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TV3 says it can't interrupt X Factor for Taoiseach's state of the nation address

The station has complained the government left it too late to announce details of Enda Kenny’s address to the nation and says it will broadcast it after the X Factor tomorrow night.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

TV3 WILL NOT be able to carry Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s address to the nation because of the late notice it received from the government and the technical changes involved, the station has said.

The government confirmed yesterday evening that the Taoiseach will address the nation on Sunday night after the Nine O’Clock News on RTÉ One ahead of next week’s budget.

TV3 said it will broadcast the address at 10.15pm tomorrow night, after the X Factor and Xtra Factor have finished and again on Ireland AM from 7am on Monday morning.

The station had asked the government to confirm details of the speech earlier this week but the late notification made it impossible to make changes to a live simulcast of programming which is also going out live on UTV/ITV in the UK.

A spokesperson for the station told TheJournal.ie it was trying to facilitate everyone. “We  wanted this decision made midweek but at a last minute’s notice we can’t prepare for it,” the spokesperson said, adding that the government had given no consideration to TV3.

A statement from the broadcaster said:

It is not possible at such short notice to break into a simulcast show because this requires major technical changes. The first TV3 was advised of the time of the Taoiseach’s address was at 6.50pm last night.

The scheduled time of the address at 9.30pm does not require a break in RTE programming but on TV3 it occurs in the middle of a programme which is extremely popular with viewers. 10:15pm is the first available opportunity without breaking into a programme.

Meanwhile there are few details of what the Taoiseach’s speech will contain although it is expected to focus both on the budget and the crucial EU summit next week and last between 10 and 15 minutes.

The Irish Independent reports it will be recorded ‘as live’ just before it is broadcast. It will be only the sixth time a Taoiseach has delivered a television address of this kind.

Charlie Haughey famously addressed the nation once in 1980 while former taoisigh Jack Lynch and Garrett Fitzgerald gave two addresses each. The last was by Fitzgerald in 1986 during a teachers’ strike.

- TheJournal.ie will be liveblogging the Taoiseach’s address to the nation tomorrow night as well as bringing you reaction to it.

Confirmed: Taoiseach’s state of the nation address to happen this Sunday >

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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