This book explores the evolution of Ireland's national television service during its first tumultuous decade, addressing how the medium helped undermine the conservative political, cultural and social consensus that dominated Ireland into the 1960s. It also traces the development of the BBC and ITA in Northern Ireland, considering how television helped undermine a state that had long governed without consensus.
Using a wide array of new archival sources and extensive interviews Savage illustrates how an increasingly confident television service upset political, religious and cultural elites who were profoundly uncomfortable with the changes taking place around them. Savage argues that during this period television was not a passive actor, but an active agent often times aggressively testing the limits of the medium and the patience of governments. Television helped facilitate a process of modernisation that slowly transformed Irish society during the 1960s.
This book will be essential for those interested in contemporary Irish political and cultural history and readers interested in media history, and cultural studies. -- .
Robert J. Savage is co-director of the Boston College Irish Studies Program and teaches in the Department of History -- .
Acknowledgements List of figures Introduction 1. *A compromise with commerce?* The origins of Irish television 2. *'A stanger among us'*: Edward Roth and the establishment of Telefis Eireann 3. *An instrument of public policy?* Political culture and television in Lemass's Ireland 4. *Transition* 5. *'Irresponsible, amateurish, lacking in research, lacking in fact'?* The limits of public service broadcasting and the 1969 7 days tribunal 6. Religious broadcasting 7. *Radharc*, the Catholic Church and cultural shift in modern Ireland 8. *Finding a voice?* The Irish language and Irish television 9. *A box of troubles*, television and Northern Ireland Conclusion Bibliography Index -- .