Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
To honour the land of my family and my birth, let’s look at the first radio broadcasts in the Irish Free State.
The Irish public broadcaster, now called RTÉ (Raidió Teilifís Éireann), first broadcast on January 1, 1926. You can hear that first broadcast on RTÉ’s website. It’s a neat clip, despite being rather crackly, and in Irish. The broadcast features Douglas Hyde, the future President of Ireland and a scholar of the Irish language.
Then listen to Jimmy Mahon talk about his experiences in the early days of Irish radio.
“We had an amplifier, a huge bloomin’ thing… We had to hire a microphone if we had anything special. We had to hire a microphone from Standard Telephones. An inspector had to go for that, they wouldn’t give it to the ordinary Joe.”
Then have a Guinness! (Or at least have a pack of Tayto and some Cadbury Buttons.)