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RTÉ to open archives to celebrate 50th anniversary

RTÉ launched TV50 yesterday to mark the year-long anniversary celebrations.

Commemorative stamps
Commemorative stamps
Image: RTE

GAYBO’S FIRST BROADCAST? Mary Robinson on the Den? Footage from Italia 90? Which would you like to be able to watch again?

They may all be available soon as the National Broadcaster is to release more of its archived footage online for its 50th anniversary celebrations.

RTÉ will publish photos, video clips and TV50 Classics as part of TV50, a year-long celebration starting New Year’s Eve.

The comprehensive archives which provide a snapshot of Irish life will be made available from spring 2012.

Other events have been organised across the group to celebrate the golden birthday. Of course, there are the stamps as well.

Fifty years ago on New Year’s Eve President Eamon de Valera launched Telefís Éireann with these words:

Never before was there in the hands of men an instrument so powerful to influence the thoughts and actions of the multitude.”

That first evening included poetry readings by Siobhán McKenna and Mícheál MacLiammóir, a look back at the preparations for the television service, and an hour of music and song featuring Jimmy O’Dea and Maureen Potter.

Speaking at the launch of TV50, Director General Noel Curran said, “Television has served as both a window and mirror to an evolving nation; witnessing and chronicling huge change across five decades of Irish life. I hope that in that time we have served the viewing public well: that we have reflected their lives in a way that is nuanced and recognisable; that we have stimulated our conversation as a nation; that we have informed the populace in a way that has furthered our democratic rights and responsibilities; that we have promoted a sense of national identity. And that we have entertained and engaged along the way.”

Read more: “For me, it’s been a pleasure” Anne Doyle reads RTE news for the final time>

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