Pictured at the launch of the 'Ireland On The Box' exhibition were: RTÉ Director-General, Dee Forbes; Director of the National Library of Ireland, Sandra Collins; and RTÉ presenter Bláthnaid Treacy.

New photo exhibition marks 60 years of television in Ireland

RTÉ television will turn 60 this New Year's Eve, and the national broadcaster is marking the occasion with a special photographic exhibition presented in partnership with the National Library of Ireland (NLI).

'Ireland on the Box' opens tomorrow (Wednesday, December 29) at the National Photographic Archive in Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, Dublin.

The free exhibition will explore six decades of television in Ireland, through entertainment, drama, sport, music, education and news and current affairs programming.

From 'Roll it there, Róisín' to 'A nation holds its breath' and from 'Well, Holy God' to 'Coola Boola', iconic phrases from popular TV programmes and national moments of celebration will connect visitors to recent shared cultural history.

The exhibition's images feature the many familiar faces that graced Irish television screens throughout 60 years of RTÉ television, from the early days right through to more recent times.

Commenting on the exhibition, RTÉ Director-General, Dee Forbes said: "Since Ireland’s first television service was launched on New Year’s Eve 1961, photography has played a key role in RTÉ television productions and promotions.

"While television has changed radically in 60 years, the ability of photography to capture a unique moment in time and to generate an emotional connection and response remains as strong as ever.

"Each of the images selected for this exhibition tells its own story, but together they represent an essential part of our recent history as a nation. We thank the National Library of Ireland for the opportunity to present this wonderful collection of images from RTÉ Archives to the public."

The director of the National Library of Ireland, Sandra Collins, said: "We are absolutely delighted to partner with RTÉ on this fabulous new exhibition.

"The National Library works to share our nation’s memory and this photographic exhibition reveals unforgettable moments from our social and cultural history.

"This exhibition will appeal to all ages and we welcome everyone to visit and find their own special memory.

"The exhibition is free and open seven days a week in the National Library’s Photographic Archive in Temple Bar so please do pop in!"