Some Background Notes – by Mary Farrell
These tapes, now digitised, thanks to Dublin City Libraries and Archives are over 48 years old. Many thanks to Padraic Stack. Enda Leamy, Dublin City Library and Archives, Una Gomez, Ballyfermot Library and Nigel Rolfe, ex Phoenix Relays and David Connolly for their assistance in making these historic programmes available to the Ballyfermot Community.
The tapes were recorded on one inch (1″) I.V.C (International Video Corporation) format machines. There could have been something between twenty five and fifty one hour tapes. The tapes cost twenty five pounds for one hour’s recording and were reused. A lot of the original footage was erased. However we are extremely lucky to have found a small selection of original programmes.
In 1974 the Ballyfermot Community Association was possibly at its peak in terms of local people’s support, involvement and activities. There were street committees on every street Ballyfermot Community TV or BCA TV as it was known was launched in September 1974. Phoenix Relays, the company that put in cable tv into all our homes provided the tv equipment whilst the BCA TV subcommittee produced the programmes. The first programme it broadcast was the opening parade of the Community week festival which had huge participation by local groups. President Erskine Childers came out to Ballyfermot to officially open the parade. It was a fantastic occasion with huge crowds out to view the parade.
On Friday 7th April 1976 the last programme of BCA Television was broadcast after nearly two years running. Phoenix Relays withdrew their services due to the high costs of funding and no government support.