Raidió na Gaeltachta

RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta is owned and operated RTÉ the Irish Public Service Broadcaster which is ultimately controlled by the RTÉ Board, chaired by Siún Ní Raghallaigh. Day to day operations and management of RTÉ is the responsibility of the RTÉ Executive Board, which reports to the RTÉ Board. The RTÉ Executive is a committee of senior management in RTÉ led by the Director General, and includes Directors of television, radio, news and current affairs, Heads of channels and content as well as heads of corporate divisions such as marketing, finance, legal and strategy. Following the RTÉ payments controversy, which emerged in summer 2023, new Director General Kevin Bakhurst disbanded the RTÉ Executive and replaced it with an Interim Leadership Team.

RTÉ Radio overall reaches 28.5% of Irish radio listeners, Raidió na Gaeltachta reaches 0.4% of all radio listeners.

Raidió na Gaeltachta began broadcasting in 1972 with the aim to provide a comprehensive Irish language radio service to serve residents of the Gaeltacht areas of Ireland and Irish speakers throughout the country. The main Gaeltacht areas in Ireland are mainly located along the West coast in areas of Donegal, Mayo, Galway, Kerry and Cork. There are also Gaeltacht areas in Meath on the East Coast and Waterford on the South Coast. These are areas where the primary spoken language in the community is Irish. To ensure their survival, the government has enacted special legislation, structures and funding for these areas to ensure the continued viability of these regions.

A radio service for the Gaeltacht and Irish speakers was one of the demands that emerged from a civil rights movement in the late 1960s led by Gluaiseacht ar Son Cearta Sibhíalta na Gaeltachta (Movement on Behalf of Civil Rights for the Irish-Speaking Areas). This group felt that RTÉ was sidelining Irish language programming in favour of English due to pressure to attract high viewership and listenership for its TV and radio programming. As such, it was reneging on its public service remit to be inclusive and representative of all Irish citizens. Political pressure mounted on RTÉ to address this, particularly after the establishment of a pirate Irish language radio station Saor-Raidió Chonamara. In the early 1970s it agreed to establish a separate Irish language station.

The station headquarters is located in a purpose-built studio in Galway with satellite studios throughout the Gaeltacht regions contributing to its programming. Initially the station was only broadcast in the afternoon and for a time in the 1980s shared a radio frequency with RTÉs newly launched Radio 3, a classical music station, later renamed to Lyric FM.

Today, Raidió na Gaeltachta provides a schedule of programming that includes news and current affairs, music (particularly traditional Irish music), culture and the arts, and sport. Its audience has grown beyond the boundaries of designated Gaeltacht areas in Ireland, to Irish speakers and Irish learners throughout Ireland and, via RTÉ Radio’s online player and app, to a global audience of Irish speakers.

Raidió na Gaeltachta is funded mainly by the licence fee as it has limited capacity to generate commercial income. The station doesn’t sell spot advertising like its RTÉ English language counterparts and the main source of commercial income is through sponsorship.

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Active Transparency

company/channel informs proactively and comprehensively about its ownership, data is constantly updated and easily verifiable

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Ownership Structure

RTÉ is Ireland’s Public Service Broadcaster, as such it is publicly funded and is set up as a Statutory State Body. It is owned by the RTÉ Board and for the purposes of this project we treat the chair of the board Siún Ní Raghallaigh as the ultimate global owner. We also provide details of every board and interim leadership team member. Within this structure there are no shareholders and no dividends are paid, RTÉ operates a dual funding model where income is derived from a public Licence Fee, collected by An Post for the State and advertising revenue from its various platforms.

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Affiliated Interests Founder

Pádraig Ó Raghallaigh

First Head of Raidió na Gaeltachta, Pádraig Ó Raghallaigh joined RTÉ in 1947 working in radio and television production as a presenter and newsreader. In 1953 he became chief announcer for RTÉ Radio. He was the first Head of Raidió na Gaeltachta when it launched in 1972, but did not stay in the position for long - returning to presenting and interviewing historical and cultural figures for RTÉ. His family is from Galway, and he studied Irish to Masters level in University College Galway. He was also the narrator on the Gael Linn film Mise Éire. He served as the representative for Ireland on the European Broadcasting Union.

Affiliated Interests Ceo

Gearóid Mac Donncha

Head of Station, Gearoid Mac Donnacha began his career in sports journalism working with TV company Nemeton where he was a sports commentator for Teilifís na Gaelige (TG4) and went on to become Sports Editor. He joined Raidió na Gaeltachta in 2006 presenting the lunchtime news programme (Nuacht a hAon), morning current affairs programme (Adhmhaidin) and sports coverage.

Affiliated Interests Editor-In-Chief

Ciarán Ó Fátharta

Head of News, Ciarán Ó Fátharta first joined Raidió na Gaeltachta in the late 1980s as a sound operator. He went on to present sports, news and current affairs programming on the station. In 2016 he was appointed Managing News Editor when Hugh Ó Colláin stepped down from this role after 11 months. He is also an accomplished songwriter and GAA footballer, having won the Minor Championship with Galway in 1976.


RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta




Telephone: +353 (0) 91 506677



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RTÉ do not provide detailed tation level financial information, however from the Annual Report 2022 (page 133) Network charges to RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta are 1,057,000. RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta receives €8.36 from every €160 licence fee paid in Ireland (page 37).
Audience share data is sourced from the RTÉ Annual Report 2022, from JNLR data for January - December 2022.

Within the media industry in Ireland reporting on income levels are generally at group level rather than individual title level. On top of this, overall revenue details for the market as a whole are unavailable. Due to these factors it is not possible to report accurately on market share for individual titles or groups.

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