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Saturday 3 June 2023 Dublin: 11°C
# National Anthem
Deaf people to protest at RTÉ over coverage of All-Ireland final and Pope's visit
RTÉ said that they were engaged in an active dialogue with the Irish Deaf Society.

MEMBERS OF THE Deaf community are to hold a protest outside RTÉ’s Dublin and Cork offices this Thursday afternoon.

The protest is over the way in which RTÉ covered the first public performance of the newly translated ISL version of Amhrán na bhFiann at last Sunday week’s All-Ireland hurling final at Croke Park, and parts of the Pope’s visit this weekend.

An open letter by the Irish Deaf Society said that the national broadcaster didn’t show the ISL version of the national anthem on screen for long enough, and didn’t have enough representation of it during televised coverage of the Pope’s visit.

It said that despite recruiting and booking interpreters for the Pope’s arrival, those interpreters weren’t as visible for those at home.

“The Deaf community had no ISL interpretation for any of the Pope’s coverage on RTÉ,” the open letter said.

Whilst interpreters were visible in the background at all these events, it was disappointing that they were not included on screen for Deaf viewers at home watching the proceedings. Had the interpreter been situated on stage translating into Irish Sign Language, it would have given Deaf viewers at home full access to the proceedings.

The protest also calls for RTÉ to broadcast the full ISL performance of the national anthem during the All-Ireland Football Final next Sunday.

It is also disappointing to note that before the Limerick v Galway Hurley Match on August 19th, RTÉ went to great trouble to inform the media that the National Anthem would be translated into Irish Sign Language, yet the ISL performer was only visible on screen for 1-2 seconds.

In a statement to, RTÉ said that they have contacted the Irish Deaf Society and are engaged in an active dialogue with them on the matter. It said that live signing can be difficult to capture at televised events.

“Live signing, as incorporated by organisers into many events, is often very difficult to capture satisfactorily for home viewers. As such, RTÉ has traditionally provided live subtitling as an alternative.

“However, RTÉ has been looking at a better solution for live signing for some time. Trials, of which last night’s Papal visit highlights programme is a part, are actively testing live signing facilitated from RTÉ’s studios.

“This is something that RTÉ remains committed to testing.”

Organisers of the protest plan to hand a petition to RTÉ and speak to the Director General Dee Forbes, and the Head of Sport Declan McBennett at 5.30pm.

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