President Michael D. Higgins and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited Ros na Rún Studios in Spiddal on Friday during a state visit.
Presidents Higgins and Steinmeier visited Connemara TV studios on the last day of his three-day trip to Ireland.
The trip also marked the 25th anniversary of TG4, which was actually founded by President Higgins as TnaG during his time as Minister of the Arts.
The station first aired on October 31, 1996, and over the past quarter of a century, TG4’s vision has been to promote the Irish language and culture in the lives of people, in Ireland and around the world.
The Presidents got a taste of the cultural, linguistic and economic importance of TG4, especially of the Gaeltacht regions.
They were treated to a live action scene from the actors of Ros na Rún on set and a musical performance by internationally renowned traditional Irish musician and composer Johnny Óg Connolly and singer sean-nós Pól Ó Ceannabháin.
Johnny Óg is himself from Spiddal and has worked with Údarás na Gaeltachta, who played a leading role in the formation and development of the sector in 1996 and continues to work closely with TG4.
Carna man Pól Ó Ceannabháin won the coveted sean-nós singing competition, Corn Uí Riada in Oireachtas na Gaeilge in 2012, received the TG4 Gradam Ceoil Singer of the year award in 2016 and was Ambassador of Culture Night Ireland 2020.
Also present were Údarás na Gaeltachta, who played a leading role in training and development in the sector in 1996, and continues to work closely with TG4.
Údarás Managing Director Micheál Ó hÉanaigh said they were delighted to present to the two Presidents the “intertwined aspects” of Gaeltacht tradition and modern innovation.
“The audiovisual sector is vitally important to the Irish language and the Gaeltacht itself and it is a source of pride for Údarás na Gaeltachta to have played a central role in the growth of the sector over the past forty years and especially before the creation twenty-five years ago of Teilifís na Gaeilge or TG4 as it is now.
Siún Ní Raghallaigh, Cathaoirleach of the TG4 Board of Directors, said that since the channel’s launch she has been a champion of ‘Irish culture, creativity and talent’, with an ever-growing audience.
“2021 is a milestone for TG4 as we celebrate our 25th broadcast anniversary and look forward to continuing to invest in a vibrant and creative independent sector that ensures that TG4 and the Irish language remain relevant and an important part of public service media Irish. “