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The Late Late Toy Show 2021 roaring success for viewers at home and abroad

The RTÉ Toy Show Appeal raises €6,601,895 million for Irish charities

Average audience of 1.8 million tuned in across the weekend, making it one of the highest-rating TV programmes on a single channel on record in Ireland

The biggest show on the TV calendar The Late Late Toy Show 2021 won the heart of viewers at home and across the world at the weekend, raising a staggering €6,601,895 million for The RTÉ Toy Show Appeal, with viewers watching from 150 countries.

Average TV viewing for Friday night’s show is now over 1.8 million, taking catch-up viewing on Saturday and Sunday into account. An average audience of 1.56 million viewers watched The Lion King themed show on RTÉ One on Friday night, representing 81% of the available audience. This marks a year-on-year increase on last year’s audience of 1.55 million, which had 79% audience share. An additional 292,000 watched the programme on catch-up TV, including RTÉ One+1 and the Saturday repeat****This makes it one of the highest rating TV programmes, on a single channel in Ireland, on record. The 1-minute Reach*** to The Late Late Toy Show (including +1 & Saturday repeat) was over 2.2 million.After a year where children were restricted in play and socialising with their friends, the Hakuna Matata ‘no worries’ philosophy of this year’s show was central to the core message in allowing children to roam wild both at home and in studio. Through the generosity and goodwill of the Irish people, The RTÉ Toy Show Appeal in its second year raised €6.6 million, marking a total of €13 million of much-needed funds over the course of its two years.OnlineOnline, Irish viewers stayed connected with home and streamed RTÉ Player from over 150 countries including from all fifty states in the USA and all eight Australian territories. Over 330,000 streams live and on-demand across the weekend, making it one of the most-watched programmes of 2021.  Ed Sheeran and the Toy Show Choir performance was the most-watched clip from the show with viewers bowled over by the show’s many young stars. DJ Callum and his hype-man Jackson, Fashionista Abigale and Kellie Harrington’s knock-out surprise were also massive hits.  The Late Late Toy Show with Irish Sign Language (ISL) was available live on Friday night on RTÉ Player and RTÉ News, it has had over 18,000 streams to date with the ISL Late Late Toy Show opening performance of ‘Hakuna Matata’ and Ed Sheeran and the Toy Show Choir with ISL both appearing in the Top 5 most-watched clips on RTÉ Player.   RTÉ Social Across the week, the #LateLateToyShow content garnered 4.6 million views on RTÉ’s social accounts across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.  On Toy Show night, at one point the top 10 trends in Ireland were #LateLateToyShow names of the Toy Show children who appeared on the show that night with Ryan. At one point, Lego ranked as the 9th most trending in Ireland.Speaking today, host Ryan Tubridy said“Friday night was an absolute joy to present, and it felt like it was about six or seven minutes long, it just went by so fast as such were the joy that the children brought to everyone in Ireland. We were a country that needed one big magical hug and thanks to the kids all around the country, we got it. I am flabbergasted by the audience share and I am bowled over by the donations made to The Toy Show Appeal. I think that every child matters and for one night in a dark year, the sun came out and kindness won and the future looking at those kids is very, very bright. So here is the start of a hopeful Happy Christmas for everyone in Ireland, especially the children whose future is made a little brighter thanks to the kindness of their fellow citizens.”

Tony McMahon

Speaking on the passing of musician and producer Tony McMahon, RTÉ Director-General Dee Forbes said: “Tony McMahon was an icon among Irish musicians. He joined RTÉ as a radio producer in 1974, having previously worked as freelance presenter across a range of traditional music programmes for the station. His radio series The Long Note placed traditional music in a wider, social context, and was required listening in an era when commercial recordings were rare. Tony introduced his audience to a community of musicians, both at home and abroad, and gave airtime to a generation of younger musicians.”

Tony McMahon worked across the television series The Green Linnet and Come West along the Road as well as The Pure Drop.

Peter Woods, Head of RTÉ Radio 1, said: “As a producer, Tony McMahon was an innovator. He placed an emphasis on individual musicians, their contribution to the tradition and their artistic intent. He was an important figure in RTÉ and nationally for the recognition and context his programme making gave to those musicians. For those who worked with him he was a sounding post. His musical values remained constant and challenging. He made space. In his programmes the music came first. Of Tony McMahon it can definitely be said, Ní bheid a leithéid ann arís.”

RnaG Crowned Station of the Year Amid Big Wins for RTÉ

RTÉ took home five prestigious Bronze Torcs for Excellence at the 2021 Celtic Media Festival. Competing with content from a range of nations in each category, each win represents an international accolade of distinction.


Category: Radio Drama
Winner: Crossing The Red Line
Country: Ireland
Production Company / Broadcaster: Hugh Hick Productions / RTÉ Radio 1 Extra

Category: Arts
Winner: Garech Browne: The Last Days at Luggala
Country: Ireland
Production Company / Broadcaster: Scratch Films Ltd / RTÉ

Category: Factual Series
Winner: RTÉ Investigates; Life & Death-Inside Ireland’s Covid Battle
Country: Ireland
Production Company / Broadcaster: RTÉ Investigations Unit / RTÉ ONE Television / RTÉ Player / RTÉ Online

Category: Single Documentary
Winner: The Funeral Director
Country: Ireland
Production Company / Broadcaster: GMarshTV Productions / RTÉ One

Category: Radio Station of the Year
Winner: RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta
Country: Ireland
Production Company / Broadcaster: RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta / RTÉ

RTÉ nominated for 34 IMRO Radio Awards

The IMRO Radio Awards are celebrating their 21st birthday this year, and RTÉ has garnered 34 nominations across RTÉ Radio 1, 2fm, lyric fm, Raidió na Gaeltachta and RTÉjr Radio.

703 entries were received in 2021, the largest number in over five years.

– Simply Folk, RTÉ Radio 1
– The lyric Concert: Remembering John Lennon, RTÉ lyric fm

– Mise Freisin, RTÉ Radio 1
– RTÉ Choice Music Prize, RTÉ 2fm
– Sunday with Miriam: Christy Moore Special, RTÉ Radio 1

– 2fm Rising, RTÉ 2fm

– Morning Ireland (Cyber Attack), RTÉ Radio 1
– News at One, RTÉ Radio 1
– This Week, RTÉ Radio 1

– Drivetime, RTÉ Radio 1

– Jack Charlton: Player, Manager, Grandad, RTÉ Radio 1

– Joey Dunlop: King of the Road, RTÉ Radio 1
– Rachael’s Day, RTÉ Radio 1

– Documentary on One: A Very Irish Coup, RTÉ Radio 1
– Documentary on One: Grief of a Nation, RTÉ Radio 1

– By the Lakes of Ponchartrain, RTÉ Radio 1
– The Music Biz, RTÉ 2fm

– Countrywide, Farm Diary, RTÉ Radio 1

– The Ray D’Arcy Show, RTÉ Radio 1

– Drama on One: Quicksand, RTÉ Radio 1
– The Emperor’s New Duds, RTÉjr Radio

– Like Family, RTÉ Radio 1
– The Poetry Programme, RTÉ Radio 1

– Barrscéalta, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta

– Liveline, RTÉ Radio 1

– Stand Up Awareness Week, RTÉ 2fm

– Ecolution
– Gunplot

– Marie Crowe, RTÉ 2fm

– Damien O’Reilly, RTÉ Radio 1

– Tracy Clifford, RTÉ 2fm

– Carole Coleman
– Justin McCarthy

– Brian O’Connell
– John Cooke

– Sarah McInerney, RTÉ Radio 1


– New talent & brand-new shows promise the very best in entertainment 

– Over 40 hours of gripping new Irish drama 

– Most free-to-air sport available to audiences in Ireland 

RTÉ today launched its new season of programming. With exciting new formats, the new season promises up-and-coming stars in the making, hours of unmissable homegrown drama, and the return of firm favourites to our screens. From sport to new entertainment formats, drama to young people’s programming – RTÉ is the place for entertainment and escapism this new season.

In new drama, Kin starring Clare Dunne, Aidan Gillen & Ciarán Hinds, while Hidden Assets features Angeline Ball, Simone Kirby and Peter Coonan. Following its international success, Smother is back for a second series with its formidable Ahern family, starring Dervla Kirwan, Gemma Leah-Devereux and Seána Kerslake. Other new dramas include Harry Wild, starring Jane Seymour, comedy-drama series The Dry, and Conversations with Friends based on the book by Sally Rooney (author of Normal People).    

In entertainment, Last Singer Standing is a brand-new talent series fronted by Nicky Byrne. The Late Late Show will be heading towards celebrating 60 years on air in 2022, while Angela Scanlon debuts her brand-new entertainment show Angela Scanlon’s Ask Me Anything on Saturday nights. And a new season of The Tommy Tiernan Show returns with a Christmas special.

With a focus on championing new Irish talent, the upcoming season will showcase new and alternative voices across entertainment, drama and sport. And this season, RTÉ will continue to focus on telling Ireland’s stories, tackling the issues that matter with a broad slate of factual and current affairs content.


RTÉ is the home of quality Irish drama. Almost 40 hours of brand-new drama will be delivered to audiences between September 2021 and Summer 2022.  A highlight is the new Irish crime drama Kin, which follows the lives of a fictional Dublin family embroiled in a gangland war. Filmed in Dublin, it features a stellar cast of Irish actors including Clare Dunne, Aidan Gillen, Ciarán Hinds, Sam Keeley, Emmett Scanlan, Maria Doyle Kennedy, and newcomer Yasmin Seky. The eight-part series has already been acquired by a number of international outlets.

Following its enormous success earlier this year, Smother is back for a second series. Written by Kate O’Riordan and filmed in County Clare, it continues the gripping tale of the Ahern family, featuring Dervla Kirwan as family matriarch Val, with Gemma-Leah Devereux, Niamh Walsh, and Seána Kerslake.

Angeline Ball features along with Peter Coonan in the crime drama Hidden Assets, filmed in Limerick.  It follows the link between a wealthy Irish family, a stash of rough diamonds, and a series of deadly bombings in Belgium.

Filmed in Dublin earlier this year, Harry Wild is a drama mystery series about a recently retired English professor who takes an active interest in the criminal cases assigned to her police detective son. It stars Jane Seymour, who also executively produced the eight-episode series.

This year we can also look forward to a series of quality RTÉ co-productions, including comedy-drama series The Dry written by Nancy Harris and Conversations with Friends based on the book by Sally Rooney (author of Normal People). A powerful drama series Three Families tells the compelling stories of real lives impacted by Northern Ireland’s formerly restrictive abortion laws.

Viewers can also look forward to plenty more action from Ireland’s favourite drama Fair City, with the residents of Carrigstown continuing to share their lives with us every Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings

RTÉ Radio 1 continues to support the development of new writing talent through Drama on One and aims to give a voice to those from diverse communities living in Ireland to tell their own stories.  A renewed focus on radio drama this year will also support new talent with opportunities for rising stars to showcase their work.

With a new drama every week, Drama on One this year includes a Maeve Binchy Season, featuring a series of five of Maeve’s plays written specifically for radio, and with some of Ireland’s best-known acting talent taking part. The season will be complemented with a digital hub on RTÉ Player devoted to Maeve’s radio drama, with commentaries and features, including Maeve’s memorable public interview with Myles Dungan at the National Concert Hall.

Also featured is Wrong Number by Lucille Fletcher. Tony-award winning director and Artistic Director of Druid Theatre Company, Garry Hynes, directs the 1943 radio play that became a film noir thriller.

RTÉ Player will feature plenty of fresh box sets of top drama titles including Irish drama Dublin Murdersthe chilling Dublin-based psychological thriller following the investigation of a child’s murder. Viewers can enjoy a range of Irish drama such as, Smother, Love/Hate, The South Westerlies, Pure Mule, Striking Out and Acceptable Risk.


Saturday night highlights will include Last Singer Standing hosted by Nicky Byrne, a new format karaoke-inspired game show where singers from around Ireland compete to win a €25,000 prize. Pop superstars Nadine Coyle, Joey Fatone and Samantha Mumba will be joining the show as panelists, offering their expert opinions and advice throughout the series. Also new for Saturday nights is Angela Scanlon’s Ask Me Anything, which promises plenty of surprises and revelations when Angela chats with guests who have agreed to be asked about absolutely anything!

Glow Up Ireland sees Maura Higgins challenge Ireland’s best amateur make-up artists to compete against each other, and the two judges putting the contestants through their paces are industry professionals Cathyanne Mac Allister and Emma O’ Byrne, while Hell Week – The Professionals sees 18 of Ireland’s fittest from the world of sport and entertainment take on the gruelling physical and mental challenge, which has a 90% failure rate.

With a significant increase in Irish-language programming, the national psyche is the theme of GAFA, a new Irish-language series about the things that Irish people just can’t seem to stop talking about. From our obsession with the Irish weather – GAFA leis an Aimsir – to our endless curiosity about the Royal Family – GAFA leis na Royals – GAFA takes a unique look at the things that are always part of the national conversation.  RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta will be resuming its full coverage of International, national and local programmes.

RTÉ continues to provide much-needed entertainment that brings us together, and this year will be heading towards celebrating 60 years of The Late Late Show.  A new season of The Tommy Tiernan Show returns with a Christmas Special while Today with Maura and Dáithí celebrates 10 years of lively afternoon chat and entertainment.  New presenter Emer O’Neill, formerly of Home School Hub, is joining Dáithí and Maura while Sinéad Kennedy takes maternity leave.

More of Ireland’s favourite entertainment shows return, include Soundtrack to my Lifehosted by Bressie, and a new series of DIY SOS with Baz Ashmawy. The Style Counsellors with Suzanne Jackson is also back; Suzanne will be joined by some leading lights of the fashion industry giving their top tips including the fabulous style queen, Eileen Smith.

Entertainment continues on RTÉ Radio 1 with Mise Freisina playful genre-bending music showcase presented by Ray Cuddihy, showcasing the common features shared between traditional Irish music, Irish folk music, and Irish hip hop.  Brenda Donoghue takes to the road again in Like Family, looking at life through the eyes of ordinary Irish families.  And over on RTÉ 2FM the new breakfast show with Doireann, Donncha and Carl gets each day off to a bright and sunny start for listeners.

RTÉ launched a new initiative this season to look for original breakthrough comedy talent, ensuring audiences see and hear new faces first on RTÉ. We’re on a mission to uncover new comedy talent with a showcase series that will allow up and coming acts to have their moment in the spotlight and share their talent.

There are some familiar faces returning too: The 2 Johnnies are back for another series with their outrageous musings and Oliver Callan will bring more laughs with Callan Kicks on both TV and Radio, sharing his unique satirical take on Irish and International faces making the news. And in his new show, The Years – Callan will recreate key events in Irish history, with reaction to these events from contemporary characters. Also featuring on RTÉ Player will be Cork woman Sinéad Quinlan, with her unique and quirky look at everyday life, following on from her successful series, Seriously, Sinéad?.

Young People’s Programming 

Storybud is a brand-new series where some famous faces – including Jason Byrne and Doireann Garrihy – re-tell some well-known children’s stories, with a bit of a twist. Other highlights include the film X marks the spot – a new kid’s comedy-drama written by Carol Walsh and directed by Hugh O’Conor, and The Imagination Machine, which features an incredible mix of live-action & CGI. Will Sliney’s Storytellers will look at the world-famous comic book artist Will Sliney and a host of amazing never before seen characters in this new art show with a difference.


RTÉ will have the largest selection of free-to-air sport available to audiences in Ireland, across TV, radio, and online, enabled by strategic partnerships with TG4 and Virgin Media, delivering the best value for the licence fee. Highlights include Six Nations, GAA club championships, Champions League, men’s and women’s World Cup qualifiers, Autumn Internationals, FAI Cup, SSE Airtricity league, and Horse Racing.  We’ll bring you the agonies and the ecstasies, from Irish teams on the world stage to local teams representing the parish. We promise a jam-packed schedule of local and national events and collectively, sharing every riveting moment.

Full details of all RTÉ Sport programming will be announced in early September to coincide with the start of 2021/ 22 United Rugby Championship (URC) season, which will premiere on RTÉ.


RTÉ’s factual series and documentaries this season will offer a broad and diverse range of both hard-hitting and heart-warming content for viewers. We’ll be tackling the subjects that need talking about, taking an honest snapshot of how we all live, work, and play, and celebrating our uniqueness with a look at the things and people we love. Highlights will include: Keelin Shanley: Faraway, Still Close, a documentary on the late Keelin Shanley; Cocooned, which looks at how our older generation “cocooned” during the earlier stages of the coronavirus pandemic; and Ireland’s Dirty Laundry, which hears from those who worked in Ireland’s notorious Magdalene Laundries.

Full details of the RTÉ factual schedule will be revealed this Sunday via print, online, on-air, and on

Arts and Culture

A special series with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra will showcase new arrangements of the music of David Bowie.

RTÉ lyric fm features Taking Flight, a newly commissioned series of audio meditations on the work of Patrick Kavanagh which will be broadcast on Niall Carroll’s Classical Daytime. Also, a new series of The Lyric Feature begins with Green White Enamel on the life and work of the poet, Ethna McCarthy. The Lyric Concert with Paul Herriott presents the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra 2021-2022 season commencing on September 10th at 7pm.

A series of documentaries including one featuring Brian Friel and another on Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin as well as a special documentary to mark 100 years of Ulysses will be showcased this coming season.

Full details of the RTÉ’s Arts & Culture schedule will be announced in early September.

Dee Forbes, Director General, RTÉ said “Today we unveiled a selection of programming for the months ahead with a particular focus on drama and entertainment which will see 40 hours of local Irish drama come to our screens in the coming months and in early 2022. Along with new entertainment shows and formats, we will welcome new faces and voices on our air as we support and seek out new Irish talent. We will tell Ireland’s story with a compelling slate of factual and current affairs output, programmes for young people, multi-platform arts and culture output and of course even more from RTÉ Sport, the definitive home of free-to-air sport in Ireland. This new season makes a compelling case for the need to sustain public service broadcasting, for our current generations and the generations to come.”


Journalist Carla O’Brien asks how the pandemic has changed what we value.

After a year that changed our lives, a new RTÉ podcast seeks to find out what people value. RTÉ News journalist, Carla O’Brien speaks to people in Irish public life about what parts of their lives are now most important. Over the last 15 months many people have experienced significant life changes, be it how they work, how they do business, changes to their relationships and even how and where they seek out entertainment.

A storyteller herself, in RTÉ’s Core Values, Carla seeks to find out how the pandemic has changed people’s values in life, what they put emphasis on now and what might not be as important to them anymore. Speaking to Carla as part of this podcast are guests from the world of business, entertainment and sport; in this first series they are jockey Ruby Walsh, EU Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly, chef Richard Corrigan and broadcaster Louise McSharry.

On how this podcast came about, Carla says: “Throughout the year and a bit, I found myself thinking about what was most important to me and my family. I thought, “If I am doing this, then it’s very likely that some others are too”.”

Joining Carla for her first episode is 12-time champion jockey Ruby Walsh, well known for his punditry, who told her “I think a lot of questions you’ve asked me today would be a very deep conversation for me. Even trying to verbalise what I believe, or feel is often not very easy.”

Looking back on life since the pandemic began, Ruby tells Carla “When you’re brushing your teeth at night and you’re looking at yourself in the mirror, it is what you’re thinking of yourself, that really counts. I always wanted to look myself in the mirror, and say, “yeah, you did as good as you could today.”

RTÉ’s Core Values podcast is available every Tuesday for the next four weeks. Subscribe via


About Carla O’Brien
Presenter and producer of Core Values, Carla O’Brien is from the village of Caledon, County Tyrone. Carla joined RTÉ in 2011, first working as a researcher on RTÉ’s News at One before becoming a presenter and reporter for news2day, a daily news programme for younger viewers.
Since then, Carla has presented the RTÉ Six One News and Nine O’Clock News bulletins and regularly contributes as a multimedia journalist to RTÉ News TV bulletins, radio programmes and news online service. Carla has also produced reports for RTÉ Nationwide. Carla is a former lead dancer with Riverdance. Before joining RTÉ she toured the globe with the world-famous dance show, as their female principle. She is a World Champion in Irish dancing and is a grand slam title holder after winning every accolade in the competitive dancing circuit.


The Celtic Media Festival, the longest-established and most prestigious media festival in the Celtic nations, has revealed the names for its esteemed Torc Awards For Excellence.

Nominees from across the UK, Ireland and Europe will compete across 26 award categories including Current Affairs, Comedy, Radio, Arts, Factual and Sport. And the Celtic Media Festival announced two new awards categories this year: Feature Documentary and Live Music Programme, which will showcase the rich talent on offer in those areas.

Nominated broadcasters include S4C, France 3, BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Wales, BBC Scotland and BBC Northern Ireland, as well as TG4 and RTÉ.

RTÉ received 17 nominations across a range of services and genre. You can watch back the announcements of the nominees here.

Garech Browne: The Last Days at Luggala

Redress: Breaking the Silence

RTÉ Investigates; Life & Death-Inside Ireland’s Covid Battle

Una Healy’s New Year’s Eve Party

Colm O’Regan Wants a Word (about the New Abnormal)
RTÉ Radio 1

Ár bPéire – Dónall Mac Ruairí
RTÉ Raidió Na Gaeltachta

Documentary on One: The Grief of a Nation
RTÉ Radio 1

Leaba an Bháis
RTÉ Radio 1

Crossing The Red Line
RTE Radio 1 Extra

RTÉ Raidio na Gaeltachta

RTÉ Radio 1

Green and Gold
RTÉ Radio 1

RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta
RTÉjr Radio

The Funeral Director


Slí na mBeaglaoich

EBU/ RTÉ Young People’s film ‘Joseph Wants to Walk’ wins Best Documentary at the Nenagh Children’s Film Festival

EBU/ RTÉ Young People’s film ‘Joseph Wants to Walk’ won best documentary at the Nenagh Children’s Film Festival on Sunday, 13th June.

The Nenagh Children’s Film Festival award follows on from another award received in 2020. This time last year ‘Joseph Wants to Walk’ won a UNICEF special prize at the Prix Jeunesse International Children’s Film Festival in Munich.
As one of three films chosen from across all the categories by UNICEF, ‘Joseph Wants to Walk’, produced and directed by Trish O’Connor (RTÉ Documentaries) received a medal and was also a finalist in the 7-10years non-fiction documentary category.

For more about Nenagh Children’s Festival click here.

Joseph Wants to Walk
Produced and directed by Trish O’Connor (RTÉ Documentaries), ‘Joseph Wants to Walk’ is about an energetic boy called Joseph Monaghan from Limerick. Joseph is a regular little boy who just happens to have Cerebral Palsy. Joseph has to use walking aids and has to do a lot of physio to keep his muscles strong.  But Joseph let’s nothing get in his way – he is more than the sum of the walking aids he uses. He is a boy with big dreams and an even bigger personality.  In the film we follow Joseph as he embarks on a challenge he has set himself – to walk unaided into his own 10th birthday party. Joseph tells us his story in his own words, and along the way we meet his friends and family who support him every step of the way.

RTÉ – The Green Broadcaster

Troy Bannon and Dee Forbes on sustainability and RTÉ

Troy Bannon, RTÉ’s Head of Property and Services, and Dee Forbes, Director-General, discuss RTÉ’s recent ISO50001 accreditation. Looking at recent achievements, RTÉ also sets out the medium-term ambitions and plans as a leader in the sustainable economy.


Prix Italia Nomination for RTÉ lyric fm

RTÉ lyric fm’s The Lyric Feature has been shortlisted for the 2021 Prix Italia, in the radio music category. Seven programmes make up the shortlist, drawn from the original longlist of 18. RTÉ lyric fm sits alongside entries from Denmark, the Czech Republic, UK, Germany, Australia and Canada.

The programme, which was first broadcast on lyric last September, is written and performed by Brían Mac Gloinn of Ye Vagabonds and commemorates a heroic sea rescue off Donegal’s Arranmore Island in 1940. It was produced during lockdown by Brían Mac Gloinn and producer Eoin O Kelly working in Arranmore and Limerick, respectively.

This is the 73rd edition of the Prix Italia awards. The winners will be announced in Milan on the 17th of June 2021.

The Ballad of the Stowijk Rescue

In December 1940, eight fishermen from Arranmore Island in County Donegal rescued 18 Dutch sailors from the SS Stolwijk, a cargo ship which had been wrecked on rocks in a hurricane force storm. Singer and multi-instrumentalist, Brían Mac Gloinn, who is one half of the well known folk duo Ye Vagabonds, heard the story from the last living eye witness, Andrew Early, who knew the lifeboat crew who effected the daring rescue. Using his testimony and that of other islanders, Brían has woven a radio ballad to commemorate the events of that day.

The radio ballad is a particular form of radio storytelling that was pioneered by Ewan McColl, Peggy Seeger and Charles Parker, where eyewitness accounts are augmented by new original music and sound effects to recreate the emotional context of an event. This may be the first ever Irish radio ballad.

Andrew Early died in November 2020 at the age of 89.

Written, presented and performed by Brían Mac Gloinn,

Sound mixing by Brían Mac Gloinn.

Sound supervision by Damian Chennells

Produced by Brían Mac Gloinn and Eoin O Kelly

Listen back to the programme here.