, the approval given by Minister Catherine Martin for the establishment of a dedicated children's channel in the Irish language is of historic significance.
"The English language is omnipresent in media globally and, if Irish is to continue as a community language, TG4's services for children must be prominent, dynamic and attractive, strengthening children's relationship with Irish language media and, through that, sustaining their relationship with the Irish language."
TÁ CAINÉAL NUA CÚLA4 BEO!
— Cúla4 BEO AR AER! (@Cula4_TG4) September 9, 2023
Meanwhile, Cúla4 Channel Manager Karina Feirtéar stressed the importance of presenting Irish as a living language to younger viewers.
"The new Cúla4 channel ensures that Irish language content is more accessible for our younger audiences, and will hopefully strengthen their engagement with it, as they are the future generation," she said.
"We developed a space for our audience to enjoy entertaining content when they like, and will continue to make sure that we represent our diverse audience as best we can by showcasing lives in Ireland today, through a fun and colourful experience, while immersing them in a living language, in the hope that they learn new things about the world around them through a medium they are used to."
Cúla4 is aimed at children aged 12 and under and will include a mix of home-produced content and acquired shows revoiced in Irish.
Programmes announced for the channel include Uiscenauts, a water-based game show produced by Abú Media and M'Ainm Mo Scéal, a series about the stories associated with given names, produced by Ronin Films Ltd.
The channel will air from 6am until 8pm on Saorview (channel 18), Virgin Media (channel 602) and Sky (channel 624) as well as on the Eir platform and the Cúla4 website and app.