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Watch: It's 50 years since the first televised general election

It seems like only yesterday.
Apr 7th 2015, 7:00 PM 4,736 4

TODAY MARKS 50 years since the 1965 general election.

The result itself wasn’t anything spectacular. A Seán Lemass-led Fianna Fáil government was succeeded by a Seán Lemass-led Fianna Fail government.

However, for the Irish public, it was the first time we could catch a glimpse inside more than just their own local county centre.

RTÉ, which only four year previous had been simply Radio Éireann, had cameras at four centres across the country – Cork, Dublin, Monaghan, and Wexford – and televised the event.

“Four reporters read results as they came in via specially installed teleprinters which were linked directly to the General Post Office in Dublin,” the RTÉ Archives website details.

In the clip below, the result of the count for Dublin North East is read, and makes mention of a certain Mr Haughey…

Given this relatively extensive coverage, RTÉ radio had to step-up its game, cancelling all programming from 3pm, with the RTV Guide reading:

This re-scheduling of broadcasting is intended to provide listeners with a running story of the election count, with intervals for music when the flow slackens.

The RTÉ Archives has more footage of the first 1965 election here, and also a clip of the radio coverage.

Now watch: Vincent Browne needs to present Xposé more often >

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Nicky Ryan


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