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03rd Oct 2023

12 core Irish tv memories and best Twitter reactions to commemorate the end of Aertel

Fiona Frawley

aertel cancelled ireland

The pixelated nostalgia is coming in hard and fast this morning.

It happened at around 7pm last night.

One of those news stories you’ll always remember where you were when you first heard, like when Michael Jackson died or when Ireland accidentally legalised yokes for 24 hours in 2015.

Either that or you’ll have already thought Aertel shut up shop around 20 years ago, depending on your vintage.

In any case, RTÉ have announced that the service will cease operation next week after almost 40 years in business.

Aertel first went live on an experimental basis in 1986, before launching officially a year later providing everything from up-to-date news and sports scores to holiday info and, when the time came, frequent updates on the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over the last twelve hours on the platform formally known as Twitter, Irish people of a certain age have been pouring one out for the trustworthy “internet before the internet” service, and we’ve rounded up some of our favourite memories shared.

Let’s get into it.

Practicing news reading

This one would bring a tear to anyone’s eye, including jaded Gen Z-ers who haven’t a breeze what Aertel is.

Ringing home and asking whoever’s there to check Aertel

Many’s a time I’d have to patiently scroll through to the sports pages for my Dad, while he not-so-patiently awaited the horse racing results on the other end of the phone.

The original doom scrolling

The generations before us invented scrolling through page after page of information with varying levels of relevance – we simply perfected it.

Homework helper

In the days before Google, Aertel provided a handy little dig out.

Book reviews

My kingdom for an oversized Aertel t-shirt.

Accidentally skipping over your page

And having to scroll back from the start all over again.

Image via RTÉ

Checking the cinema times

It’d only take you three short hours to scroll through and find your own local cinema. Easy.

Political updates

Yellow you win, red you lose. A bit like pool.

Flight times and holiday bookings

If you were waiting to pick someone up from the airport, there’s only one place you’d check for updates.

Headline character counts

A Roman Empire all of their own.

Aertel the Musical

Get on it, Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Aertel announcing its own demise

A Black Mirror-esque way to go out.

What are your favourite memories of Aertel? Did you have a go-to page number? Let us know!

Header image via RTÉ Archives


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