Houses of the Oireachtas Channel

Houses of the Oireachtas Channel
Bealach Thithe an Oireachtais
Launched 15 November 2011
Owned by Oireachtas Commission
Country Ireland
Website Official website
Saorview Channel TBA
UPC Ireland Channel 801
Internet television Watch live and on demand

Houses of the Oireachtas Channel (Irish: Bealach Thithe an Oireachtais) or informally Oireachtas TV is a public service broadcaster for the two houses of the Oireachtas (Irish parliament). The channel was created under the Broadcasting Act 2009 for broadcast on the proposed roll out of Irish Digital Terrestrial Television. Currently live broadcasts are available on UPC Ireland and the Houses of the Oireachtas website, the latter service is provided by Ireland's National Educational and Research Network – HEAnet.[1] RTÉ have proposed that the channel share space with RTÉ One Deferred, a time shift channel for RTÉ One, on Saorview.



Oireachtas TV has been available online for a number of years and both state public service broadcasters RTÉ and TG4 have carried coverage of each of the Houses of the Oireachtas. RTÉ provides a late night round up of with Oireachtas Report and at noon Leaders Questions. TG4 broadcast live Dail proceedings with their service Dáil Beo and have also provide extensive live coverage of Committee meetings.

In November 2007 the then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern announced in the Dáil that he favoured an Oireachtas channel stating that "compared with a lot of tripe that is on TV, the Oireachtas channel would be far better and very interesting."[2] Since the statement the government have moved to make Oireachtas TV a reality on the digital terrestrial platform (Saorview) in Ireland, and have included it in the Broadcasting Act 2009. Chapter 6 of the Broadcasting Act 2009 clearly sets out the role of the Houses of the Oireachtais Channel.[3] However the Oireachtas Commission have yet to decided when the launch will occur.

On 15 November 2011, Oireachtas TV began broadcasting on UPC Ireland channel 801, as part of a trial initiative for a period of six months.[4] The trial service is being delivered at no additional cost to the Houses of the Oireachtas or the tax-payer.[5]

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