IDS Statement Sunday 2nd Sept
3rd September 2018
The Irish Deaf Society is extremely disappointed with the actions of RTÉ with their last minute decision not to proceed with the ISL interpretation of the Irish National Anthem which was to be broadcast on RTÉ News Now in a simulcast broadcast going against the wishes of the Deaf Community to have the ISL anthem featured on RTÉ2.
In an email received by RTÉ Sunday lunchtime, they stated:
RTÉ had today intended to simulcast an ISL signing of the National Anthem at the All-Ireland Senior Football Final in full on RTÉ News Now in advance of the 3.30pm throw-in. This was to be provided by a signer based in RTÉ’s studios.
Signing ISL for Broadcast is a specialist skill and the number of signers is limited. Over recent days, RTÉ has contacted many signers, both within and outside our rosters. Unfortunately no signer has been able to make themselves available for a full in-studio signing, which will now not take place.
The Irish Deaf Society also received a statement from the RTÉ ISL Signing team:
The RTÉ ISL Signers would like to state that it would not have been appropriate for any of the RTÉ ISL team to perform the National Anthem in-studio at RTÉ. Signing through music is a specialty and none of us were directly involved with the composing of the ISL National Anthem as our colleague Senan Dunne had been.
We do not have the expertise, nor have we received any training in signing the National Anthem in ISL. Senan Dunne has the expertise in signing music and he is already doing it on the pitch. If anyone had discussed the proposal with any of the RTÉ Signing team before the release of the statement on Thursday evening, we would have been more than happy to clarify this to our RTÉ colleagues.
If RTÉ wish to provide training in the National Anthem to our ISL team we would be happy to work with them to provide access on RTÉ One and RTÉ Two. We do not support the decision to have a different signer on the RTÉ News Now channel. We feel the set up of the RTÉ News Now channel produces visual noise which detracts attention from the signer. We also wish to be consulted on future matters regarding decisions which involve ISL.
The Irish Deaf Society is aware that since Thursday, contact was made with various ISL signers but due to the last minute nature and complexities with translating to music, none were available.
However we wish to point out, a signer was on the pitch at Croke Park and RTÉ’s continual refusal to insert the signer in a ‘bubble’/picture-in-picture on the main RTÉ2 screen for the duration of the national anthem is disappointing and we will be taking up RTÉ’s offer to meet to discuss this matter going forward.