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BBC extends Irish language and Ulster Scots content with new iPlayer portal

BBC iPlayer northern ireland The BBC has launched a dedicated portal on the BBC iPlayer for Irish-language and Ulster-Scots programming, making this content more widely available around the UK.

A range of programmes, all of which have been supported by Northern Ireland Screen’s Irish Language and Ulster-Scots Broadcast Funds, will be available via the portal, where audiences will be able to access them beyond the standard 30-day catch-up period.

The BBC said that the initiative fulfils a commitment made by it as part of its partnership agreement with Northern Ireland Screen and will give significantly enhanced access to a range of Irish language and Ulster-Scots content.

Irish-language programmes on the portal include Ar Bhealach na Gaeltachta, in which presenter Conall Ó Máirtín visits the islands and coastal Gaeltacht regions around Donegal, the Beart Is Briathar series, in which Eamonn Mallie interviews four high-profile Irish-speaking personalities, music series Trad Ar Fad!, Cumhacht An Cheoil, featuring Irish musician Neil Martin, Daniel O’Donnell music series Opry an Iúir and kids series Cosmic Quantum Ray.

Ulster-Scots content on the platform includes three series of Brave New World, in which William Crawley explored Ulster-Scots links with Canada, the USA and New Zealand, four Groundbreakers documentaries, telling the stories of seminal Ulster-Scots figures, A Special Relationship, which looked at the links between Ulster and Scotland and music-based programmes Music Night At Brownlow and The Call Of The Pipes.

Peter Johnston, Director, BBC NI, says: “We have commissioned a diverse and ambitious mix of programmes with support from Northern Ireland Screen’s Broadcast Funds. These reflect and celebrate our linguistic and cultural diversity. Making them available on BBC iPlayer will allow audiences to enjoy them again and make them much more accessible than ever before. It’s a tremendous development and a further enhancement of local content and presence on BBC iPlayer.”