The Director General of TG4, Alan Esslemont says that the broadcaster has a key role in developing Irish language drama, but that the sector needs to initially reorganise itself in a cohesive manner to collaborate in that development.
Speaking at the awards ceremony of the Féile Náisiúnta Drámaíochta (National Drama Festival) being held in Indreabhán, in Connemara this weekend, Alan Esslemont says:
‘The Irish language drama sector needs to grow and develop. That is important to you as drama practitioners, but it is also vital for us in the communications sphere as well.
‘Newly appointed Chair of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe, Aodh Ó Coileáin, has started an important discussion about the future of the National Theatre for the Irish Language and I welcome that.
‘The schools drama festivals through Irish always showcase displays of wonderful energy, both locally and nationally, but who gets to see these great productions and what support is given to those involved to develop their skills?
‘How can we foster a greater level engagement with writers, festivals and performances regionally, nationally and internationally?
‘I would contend that quite a number of stakeholders have a voice in this debate. Drama practitioners themselves, including theatre companies, directors, writers, actors and production personnel. From the organisations providing support, Roinn na Gaeltachta, Foras na Gaeilge, the Arts Councils, Údarás na Gaeltachta, Oireachtas na Gaeilge, An Cumann Scoildrámaíochta and of course An Comhlachas Náisiúnta Drámaíochta.
‘I also see an important role for TG4 in the discourse. If it is clear to us that there is a collaborative approach to this development emerging from the drama sector itself, then we will not be found wanting in our support for you.
‘New ways of co-operating, collaborating and working together will have to be fostered to ensure that we are serving our audiences properly, whilst inspiring a whole new generation of young artists’.