The earliest reference in the Oireactas debates - a fantastic resource - to television being received in the Republic is on 25 May 1950. I don't normally "cut and paste" but will make an exception here.
Deputy Bob Briscoe of Fianna Fail has the honours.
|There are one or two people in this country, maybe half a dozen, who may be able under certain conditions to receive television given out from Wales and I do not know if the Minister will bring in some measure to make the people who have television sets pay for a different licence whether we are televising or not. It is not a problem at the moment and I personally feel that the Department is to be congratulated for not rushing into this thing without seeing where they are heading.|
Someone must have been the first to bring a television set here - perhaps our reverse cultural cringe against all things British may have inspired them to keep quiet?
By January 1952 things had moved on to an extent, again apologies for the C&P:
Mr. Everett asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs whether he is aware that in districts along the east coast television broadcasts are being received from another country and whether, in view of the cumulative damaging effect which these broadcasts may have on our national culture, he will take the necessary steps to introduce television broadcasting in the Republic of Ireland with a minimum of delay.
Mr. Childers: The Government has so far not given any formal consideration to the question of television, and I cannot say whether the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs will have any responsibility for television beyond the control of wave-lengths. The views I express in the reply are, therefore, based only on general information and not on official study.
It is well known that British television transmissions are being received in the east coast localities here. While it would probably be going too far to say that the reception is of a freak nature, general information is that it is indifferent, and I have not heard or read of anybody who claimed to be getting consistent and reliable reception.  All parts of this country are certainly outside the normal service area of the nearest British television station.
I should like to make it clear to the public that in my view the establishment of television in this country will not be practicable for a number of years. The cost of providing and maintaining a service for even a relatively small part of the country would be heavy. The erection of modern broadcasting studios is in any event receiving prior consideration.
Mr. Everett: I can assure the Minister that there is a good reception not far away from my own residence and not a freak reception. There are six or seven sets there and they can get a very good reception. In view of the large number of sets now being sold, will the Minister reconsider the matter?
Mr. Childers: The Deputy may not be aware that one of the many cultural projects cancelled by the last Government was the construction of a new broadcasting station. That will have to be considered in relation to any effort undertaken to provide a television service.
Mr. Everett: There were only a few sets in the country then. In the last few months the number has grown to 400 or 500.