Deaf community accuses RTÉ of & # 39; virtually ignore & # 39; members during Pope's visit and the All-Ireland final

By David Raleigh

Members of the Irish deaf community have accused RTÉ of "virtual ignoring" and interpreters of Irish sign language (ISL), who worked on the Pope's visit last weekend.

A protest from members of the deaf community takes place outside RTÉ studios throughout the country, including in the main Donnybrook studios in Dublin, and in the Cork studios, at 4:00 PM on Thursday, the controversy confirms a word representative of the group, Cormac Leonard.

A protest can also take place in the studios of RTE in Limerick, Mr. Leonard added.

It has also led to the birth of a social media awareness campaign on Twitter, entitled #StopHidingISL.

The Irish Deaf Society (IDS) has said that it fully supports the planned protest.

The protest group claimed that RTÉ largely ignored the first public performance of the newly translated ISL version of Amhrán after bhFiann during the Croke Park All-Ireland hurling final on the last Sunday of the week.

A statement released by the protest group, Monday, said it was "frustrated and let down by RTE's attitude towards Irish sign language."

To emphasize RTE's television broadcast about the Pope's encounter with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Dublin Castle, he said that an ISL interpreter had been "too far away from the television camera" to be clearly seen by deaf viewers at home ".

"Pope Francis spoke about a more equal society, but Deaf ISL users were excluded from this event," said Micheál Kelliher, one of the protest group's spokesmen.

"The interpreter was deliberately positioned off the stage, he was even removed as far as possible and virtually ignored by the RTÉ camera", he claimed.

ISL is recognized in law by the Irish Sign Language Act, 2017.

The law requires broadcasters to follow the principles of equality, dignity and respect in promoting and broadcasting programs that have been produced as part of their BAI goals for signed language programming.

The protest group said that "belief among the Deaf community, using ISL as their first language, is that RTÉ would prefer sign language to be visible only during designated ISL television slots."

It said: "historical … first public performance of the newly translated ISL version of Amhrán after bhFiann" in Croke Park on August 19, had received considerable media attention online and on radio.

"RTÉ television cameras, however, only transmit a few seconds of the minute-long performance."

More than 4,000 people signed the group's online petition and asked RTÉ to broadcast the full ISL song of the national anthem during the All Ireland Football Final on 2 September.

Mr. Kellier claimed: "The (RTE) cameras" avoided the ISL performance as much as possible … if they could easily be organized for the ISL version that was broadcast on the corner of all our screens. "

There are approximately 5,000 deaf ISL users in the country, with an estimated 40,000 hearing people who also regularly use ISL.

Irish Deaf Society

In an open letter published on Monday, the Irish Deaf Society expressed its "disappointment about RTÉ that the Irish sign language for the Deaf community was not included in all recent broadcasts of the papal visit to Ireland last weekend".

He claimed that on Thursday, August 16, he contacted RTÉ to inquire about their plans to put the Irish sign language interpreters on the screen that had been interpreted during the Pope's visit during various events, such as Dublin Castle, St. Mary & # 39; s Pro-Céralral and in the Phoenix Park ".

"While interpreters were visible in the background at all these events, it was disappointing that they were not on the screen for deaf viewers who viewed the procedure at home."

"Had the interpreter translated into Irish sign language on stage, Deaf would have had full access to the proceedings at home."

It also supported calls for RTÉ to fully broadcast the ISL performance of the national anthem during the All-Ireland Football Final, next Sunday.


RTÉ acknowledged in a detailed answer that "live signing" of the Pope's visit was "not possible", but it was said that it offered "live subtitling".

It added: "Live signing, as included in many events, is often difficult to record satisfactorily for home viewers."

"As host of the papal visit, RTÉ gave a world feed, with a number of languages ​​other than English in use, and this, along with the many countries where an Irish sign language interpretation would be outdated, meant that live signing of the event on television was not possible. used to be. "

"RTÉ provided live subtitles for Pope Francis's visit to Ireland."

"In addition, Monday evening the program will be broadcast on RTÉ News Now at ISL tonight at 8.30 pm RTÉ News with signing was scheduled on both days, on Saturday at 5.53 pm and on Sunday at 5.53 pm"

It added: "RTÉ has ​​been watching live signing for quite some time now, and Trials, whose Papal Visit program is the highlight of the program tonight, are actively testing live signatures facilitated from the studio's studios. RTÉ. "

"The most recent independent assessments show that RTÉ not only fulfilled the objectives for Irish sign language and subtitling, but also exceeded them."

A spokesperson for RTÉ stated that he was not able to comment on the live broadcast schedule of the station for the All Ireland Football Final.

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