1961 – Radio Éireann’s television service begins transmission on this date.

RTE, then Telefís Éireann, the Irish national broadcaster goes on air. The first person to address the nation was an elderly Eamonn De Valera who had some difficulty comprehending this “new” media: “I must admit that sometimes when I think of television and radio and their immense power, I feel somewhat afraid. Like atomic energy it can be used for incalculable good but it can also do irreparable harm. Never before was there in the hands of men an instrument so powerful to influence the thoughts and actions of the multitude.”

The highlight of an opening night transmitted in black and white was a program from the Gresham Hotel Dublin Hosted by Eamonn Andrews.



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