Cúla4 presenters Limerick duo Aisling Ní Dhonnabháin and Seán Ó Maoilchiaráin pictured above. Picture: Martina Regan
Cúla4 is the first dedicated Irish language children’s channel
History was made on Friday, September 8, 2023 as the first dedicated Irish language children’s channel was launched. Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin carried out the official launch of the new TV channel at TG4 headquarters in Co. Galway.
The channel will have a six-minute news service from Tuesday to Friday at 1.30pm, produced by Fíbín Media and hosted by Limerick duo Aisling Ní Dhonnabháin and Seán Ó Maoilchiaráin. Schools will be able to tune in to watch live online from their classrooms (beginning Tuesday, September 12) and keep up to date with the news of the day.
Aisling Ní Dhonnabháin is from Caherdavin, in Limerick and is very proud of her beautiful city. She has fond memories of going to rugby games with her family in Thomond Park and she loves to walk the three bridges route on a nice evening. Aisling attended Mary Queen of Ireland national school followed by Laurel Hill Coláiste. Aisling speaks Irish, English, French and Spanish and has a degree in languages from UCC, as well as a master’s degree in Irish translation. Aisling loves animals and nature and at the weekend she goes hiking, swimming or walking with her little dog. She is very interested in the environment and biodiversity and always tries to reduce her carbon footprint. Aisling was a presenter of Eco-Laoch and Lá Dár Saol on TG4, as well as a few other projects like the Junior Entrepreneur Programme.
Seán Ó Maoilchiaráin is from Annacotty, Co. Limerick. He attended Lisnagry National School and Castletroy College. He earned his undergraduate degree in Irish and History from University of Limerick. He is currently studying for a master’s degree in the University of Galway in ‘Cleachtas Gairmiúl sna Meáin’ (Journalism and Broadcasting as Gaeilge). Seán has been working in Irish language media for a few years now, including a podcast Gaeilge Anois, a radio sports show ‘Comhscór’ on Raidió Rí-Rá. He has written articles for RTÉ.ie and creates content on TikTok and Instagram. Despite Irish not being his first language, it is one of his big passions as well as sport (especially rugby) music and food.
TG4’s Head of News and Current Affairs, Deirdre Ní Choistín says “TG4 is committed to its development of News and Current Affairs offering across all platforms. The Nuacht Cúla4 news service on the new Cúla4 channel is a further endorsement of that commitment. Nuacht Cúla4 will provide relevant, up to date news in a unique way catering for children and their interest in news. The service will broadcast during school hours, allowing teachers across Ireland to avail of this valuable resource in classrooms.’
Cúla4 is a free to air children’s channel will include a wealth of entertainment, drama, a children’s news service, a mix of home produced content and acquired shows as well being a valuable source of educational Irish language content.
The new channel, aimed at 0-12 year olds will provide an entertaining and fun daily point of contact to the Irish language for children. The channel will include newly commissioned content from the Independent production sector in Ireland, as well as acquired international animation, which are revoiced to Irish by independent sector.
The channel will be anchored by presenters Seosamh Mac Seoin, (from Belfast) who wraps our morning slot from 6am, Síle Ní Chonghaile (from Galway) presents our educational zone from 9am and Niamh Ní Chróinín (from Dublin) has a fun packed slot in the afternoons from 3pm for the older age groups.
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin stated that “this Government has demonstrated the importance it places on making the Irish language a living language. The increase in funding and support I have provided to TG4 to ensure increased Irish language content is available, is a clear signal of the important role that public service media can play in this regard. As Minister for the Irish language and the Gaeltacht, I am particularly pleased to be here today to launch Cúla 4, a dedicated Irish language children’s channel that will embed and normalise the daily use of Irish for the next generation. Young people need to be able to visualise themselves achieving great things in all walks of life, and Cúla4 allows young people with Irish to see themselves represented on screen.”
Here is just snippet of some of the programming available on Cúla4 –
‘Nuacht Cúla4’ – News programme for young people covering local, national and international news. Fíbín Media
‘Anfa’ is an action-oriented and high-energy game show based on the weather. ‘Anfa’ is produced By Fíbín Media.
‘Uiscenauts’ is a fun all action water-based game show produced by Abú Media
‘M’Ainm Mo Scéal’ is a children’s series about the meaning and the stories associated with given names. Ronin Films Ltd..
‘Teach Spraoi’ – Every week, a different group of children have two days to design and build their choice of playhouse. Macalla
‘Uisce Uisce’ -A new series for children who love water activities – be it sailing or zorbing their excitement is contagious. Paper Owl Films Ltd.
Cúla4 will air for 14 hours daily, from 6am every morning until 8pm every evening. Saorview – Channel 18, Channel 602 on Virgin Media, Sky 624 and Eir will all carry the young people’s channel. Cúla4 will be also be supported online via the player which is available at their website and also the Cúla4 App.
Cúla4 belongs to the children of Ireland and the future generations of Irish speakers. #isliomsaé