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RTÉ Diaspora TV service will join Freesat

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The Irish government has promised that an RTÉ channel will be on Freesat by St Patrick's Day next year.

Diaspora TV will be the first service for the Irish community in Britain since Tara TV closed nearly six years ago for financial reasons.

The new service will be a hybrid of RTÉ One and RTÉ 2 with additional programming from TG4. It will carry the One, Six-One and 9 o’clock news bulletins live. It will aim to provide "home-grown Irish programming that will be of real interest to Irish communities abroad".

Communications minister Eamon Ryan said: "The 2001 Census in Britain records a figure of 850,000 Irish born people living in Britain. There are many more of direct Irish descent. I know that many of these people have been looking for an RTÉ channel in the UK for some time.

"This new channel will be up and running by next St Patrick’s Day [and] will provide the Irish abroad with a valuable link to home."

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