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Dublin: 12°C Wednesday 30 September 2020

Bill O'Herlihy's wish granted as Irish Film Board changes its name

The change was given the seal of approval the week before he died.

Bill O'Herlihy
Bill O'Herlihy
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

IN A MOVE that could in one way be seen as a long time coming, the Irish Film Board has changed its name.

In order to nod towards the digital revolution, but also the fact it was set up to promote Irish film, TV and animation, its name will be legally changed to Screen Ireland this year.

It has emerged that the change was also a wish of its late director, broadcaster Bill O’Herlihy, who had discussed it with the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, shortly before his death.

Minister Humphreys said today she intends to put legislation in place to change the name of the Irish Film Board to Screen Ireland.

She described the Irish Film Board as “our premier agency for promoting and supporting the audio visual sector”.

Its work extends far beyond the traditional realm of ‘film’ and encompasses the domestic and international TV sector, as well as our growing animation sector.
The Irish audio visual sector has been going from strength to strength in recent years, and I believe there is huge capacity for growth. I want the agency tasked with expanding the sector further to have a name that easily communicates its responsibilities.

She said that the change is “fully supported by the Irish Film Board”.

I discussed the proposed name change just the week before [Bill O'Herlihy] died. Bill firmly believed that the name change would help the agency to better position itself and compete internationally, and I am very pleased to be in a position to honour his wish.

Humphreys said the name change will provide “an opportunity to capitalise on this potential, and to create a clear pathway for growth for our film, TV and animation industries”.

O’Herlihy, the longtime broadcaster, died at the age of 76 in May.

The name of the Irish Film Board will be changed by an amendment to the National Cultural Institutions (National Concert Hall) Bill 2015, which is currently before the Dáil.

Humphrey’s department said that any costs due to the name change and associated rebranding “will be met from the existing resources of the Irish Film Board”.

Read: ‘The industry is coming to Ireland in a big way’: Bright future for Irish film with these talented graduates>

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