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Enigma de Blaghd Sunday 18th September at 10pm on BBC Two Northern Ireland.



Date Posted: September 12, 2016

Only one man from a Northern Ireland Ulster Unionist tradition has ever served in an Irish Government in Dáil Éireann, that man was Ernest Blythe.

Enigma de Blaghd, an Irish Language Broadcast Fund documentary, explores the story of Ernest Blythe on Sunday 18th September, at 10pm on BBC Two Northern Ireland.

Ernest Blythe was born in 1889 into a Unionist Protestant family near Lisburn. He embraced the Irish language, joined the IRB and subsequently the struggle for Irish Independence. Though imprisoned during Easter Week 1916 he is said to have played a key strategic role in the planning of The Rising and later a similar role in the War of Independence.

The programme, which will broadcast with English subtitles, examines the image often portrayed of Blythe as an unreasonable, ruthless man with fascist tendencies. It questions whether that view gives a full picture of his character and work. The documentary hears views from a wide range of commentators who assess his role as Minister for Finance at Dáil Éireann, deputy leader of Fine Gael, as well as the part he played in the fledgling new Irish State and in the survival of the Irish language.

Using archive footage and interviews with Ernest Blythe, Enigma de Blaghd looks at the forthright views of the former government Minister as well as his writings both in Irish and English. It also looks at how, when the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed in 1921, Blythe supported and defended it, how he urged those living in the north of Ireland to accept their fate outside the new Irish State and examines what legacy, if any, he has left.

Among those who contribute to the programme are historians, Eamon Phoenix, Maurice Manning, Pádraig Ó Snodaigh, Ruan O’Donnell, and Professor John A Murphy and other commentators such as Baron Kilclooney, Pádraig Ó Siadhail, and former senator Dr John Robb.

Enigma de Blaghd is a co-production between Scun Scan Productions and Imagine Media and was co-commissioned by BBC Northern Ireland and TG4 with support from Northern Ireland Screen’s Irish Language Broadcast Fund.

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Enigma de Blaghd, Dé Domhnaigh 18 Meán Fómhair ag 10 i.n. ar BBC Two NI.

Níor fhreastail ach aon duine amháin riamh ó Thuaisceart Éireann a bhain le traidisiún Aontachtaithe Uladh ar Rialtas na hÉireann i nDáil Éireann, mar atá Earnán de Blaghd.

Déanann an clár faisnéise Enigma de Blaghd, clár a fuair tacaíocht ón Chiste Craoltóireachta Gaeilge iniúchadh ar scéal Earnán de Blaghd. Is amhlaidh a chraolfar ar an Domhnach 18 Meán Fómhair ag 10 i.n. ar BBC Two Tuaisceart Éireann é.

Is sa bhliain 1889 a rugadh Earnán, i dteaghlach Aontachtach Protastúnach gar do Lios na gCearrbhach. Chuir sé spéis sa Ghaeilge, bhí sé mar bhall de Bhráithreachas Phoblacht na hÉireann agus bhí sé páirteach ina dhiaidh sin sa choimhlint ar son Shaoirse na hÉireann. Cé go raibh sé sa phríosún le linn Sheachtain na Cásca in 1916, deirtear gur imir sé ról straitéiseach i bpleanáil an Éirí Amach agus go raibh ról den chineál chéanna aige ar ball i gCogadh na Saoirse.

Sa chlár seo a mbeidh fotheidil i mBéarla leis – déanfar fiosrú ar an íomhá a thugtar de Blaghd go minic, gur fear míréasúnta, neamhthrócaireach a bhí ann, a raibh lé aige leis an pholaitíocht fhaisisteach. Caitheann sé amhras ar an dearcadh sin mar léargas iomlán ar a charactar agus ar a chuid oibre. Sa chlár faisnéise seo, cluinfear tuairimí ó réimse leathan tráchtairí, a dhéanfaidh a ról a mheas mar Aire Airgeadais i nDáil Éireann, mar leascheannaire ar Fhine Gael, chomh maith leis an ról a d’imir sé sa Stát úr Éireannach go díreach i ndiaidh a bhunaithe agus an ról a bhí aige i gcur chun cinn na Gaeilge.

Le gearrthóga ón chartlann agus le hagallaimh a taifeadadh le hEarnán de Blaghd, tabharfaidh Enigma de Blaghd spléachadh ar na tuairimí láidre a bhí ag an iar-Aire rialtais chomh maith lena chuid scríbhinní i nGaeilge agus i mBéarla araon. Ní hamháin sin, ach pléann sé an dóigh ar thug sé tacaíocht do Chonradh Angla-Éireannach a síníodh sa bhliain 1921 agus ar chosain sé é, agus leis an dóigh ar áitigh sé ar na daoine a bhí ina gcónaí i dtuaisceart na hÉireann glacadh lena gcinniúint taobh amuigh den stát nua Éireannach, agus fiosraíonn sé an tionchar a bhí aige ar an saol inniu, má bhí a leithéid de thionchar ann.

I measc na ndaoine atá le feiceáil ar an chlár, tá staraithe mar Eamon Phoenix, Maurice Manning, Pádraig Ó Snodaigh, Ruan O’Donnell, agus an tOllamh John A Murphy, chomh maith le tráchtairí eile mar Baron Kilclooney, Pádraig Ó Siadhail, agus an tIar-Sheanadóir, an Dr John Robb.

Is comhléiriú é Enigma de Blaghd de chuid Scun Scan Productions agus Imagine Media agus ba iad BBC NI agus TG4 a chomhchoimisiúnaigh an clár le tacaíocht ó Chiste Craoltóireachta Gaeilge Scáileán Thuaisceart Éireann.

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