27th Sep 2016


Mícheál Ó Meallaigh
Outstanding Contribution to the industry and to the Irish Language

A Visionary and pro-active Giant of Irish Language – TG4’s Mícheál Ó Meallaigh, will be recognised at IFTA Gala Television Awards for his Outstanding Contribution

The Irish Film & Television Academy has announced that TG4 will be honoured by the Academy in celebration of its 20 years of Television at the annual IFTA Gala Television Awards Ceremony on Friday 7th of October and Mícheál Ó Meallaigh, TG4’s Commissioning Director, will receive an Irish Academy Award for his Outstanding Contribution to the industry and to the Irish Language.  The Ceremony will be broadcast on TV3.

TG4 has provided an alternative platform that is dedicated to Irish culture, language and identity.  It is fitting, that in this Centenary year, it celebrates 20 years of achievement and output, delivering exceptionally high standard of innovative programming that is popular, distinctive and ambitious.

Micheál O’ Meallaigh, who has just retired, is beloved by the Irish television and film industry and by the Irish community as a whole, and he is seen by all concerned as a visionary, and a pioneer of new ideas and approaches, and a pragmatic and brave decision-maker when it comes to commissioning new and accessible Irish language TV Drama, feature films and documentaries on small budgets.  He has been instrumental in providing a training ground for new crew and screen talent as Gaeilge which has resulted in a vast new resource of creative talent working in both the Irish and English language across television and film.  He has been a tower of strength for TG4 across his service of 20 years and his professionalism and his enormous ambition for the Irish language in making the language and the stories accessible to all types of audiences both in Ireland and internationally, has been his legacy. 

TG4’s reputation for quality and diversity, largely through Mícheál’s commissioning, is known for its consistently strong innovative programming and Award-winning excellence in creative output.   Sharp political satire The Running Mate, comedy drama Rásaí na Gaillimhe, impressive dramas including the Award-winning feature film Kings, and An Klondike, the multi-award winning Western filmed in the West of Ireland, along with Na Cloighe, An Bronntonas, Corp + Anam, Scúp, Wrecking the Rising and Fir Bolg, and superb documentaries Seachtar na Cásca, Bernadette Notes on a Political Journey and Lón sa Spéir/Men at Lunch, the story behind the famous photograph of the Men out on the iconic Manhattan tower building, these are just some of the key titles commissioned by Mícheál over the years.

Aine Moriarty, Chief Executive of IFTA, said, “Micheál has undoubtedly been the most positive influence on Irish language production in Ireland.  He has broken the mould when it comes to great vision and brave commissioning decisions that have consistently delivered world-class film and drama to audiences around the world.”

Mícheál Ó Meallaigh said, “Ba mhaith liom buíochas a ghabháil le IFTA as ucht an onóir seo nach raibh aon súil agam leis. Sé an saothrú ar son na Gaeilge, fite fuaite le grá don scéalaíocht, a mheall mé i dtreo gnó na teilifíse ar dtús, agus uaidh sin fuair mé deis ar leith cláir den iliomad genre a choimisiúnú agus a chothú i bpáirt le léiritheoirí agus stiúrthóirí den scoth. Tá mé thar a bheith sásta glacadh leis an t-aitheantas pearsanta seo mar chuid den gaisce atá bainte amach ag TG4 le scor bliain anuas.” 

“I wish to express my appreciation to IFTA for this unexpected honour. In my 20 years in TG4 the most important thing has always been the storytelling, and connecting to an audience, and IFTA nominations and awards for TG4 programmes have been an appreciated recognition of success and a source of pride over the years. I am delighted on this occasion to accept this personal recognition and join the eminent list of previous recipients.  My sincere appreciation agus buíochas ó chroí do IFTA.”

This Outstanding Contribution Award will be presented at the IFTA Gala Television Awards on Friday 7th October in the DoubleTree by Hilton in Dublin.  The Ceremony, which will also present Pat Kenny with the Lifetime Achievement Award, will celebrate and recognise the very best of Irish creative talent and Irish home-grown TV programming within 23 categories from entertainment, soap & comedy to factual, current affairs, documentary and news across all of the Irish broadcasters RTÉ One, RTÉ Two, TV3, TG4, Sky, UTV and BBC Northern Ireland.  The Awards will be broadcast on TV3.

Download press images here

> Website: www.ifta.ie Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iftaonline Twitter: @IFTA #iftagala16

IFTA PRESS OFFICE Email: press@ifta.ie Tel: 019053599

Photos: press@ifta.ie

Email: info@ifta.ie