Irish language broadcaster TG4 is to launch a new television channel for children next year called Cúla 4.
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin said the station would include news for children, educational programmes and entertainment and would cater for children from diverse backgrounds from all over Ireland.
It is understood the channel, which is due to launch in 2023, will cost €3.3 million of the €7.3 million announced in Budget 2023 yesterday for TG4.
It is estimated it could lead to the creation of 150 jobs, including production roles.
Minister Martin said: "While full details of the new channel will be announced by TG4 in due course, it will include a children's news service, edutainment content, drama, Irish animation and will reflect the diverse backgrounds of children living in all parts of Ireland, but particularly in Gaeltacht and Irish speaking communities.
"I believe this will help underpin the importance of Irish and encourage our children to engage with and enjoy our native language.
"Along with the Government's historic Cost of Living supports package announced yesterday which will also support the Gaeltacht regions, I believe that Budget 2023 represents a measured and targeted approach to supporting and developing the Gaeltacht and Irish language in the coming year."
Dúirt Ard-Stiúrthóir TG4 Alan Esslemont faoi fhógra chainéal nua @Cula4_TG4— TG4TV 👁 (@TG4TV) September 28, 2022
"Tá na meáin ríthábhachtach d'fhorbairt thuiscint, dearcthaí agus rannpháirtíocht leanaí sa tsochaí. Caithfimid freastal ar leanaí agus daoine óga i spásanna sábháilte le hábhar iontaofa."
Paula Melvin, President of Conradh na Gaeilge, which promotes the Irish language at home and abroad, said: "I would also like to congratulate TG4 and the additional funding that the ministers have provided to develop the new channel, Cúla 4, as a full-time channel in the future.
"Encouraging children is particularly important and there is no doubt that Cúla 4 is an extremely important support for parents raising their children through Irish and as a source of encouragement for their children.
"The new channel will also be a great encouragement to other children throughout the country learning Irish."