Radio Telefís Éireann is Ireland's public service broadcasting company, and until recently the only television broadcasting company in the country. It has broadcast radio since 1926, and television since 1961 (when it was renamed from Radio Éireann).
RTÉ's production record is mixed, to say the least, although it has recently developed a talent for acquisition: new episodes of shows like Friends, Frasier and ER are aired here well before they are shown on terrestrial TV in the UK.
The story about RTÉ rejecting Father Ted is apocryphal: they were never offered the series. Whether they would have rejected it anyway is a moot point. However, RTÉ's past treatment of Dermot Morgan, the show's star, may have burnt their bridges. Morgan, along with Gerry Stembridge had developed one of RTÉ Radio's most successful shows ever in Scrap Saturday, a political satire which was a national phenomenon in 1991. Inexplicably, however, RTÉ did not commission a second series of its most successful programme in years. The only possible explanation was that people in high places did not like the way they were being lampooned on the show. Morgan never worked with RTÉ again.