Cahersiveen out in force as Dara launches book
Though neither are Gaeltacht towns, Cahersiveen and Rathkeale were among the most strongly represented centres at the very first event of the Oireachtas on Wednesday - there to witness Kerry legend Dara Ó Cinnéide launch what is fairly the definitive story of the TG4 saga.
For the history of Ireland's third national TV station was written by one of their own - Seán Tadhg Ó Gairbhí.
The launch was the culmination of years of painstaking research that saw Seán Tadhg interviewing seemingly most involved in the station since its inception in the mid-1990s; trawling through hundreds of public documents and media articles on the programming and fortunes of TG4 and much else.
That Súil Eile, published by Cois Life (in Irish), reads so engagingly is testament to Seán Tadhg's skills as a journalist and his deep knowledge of the Irish-language media; gleaned in the course of a career that is now defined by his role as editor of the hugely-successful news site Tuairisc.ie, based in Galway. Rathkeale native Seán Tadhg, a man of proud Kerry heritage through Cahersiveen father Sean, was delighted to be joined by so many relatives and friends from Galway to West Limerick, West and South Kerry among the throng at the big launch - which was performed by his friend Dara Ó Cinnéide.
Harking back to the heady days of the mid-90s, TV presenter Dara likened the birth of TG4 to a 'miracle' while saluting Seán Tadhg's nuanced handling of the fortunes of the broadcaster ever since as they waxed and waned, amid no little critical scrutiny in the English-language media, up to the station's present iteration as a powerhouse of diverse programming on limited resources.
Among Wednesday's gathering meanwhile was one of the nation's best-loved artists Robert Ballagh - responsible for the strikingly clever Súil Eile cover depicting a boy sitting on an old telly watching TG4 on a tablet.