In my previous post i was discussing Censorship in Ireland. Last week in my Irish Literature class we discussed the ways new developments of technologies such as television broadcasting and radio broadcasting were received by the Irish government and particularly the president at the time Eamon de Valera.
The first television broadcast in Ireland was in 1961. Eamon de Valera, who was president at the time had the honor to be the first person to speak on the service. The great president used his time to speak about the fears and also the hopes he held with the introduction of this new service. he leads with telling us he is privileged to be the first person on the Irish service but then leads to discuss how when he thinks of
‘television and radio and their immense power I feel somewhat afraid’.
The fear De Valera was talking about was obviously not in relation to a box with an aerial of course but more towards his dread of the change Ireland was undergoing. The introduction of television and radio meant that the Irish household could now be influenced by the voices that he nor the Irish government could control. The terror that these foreign ideas would taint the Ireland they fought for.
The Irish government was too concerned with what they wanted Ireland to be and the fact that these devices could be accessed by a vast amount of homes throughout the country is what they were afraid of.
When i think of all the ways we can access people’s ideas today with Facebook, twitter and so on, I can only imagine that De Valera would be petrified.
I’ve attached a link here where you can watch the first Irish television broadcast. Enjoy!