Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Gaeltacht TV Service.

32.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he has any plans for the provision of a Gaeltacht television service; and, if not, why.

No. There would be exceptional difficulty in providing programmes from such a station for a reasonable period daily and the number of viewers to be served would be relatively few in relation to the extremely high capital and annual costs which would be involved.

Can we take it then as definite Government policy that no efforts whatsoever will be made to introduce a television service in Gaeltacht areas?

If the Government made quite as great an effort in the next 16 years as Fianna Fáil did in the past 16 years it would not make much change in the situation. It is quite obvious to any reasonable person that in present technological conditions and economic conditions the provision of a television service for the Gaeltacht areas would be an object of prohibitive expense which the gentlemen opposite would not be even considering if they were in office, and they know it.

Is the Minister aware of the existence of local television services in parts of England which have been provided at reasonable costs? If he made a proper study of this might he not find it possible to provide a service to serve the Gaeltacht areas at a cost which would not be inordinate and which would be justified?

The situation will be kept under review, but it is quite obviously not within the range of immediate possibility.

Are we to take it from that that the Minister is contradicting his original statement?

The Deputy can interpret me in any way he wishes.

The Minister does not show much interest in or respect for the people.