RTÉ 2 Launches 1978

On 2 November 1978 RTÉ Television launched RTÉ 2.

In this clip from the opening night the clock counts down to the opening of RTÉ's second television channel. The station's new presenters' Bernadette NÍ Ghallchóir, Raymond Maxwell and Roisin Harkin, welcome viewers to RTÉ 2.

RTÉ 2 promised to bring the best from the BBC and ITV alongside new home produced programmes.

The 1970s were a period of great investment by RTÉ in new services. Apart from introducing colour television, the organisation was also faced with the challenge of establishing a second television station. At first, it was suggested by the Minister for Post and Telegraphs, Conor Cruise O'Brien, that a simple relay of a BBC channel would satisfy demand for more programming while remaining inexpensive to operate. This idea was eventually dropped in favour of an indigenous channel controlled by RTÉ, following a survey of public opinion.

Taoiseach Jack Lynch launched the second television channel, RTE 2 from the Opera House in Cork.

RTÉ Launch at Cork Opera House (1978)
RTÉ Launch at Cork Opera House (1978)

Director-General of RTÉ George Waters at RTÉ 2 Launch (1978)
Director-General of RTÉ George Waters at RTÉ 2 Launch (1978)

RTÉ 2 continuity announcers (1978)
RTÉ 2 continuity announcers (1978) Róisín Harkin, Raymond Maxwell and Bernadette Ní Ghallchóir

Visit the 'History of RTÉ' Exhibition.