RTÉ, Wexford Festival Opera + ARTE join forces to bring the Festival magic to your home this October

This October audiences across Ireland and around the world will have a chance to experience a taste of the magic of Wexford Festival Opera at home.Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic,this year’s reimagined FestivalWaiting for Shakespeare …The Festival in the air will be an online celebration, starting on 11 October and running over eight consecutive days. This reimagined Festival aims to bring together audiences and the wider worldwide Wexford community through the power of music.

Wexford Festival Opera, RTÉ and ARTE have joined forces once again to ensure that every magical moment will be available for audiences to enjoy for free from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

Today details were announced of how audiences can access at home,with unforgettable events and performances to be streamed/ broadcast across RTE.ie/ lyric fm, arte.tv and Wexfordopera.com from Sunday, 11 October – Sunday, 18 October 2020.

11th Oct, 8pm:Petite messe solennelle(Rossini)

This performance of Rossini’sPetite messe solennelle, considered one of the most remarkable compositions of his career, demonstrated by his use of beautiful, memorable melodies and rhythmic vitality, is dedicated to the memory of the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. Performed in its original version from the stage of the National Opera House with two pianos, harmonium, four soloists and chorus, it will be conducted by Kenneth Montgomery with instrumentalists Finghin Collins (first pianist) , Carmen Santoro (second pianist) , Andrew Synnott (harmonium) , and soloists Claudia Boyle (soprano), Tara Erraught (mezzo soprano), Pietro Adaíni (tenor) , John Molloy (bass) and the Wexford Factory Ensemble.

LISTEN LIVE at RTÉ lyric fm presented by Paul Herriott 
WATCH the live stream at RTE.ie/Culture
CATCH UP on RTÉ Player and on RTÉ Player’s exclusive Wexford Festival Opera pop-up channel.

This performance is also being live streamed by the (Strasbourg based) European Culture Channel ARTE as part of their ARTE Opera Season 2020-2021, a digital European opera season offered in partnership with some of the most renowned opera institutions of Europe (available for one year on arte.tv/opera).

The production is, as well, part of the cultural partnership between ARTE and RTÉ established to promote Irish arts and culture across Europe.

12th Oct, 8pm:Dinner Time Recital with Celine Byrne

Irish soprano Celine Byrne will perform in a very special dinner time recital from the stage of the National Opera House.

LISTEN LIVE at RTÉ lyric fm presented by Paul Herriott 
WATCH the live stream at RTE.ie/Culture
CATCH UP on RTÉ Player and on RTÉ Player’s exclusive Wexford Festival Opera pop-up channel.

12th– 17th Oct, 6pm: Falstaff Chronicles (Giuseppe Verdi)

Six days, six episodes, 15 mins each – watch the story unfold. Giuseppe Verdi was inspired to write his final opera Falstaff, based on one of Shakespeare’s most beloved characters, when he was nearly 80 years of age. The members of the Wexford Factory (a professional development academy for young Irish singers) will perform a six-part mini-series rendition of Verdi’s masterpieceFalstaffover six consecutive days. Follow the chronicles of the fat knight, Sir John Falstaff, as he attempts to seduce two married women in an effort to gain access to their husbands’ wealth. Music Director: Carmen Santoro, Director: Roberto Recchia, Designer: Serena Treppiedi, Lighting Designer: Eoin McNinch.

STREAM at 6pm daily on RTE.ie/Culture. 
Miss an episode? 
CATCH UP on RTE Player andon RTÉ Player’s exclusive Wexford Festival Opera pop-up channel.

13th– 15thOct, 8pm:What Happened to Lucrece

Composer and Artist-in-Residence, Andrew Synnott’s new opera commissioned by Wexford Festival Opera is based on the Shakespeare narrative poem,The Rape of Lucrece, about the legendary Roman noblewoman Lucretia.What Happened to Lucreceis written for four singers and piano, and will be performed on three separate evenings. Each performance will have a different ending; one tragic, one farcical and one romantic. Viewers are invited to vote on their preferred ending.  Libretto by Alessandra Binucci and Rosetta Cucchi. Sung in English.Conductor:Andrew Synnott,Music Director:Andrea Grant,Director/Designer:Rosetta Cucchi,Lighting Designer:Eoin McNinch, First PianistGiorgio D’Alonso, cast:Sarah Richmond(Lucrece), Rory Musgrave(Sextus), Sarah Shine(Fran), Kathleen Norchi(Collatline).

STREAM at 8pm daily on RTE.ie/Culture. 
Miss an episode? 
CATCH UP on RTE Playerand on RTÉ Player’s exclusive Wexford Festival Opera pop-up channel.

16thOct, 8pm GALA CONCERT – Remote Voices

This year’s Gala Concert, hosted by Artistic Director Rosetta Cucchi andRTÉ Lyric FM presenter Marty Whelanwill feature performances from some of the most famous and outstanding stars from the opera world, all of whom have appeared in Wexford in the past. Wexford Festival Opera has historically served as a springboard for many young singers at the beginning of their careers onto the international stage and while they have gone on to lofty careers, Wexford Festival Opera has always remained in their hearts.  It is with great honour that we welcome them back to perform for you once again – from their homes to yours.  It will include mezzo-sopranoAigul Akhmetshina, bass baritoneSimone Alberghini,  baritoneNicola Alaimo, mezzo-sopranoDaniela Barcellona, baritonePaolo Bordogna, tenorJoseph Calleja, baritoneRoberto de Candia, sopranoHelena Dix, sopranoAnne Sophie Duprels, tenorJuan Diego Flórez, baritoneIgor Golovatenko, tenorDmitry Golovnin, sopranoSophie Gordeladze, sopranoErmonela Jaho, mezzo-sopranoRachel Kelly, baritoneLeon Kim, baritoneAlessandro Luongo, mezzo-sopranoRaffaella Lupinacci, sopranoAngela Meade, tenorSergey Romanovsky, baritoneLuca Salsi, tenorLevy Sekgapane, SopranoMariangela Sicilia, mezzo-sopranoNora Sourouzianand tenorNoah Stewart.

STREAM at 6pm daily on RTE.ie/Culture. 
Miss an episode? 
CATCH UP on RTE Player andon RTÉ Player’s exclusive Wexford Festival Opera pop-up channel. 

18thOct, 8pm:Lisette Oropesa and Orchestra

A special concert live from the stage of the National Opera House with the internationally-renowned American lyric coloratura soprano Lisette Oropesa, accompanied by the Wexford Festival Orchestra, conducted by Francesco Cilluffo.  Lisette Oropesa is one of the most in-demand lyric coloratura today and who has triumphed in various roles throughout the most important houses in Europe and the US.

LISTEN LIVE at RTÉ lyric fm presented by Paul Herriott 
WATCH the live stream at RTE.ie/Culture
CATCH UP on RTÉ Player and on RTÉ Player’s exclusive Wexford Festival Opera pop-up channel.

Ann-Marie Power, Group Head of Arts & Culture, RTÉ, said:

“RTÉ’s partnership with the Wexford Festival Opera, and with ARTE, has continued to innovate to bring the best in arts and culture to a wider audience, wherever they are. Our successful experiments with live streaming Festival performances over the last two years has prepared us well for this year’s reimagined online Wexford Festival Opera. While we look forward to seeing audiences return to live shows, we have made the streaming of high quality events a central element in the RTÉ’s promotion of arts and culture to Irish audiences, both at home and abroad, and we are once again proud to be involved.”

Wexford Festival Opera Artistic Director Rosetta Cucchi said:

“This has been a very challenging year but sometimes from hard rocks come beautiful flowers and the partnership between WFO andRTÉwill bring this flower into every house waiting for our return to theatre and to be together in Wexford again.”

WFO Chief Executive David McLoughlin said:

“Wexford has faced many challenges over its long history. We were therefore determined to meet the current challenge by keeping the spirit of Wexford shining brightly and bringing Wexford and its magical performances to audiences worldwide. The further development this year of our existing collaborative partnership with RTÉ will enable audiences across the country and around the world to experience, enjoy and be enriched by live performances safely and free-to-view across RTÉ’s extensive online culture platform and on RTÉ lyric fm. This year of all years this is a really strong example of RTÉ truly supporting the arts.”

Coordinator of the ARTE Opera Season Dominic Konrad said:

“During these difficult times for the international cultural landscape, we are more than happy to return, alongside RTÉ, to Wexford Festival Opera, a partner of the ARTE Opera Season since 2018 and one of Europe’s most exciting opera festivals. We are proud to present Rossini’s “Petite Messe solennelle” to audiences in France and in Germany as well as all over Europe and the world.

With the ARTE Opera Season 2020-2021, ARTE proposes for the third time in partnership with more than 20 European opera houses and festivals a digital opera season, freely accessible worldwide. We aspire to present the best, the most ambitious and the most relevant from stages all across Europe – productions that make opera the living and thriving art form it is.”

For full details of ‘Waiting for Shakespeare …The Festival in the air’ and to download the brochure go to wexfordopera.com  

Subscribe now toWexfordFestivalOpera – YouTube

‘Plough On … with Nuala Carey’ – RTÉ Player Exclusive

RTÉ Player Exclusive marks National Ploughing Week

“Plough On … with Nuala Carey”

WATCH on RTÉ Player: https://www.rte.ie/player/movie/plough-on-with-nuala-carey/154210855955

RTÉ will mark ‘ploughing’ week with the release of a new RTÉ Player exclusive. Plough On … with Nuala Carey takes us to the National Ploughing Championships 2019/20 site in Ballintrane, Fenagh, Co. Carlow, to meet some of the people for whom a year without Ploughing will be a year like no other.

Due to Covid-19, the organisers of the National Ploughing Championships, which was due to take place the 15-17 September, announced the cancellation of the event back in early May.

RTÉ’s Nuala Carey, someone with a deep connection to this unique event, presents a new one-off special and meets a range of people who will miss this year’s event greatly.

Nuala chats to National Ploughing Championships organisers, mother and daughter powerhouse Anna May and Anna Marie McHugh, about the impact of this year’s event cancellation, and looking forward to 2021.

“Everybody is saddened that it’s not happening but look we have to keep the flag flying and look forward to better times.” – Anna May McHugh, National Ploughing Association.

Seamus Quirke, a young tillage farmer in Carlow, and Ailish Osborne, a young beef and tillage farmer from Kildare, share memories of attending the event over the years, from getting lost to sneaking in for free in the early days!

Gary Ireland, 5-Nations Reversible Champion 2019, guides Nuala through the event from a competitor’s view, and chats about practicing in the lead-up and the early starts to beat the ploughing traffic.

Jason Hegarty of Gordon Hegarty and Sons Ltd, based in Tullow, discusses the commercial impact of not being able to exhibit and the daily Covid-19 challenges for the business.

Marty Morrissey and Damien O’Reilly chat to Nuala about what they believe will be missed most about the cancellation of one of Europe’s biggest outdoor event.

“It’s the national AGM for communities from all over Ireland.” – Marty Morrissey, RTÉ.

“The Ploughing Championships is a celebration of the end of the harvest, and that’s what farmers are really going to miss this year.” – Damien O’Reilly, RTÉ Radio 1 Countrywide.

Each year over 1700 exhibitors take over almost 2 million feet of trade space and meet over 293,000 visitors. Over 300 ploughers take part in the competitions.

Plough On … with Nuala Carey | Available now on the RTÉ Player


From over 4,000 to 10: RTÉ Short Story Competition Shortlist announced

“The diversity of voices and themes is reflected in the shortlist of ten stories to be broadcast, a mix of the challenging, entertaining, reflective and surreal.”

Vincent Woods, writer, broadcaster, judge READ the stories at www.RTE.ie/Culture #RTEshortstory

RTÉ has announced the shortlist for this year’s RTÉ Short Story Competition in honour of Francis MacManus, having received a record number of entries, over 4000, for this year’s competition, which coincided with the global pandemic and the national lockdown.

The shortlisted stories are:

· Beneath the Trees, Where Nobody Sees, by Julie Cruickshank, Dublin 8

· Everything Will Be Recorded, by Seán Mackel, Co. Donegal

· Flower Wild, by Shane Tivenan, Madrid, Spain

· Guinness & Coke, by Lochlainn McKenna, Cork

· Hands; A Downpour, by Aengus Murray, Valencia, Spain

· Neadú, by Ceri Garfield, Co. Clare

· Kissing Booth, by Alan Walsh, Co. Wicklow

· Tactics, by Andrew Maguire, Co. Tyrone

· The Brow of the Hill, by Edel Moloney, Co. Dublin

· The Shape on the Strand, by Katherine Duffy, Dublin 14

As a measure of the particularly high standard of this year’s entries, the judges also wished to give special mention to a further five stories:

The following 5 stories are in the Highly Commended category:

· The Atlantic’s Cold Edge, by Kieran Marsh, Dublin 5

· Fata Morgana, by Paul Duffy, Co. Wicklow

· Cast Offs, by Lem Kinlon, Co. Kildare

· Eggs Bed, Bed Eggs, by Rory Duffy, Co Westmeath

· Dead Water, by James Martyn Joyce, Co Galway

Writer, broadcaster and current judge, Vincent Woods says: “The standard of entry this year was very high. There was a palpable sense of unease running through many of the stories that came to us – a reflection of pandemic times, perhaps? The diversity of voices and themes is reflected in the shortlist of ten stories to be broadcast, a mix of the challenging, entertaining, reflective and surreal.”

Danielle McLaughlin, who is also a previous prize-winner in this competition, says: “This country produces such a kaleidoscope of writing talent and this has been abundantly evident right across the record entries we have received this year. I’d really like to congratulate all the writers on the shortlist, whose stories are right up there with the best of my reading during this whole pandemic. Through this competition, they now all have a great opportunity to bring their stories to a wide audience.”

Journalist and editor Madeleine Keane commented: “Judging the RTE Short Story Award was a complete joy in the midst of all the strangeness and upset of this year. It was so uplifting to read the richness and range, the diversity and imagination of these short fictions.”

All 10 stories on the shortlist are now available to read at www.rte.ie/Culture, in advance of a special Arena programme on RTÉ Radio 1 at 7pm on Monday 28th September where the three competition judges will announce their top prizes (€3,000 to the winner, €2,000 and €1,000 the second and third place prizewinners respectively).

The broadcast of the full shortlist series begins with the winning story that same evening, Monday 28th September, on RTÉ Radio 1 at 11.20pm, and continues every weeknight at 11.20pm until Friday 9 October. The stories will also be podcast.

Producer of the competition series, Sarah Binchy, said: “This is a really strong, vibrant shortlist. These stories are diverse in style, setting and tone, but what they have in common is an assurance of voice. Also – it sounds paradoxical – a great radio story will often have a strong visual quality and that’s very much the case here. There are some powerful images in these stories that will linger a long time in the listener’s mind. It’s been a pleasure to inhabit the unique world of each story as I’ve recorded them for broadcast with some greatly talented, insightful actors, ably assisted by RTÉ’s sound engineering team. I’m looking forward to sharing these recordings with a wide audience.“

This year’s stories will be read on air by Cathy Belton, Lalor Roddy, Ingrid Craigie, Éanna Hardwicke, Liam Carney, Bríd Ní Neachtain, Bláithín MacGabhann, Ignacy Rybarczyk, Derbhle Crotty and Jane Brennan.

Free to enter, the RTÉ Short Story Competition is open to anyone over 18 living on the island of Ireland, or living abroad who holds an Irish passport. Next year’s competition will open for entries in spring 2021. To read the stories visit www.rte.ie/Culture. You can also stay up to date with RTÉ on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn using #RTEshortstory.


About the RTÉ Short Story Competition

A competition for original short stories for radio was first established in 1986 in memory of Francis MacManus (1909-1965), the Kilkenny-born novelist, biographer and former Head of Talks and Features at Radio Éireann. Since its establishment, the competition has been a launching pad for many writers who have gone on to receive national and international acclaim, including Claire Keegan, Molly McCloskey, Anthony Glavin, Danielle McLaughlin and Nuala Ní Chonchúir.

The RTÉ Short Story Competition in honour of Francis MacManus is produced by Sarah Binchy.

About the judges

Danielle McLaughlin

Danielle McLaughlin’s short story collection, Dinosaurs on Other Planets, was published in 2015 by the Stinging Fly Press. Her stories have appeared in the Stinging Fly, The Irish Times, Southword, and The New Yorker and have been broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 and BBC Radio 4. In 2019, she was a Windham-Campbell Prize recipient, and won the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award. Her first novel, Retrospective, will be published in 2021.

Vincent Woods

Vincent Woods is a writer and broadcaster whose plays include At the Black Pig’s Dyke, Song of the Yellow Bittern and A Cry from Heaven; and for radio, The Leitrim Hotel, The Gospels of Aughamore and Broken Moon. Poetry collections are The Colour of Language and Lives and Miracles. Recent publications include Leaves of Hungry Grass: Poetry and Ireland’s Great Hunger (Quinnipiac University Press) and Borderlines (with Henry Glassie). Awards include the Stewart Parker Award for Drama and The Ted McNulty Award for Poetry. He has scripted and presented many arts programmes and documentaries on RTÉ Radio 1. He directs the Iron Mountain Literature Festival in Leitrim. Vincent lives in Dublin and is a member of Aosdána.

Madeleine Keane

Madeleine Keane is an editor, lecturer and journalist. She was educated at UCD and Trinity. She joined the Sunday Independent in 1988 and has been its Literary Editor for the last 18 years. She regularly writes about books, arts and travel. She has broadcast on tv and radio about books and publishing and presents at literary festivals and events. She lectures on writing at UCD and the Irish Writers’ Centre.

Sinéad Kennedy joins presenting team Maura and Dáithí on new season of Today

Today makes an eagerly-awaited return to RTÉ One on Monday 21st September and presenter Sinéad Kennedy will be joining Maura Derrane and Dáithí O’Sé for Ireland’s most watched daytime show.  She will present alongside Dáithí on Mondays and Tuesdays for season nine of the much-loved programme.

Sharing her excitement at joining the programme Sinéad Kennedy said: “I’m so excited to be joining Today.  Maura, Dáithí and the whole team have been so welcoming and I just can’t wait to get started now.  The show is so well loved and I hope that I can bring something extra this season.

Commenting ahead of the new season Dáithí O’Sé said: “We’re really delighted to have Sinéad on board with us.  I think she’s made for the show.  It’s season nine and it’s a good time to shake things up.

Presenter Maura Derrane said: “After I decided to take a step back this year, I’m thrilled that Sinéad is joining us.  She is perfect for the show.  It will add another dimension to Today as we head into season nine. We are looking forward to bringing our loyal audience a great mix of entertainment, lots of beauty tips and wellbeing as well as our usual mix of fun again this year.

The addition of Sinead and the refreshed show title of Today comes with even more new elements this season. The show will have a new daily 50/50 quiz for the viewers to win prizes. ‘Gaff Goddess’, Laura de Barra, will be showing us all her tips and tricks in our new ‘Home Hacks’ slot.

Spend time at home with Maura, Dáithí and Sinéad this Autumn as many of your favourite items and contributors make a return.  The presenters will chat daily to a host of Irish and UK celebrities. Live from Your Place daily sees the presenters talk to families and communities around Ireland. Our Social Detective James Patrice is on board with off-beat stories and challenges for the presentersBláthnaid Treacy and Pat Fitzpatrick will recommend what to watch, listen to and read in ‘Something for the Week’. Mr Beauty himself, Mark Rodgers will be showing us how to look good on the outside with his make-up tutorials. Happy fitness Guy, Ray Lally is back with his workout masterclasses and Marty Morrisey will remember his favourite GAA highlights every Friday.  We have daily dinner creations from celebrity chefs like Kevin Dundon, Neven McGuire and Eunice Power with new up-coming cheffing talent also on the show.

Executive producer Janet Frawley said: “We are so delighted to be going into our ninth season. Over the years The Today Show, coming from Cork city centre,  has grown into an eclectic nimble show. On air, we’ve been with our viewers through some very eventful times like ‘Beast from the East’ in 2018 and now the global pandemic we are living with. We are part of our viewers daily established routines in the afternoon. With well over 1000 episodes under our belts we are a safe and happy space in the afternoon and on form to have another great season.

With 160 episoWith 160 episodes this year and over two hours of live television each weekday afternoon, the show is broadcast live daily from RTÉ Cork.  Due to its increased popularity during lockdown, it was extended by two weeks at the end of the last season, filling a need as so many people were at home. The last season of Today with Maura and Daithí averaged 97,300 Individuals per show, an increase of 25% compared to the previous season in 2018-2019. It commanded a 17.4% share of viewing among Individuals, which was up more than three percentage points. It was also strong for the Housekeepers with Children audience, yielding a 12.9% share, an increase of over four percentage points.*

In the first week back for season nine, viewers have an opportunity to win a massive €9000.

Tune in to Today on Monday 21st September at 3.30pm on RTÉ One

Culture Night on RTÉ: Celebrating Arts and Culture in Ireland in 2020

RTÉ will mark Culture Night 2020 (Friday 18th September) with a range of special broadcasts, commissioned performances and live concerts across television, radio and online.

Due to Covid-19, RTÉ has replaced its annual open-air Culture Night concert at National Museum of Ireland Collins Barracks with a cross-platform programme which focuses on the efforts of artists and communities across the country to rise to the challenge and celebrate a Culture Night like no other.

RTÉ HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE (See Programme Notes below): 

WATCH: Culture Night Nationwide Special, RTÉ One, Friday 18th September, 7.00pm;

WATCH & LISTEN: RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra LIVE in HD from the National Concert Hall, 7.00pm, live on RTÉ lyric fm and live-streaming on rte.ie/Culture.

LISTEN: Arena, RTÉ Radio 1, 7pm-8pm will feature coverage of Culture Night projects and events in the days leading up to the night itself.


At the centre of Culture Night with RTÉ will be an RTÉ Nationwide Special on RTÉ One at 7.00 pm. This special programme will showcase two significant projects:

An RTÉ-commissioned film featuring an original contemporary dance piece from award-winning choreographer, Emma Martin (and her company, United Fall), featuring both professional dancers and diverse community dance groups, filmed in the State Apartments and Upper Courtyard of Dublin Castle. The piece will be accompanied by a specially commissioned arrangement of live traditional music inspired by O’Riada with vocals from Irish RnB artist, Soulé;

Five specially-produced local film projects showcasing a range of the cultural activities from across the country which celebrate diversity. See Programme Notes below.


There’ll be much more on Culture Night with RTÉ on RTE.ie/Culture, a one-stop shop for all things Culture Night. You can also keep up with RTÉ on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #culturenight.

Culture Night with RTÉ is kindly supported by the Arts Council. Filming in the State Apartments and Upper Courtyard of Dublin Castle is with the kind permission of the Office of Public Works.

Culture Night is supported under the RTÉ Supporting the Arts Scheme.


Programme Notes:   

Culture Night Nationwide Special, RTÉ One, 7.00pm  

Five specially-produced local film projects include:

CAVAN / RAMOR THEATRE “Barber of Belcoo”

A new site-specific work from Padraig McIntyre, specially-commissioned for Culture Night with writer John McManus and actor Brid Ni Neachtain in the wilds of Cavan Burren GeoPark.

CORK / MY GENERATION at The Glucksman

Young people from Cork’s migrant community workshop with artists in the Glucksman Gallery to create a large-scale public work (street art) which will be unveiled on Culture Night.

DUBLIN / RADE (Rehabilitation through Arts, Drama, and Education) http://www.rade.ie/

A behind-the-scenes film of RADE’s ticketed screening of their work (a musical comedy facilitated by composer Trevor Knight) on Culture Night, including conversations with participants about how film-making and involvement in the arts has been a lifeline.


Vera Klute demonstrates the process of creating a small-scale sculpture.


Amanda Coogan workshopping with the Dublin Theatre of the Deaf who will perform ‘Ode to Joy’ in sign as part of ‘When I’, a programme of newly commissioned works and performances.

RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra LIVE from the National Concert Hall at 7pm  

WATCH the concert online in HD rte.ie/culture and LISTEN live to RTÉ lyric fm:

RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra

  • Gavin Maloney conductor
  • John Finucane clarinet
  • Presented by Paul Herriott, RTÉ lyric fm
  • Bartók Romanian Folk Dances
  • Mozart Clarinet Concerto
  • Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4, ‘Italian’


RTÉ Media Sales today announced that Opel Ireland will be sponsoring Today with Claire Byrne from Monday 7th September. The mid-morning show beginning at 10am on weekdays with Claire Byrne, will feature stories of the day, sharp analysis and features. Today with Claire Byrne will be asking the questions that RTÉ Radio 1 listeners want to know the answers to.

The 12-month sponsorship consists of 6 x10” sponsor credited stings per day and 7 x sponsor credited promos across the RTÉ Radio 1 schedule per week, as well as homepage and podcast sponsorship. The sponsorship deal was brokered by Mediacom.

Tara Farrell, Radio & Audio Sponsorship Manager, RTÉ Media Sales commented: “RTE Media Sales are delighted to announce Opel Ireland as sponsor of RTE Radio 1’s brand new show Today with Claire Byrne. We are confident the shows 321,000* listenership will deliver a highly effective platform for Opel Ireland to communicate directly with its customers”. 

Emma Toner, Marketing Director, Opel Ireland said: “Claire Byrne’s professionalism, integrity and tenacity throughout her broadcasting career has attracted audiences across Ireland. With such high listenership and public engagement, the Opel brand and its diverse model range will undoubtedly gain further traction and awareness in the marketplace from this new sponsorship”.

Graham Curtis, Account Director, MediaCom said: “Radio is a key media channel for Opel Ireland to reach their core audience. With this primetime sponsorship on RTÉ Radio 1, Opel Ireland will connect with their target audience at an even greater scale than before, while also building trust and credibility of the brand through partnering with Claire Byrne, a credible Irish voice”.

Full line-up announced for return of The Late Late Show this Friday

The Late Late Show returns with guests including Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, Dr Ronan Glynn, paddleboarders Ellen Glynn and Sara Feeney and the hero fishermen who saved their lives, and a star-studded musical performance.  

This Friday night on RTÉ One sees the much-anticipated season return of The Late Late Show. During the onslaught of Covid-19 and the mass uncertainty which followed last March, The Late Late Show was with you – the viewers – every step of the way. This season will be no different. 

Host Ryan Tubridy said that he is very much looking forward to getting back at the helm of the world’s longest-running live chat show for its 59th season on air. 

Ryan said: “As Ireland continues to adjust and adapt to the changing situation, here on The Late Late Show we are very excited to be back for our 59th season.  Much like everyone else in the country, we’ve had to recalibrate how we do things, but as ever we have a brilliant line-up of guests and musicians ready to go on Friday night. We have the good news story of the summer, as we reunite the heroic fishermen from Galway with the paddleboarding cousins they rescued in August. 

“This, the first weekend in September, should be Electric Picnic weekend, with tens of thousands descending upon Stradbally. It can’t happen this year, but we will endeavour to bring a slice of the magic to you at home.  I had the pleasure of spending time with the wonderful  Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh inside Croke Park.  He has seen it all in his 90 years and he has so much to say. Plus we have a once-off, star-studded musical performance from Ireland finest singers, and that’s all just for starters. Friday nights are back!” 

On tomorrow night’s show, legendary GAA commentator Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh joins Ryan in the historic setting of  Croke Park to talk about the lost summer of the All-Ireland Championships, the importance of the stadium to Irish culture as it marks the centenary of Bloody Sunday, and why positivity is the medicine that has kept him going for 90 years. 

As Ireland and the world faces into wintering the Covid-19 pandemic, Ryan will be joined in studio on Friday evening by Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, who will give an insight into where he believes Ireland now lies in terms of the course of the pandemic, and take us through what could lie ahead. 

Dr Samar Fatima Ali will also be in studio to discuss the devastating loss her family experienced this summer when her father, Dr Syed Waqqar Ali, a frontline doctor in the Mater Hospital, died after contracting Covid-19. 

In August, against the odds, cousins Ellen Glynn and Sara Feeney survived a night at sea, clinging to a lobster pot, after their paddleboards drifted from the shore in Co Galway. On Friday night, Ellen and Sara will be reunited with the locals who saved their lives – fisherman Patrick Oliver and his son Morgan. Patrick and Morgan will also discuss the vital work of the RNLI. 

This weekend should have seen the return of the annual Electric Picnic Festival at Stradbally, Co Laois. Revellers missing out on their 17th annual pilgrimage to Stradbally can tune in to hear from Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody, a would-have-been headliner on stage this weekend, as well as a special performance from The Frank and Walters. 

And the star-studded members of Irish Women in Harmony, who topped the official homegrown charts with their cover of The Cranberries’ Dreams in aid of Safe Ireland this summer, will be in studio to perform. 

All of this plus much more, on The Late Late Show, Friday, September 4th at 09.35 pm on RTÉ One. 

Social: Follow The Late Late Show online:
Instagram @latelaterte
Twitter: @rtelatelateshow 

Meet RTÉ News’ Newest Presenter   

news2day is RTÉ’s news service designed specifically for children, featuring Irish and international news of interest to a young audience.

This autumn, first time television presenter Mícheál Ó Scannáil, from Castletown County Wexford, is the newest addition to the news2day team. Following a call out to media and journalism graduates across the country, and a comprehensive audition process, Mícheál was chosen to join the team and began broadcasting live this week on RTÉ2 and RTÉ News.

Mícheál Ó Scannáil comes to news2day from INM, where he spent two years reporting for the Irish Independent, Independent.ie and the Herald. Prior to that, the Wexford native earned a degree in Journalism from DCU and subsequently a Masters in TV and Radio Journalism from Griffith College.

The 24-year-old, who lives between Gorey and Arklow, attended Gaelscoil an Inbhir Mhóir and Gorey Community School. Mícheál has also worked on GAA podcasts for SportsJoe.ie and has a big interest in all sports, playing GAA for Castletown Liam Mellows and rugby for Arklow. The Gaeilgeoir also has a keen interest in politics. He looks forward to his three nephews watching him present news2day.

Mícheál joins current news2day presenter Aisling Moloney from Dungarvan, Co. Waterford. She studied journalism and new media at University of Limerick. During her time in university, she worked for The Daily Mail newspaper in London, and also studied at an Australian university, where she had the opportunity to travel all over Western Australia. After finishing her degree, Aisling worked with Limerick’s Live 95FM and The Sunday Business Post.

Aisling attended Scoil Mhuire National School in Abbeyside and St. Augustine’s College secondary school.

news2day is broadcast Monday-Friday at 4.20pm on RTÉ2 and RTÉ News. In addition to young viewers tuning in at home, it is also watched online in many classrooms throughout the country and used as a teaching tool. Watch Mícheál and Aisling on news2day here: www.rte.ie/news2day and follow them on twitter at @news2dayRTE

Spend time at home with RTÉ as new line-up for Autumn 2020  reflects our changed lives  

  • Telling Ireland’s Story – 18 hours of new Irish drama and impactful documentaries
  • World-class News and Current Affairs coverage to continue to reflect and debate changing and challenging times
  • The central point for national Conversation and Connection, with a renewed RTÉ Radio 1 schedule
  • Bringing us together for great Sport & Entertainment, with an unprecedented autumn line-up of sporting fixtures including 2020 GAA Championships & in Entertainment, The Late Late Toy Show
  • Slate of programming and events continuing to support the Arts
  • Continued focus on Climate with the return of What Planet Are You On?
  • Return of Fair City


New faces, familiar faces in new places, and a range of the nation’s favourites lead RTÉ’s Autumn 2020 line-up across television, radio and online. With 18 hours of new Irish-produced drama, the return of Fair City, a bumper sporting calendar, new investigative programming, as well as exciting new documentaries, arts and children’s programming, RTÉ is inviting viewers to spend time at home with RTÉ this autumn.     

Speaking today Dee Forbes, Director-General, said: Despite a very changed world with all of its new challenges, I am pleased to share this compelling, diverse and exciting season of programming, for television, radio and online. Audiences have been turning to RTÉ in record numbers in recent months and brought us into their homes, and RTÉ’s role as the national public service media has never been more important – not just in providing trusted news and analysis to the public, but also in supporting our communities, in sharing our stories, in supporting home-grown talent, and in bringing people all over the country together. These themes remain to the fore in RTÉ’s autumn schedule. 

Today we launch 18 hours of new drama, a slate of important new documentaries, and a bumper calendar of sport and entertainment. As well as independent news, current affairs and investigations, RTÉ continues to support Irish artists, communities and performers. We look forward to audiences spending some quality time at home with RTÉ this autumn.” 

CONVERSATION AND CONNECTION – Across radio, television and online     

Conversation and connection have become more important than ever in recent times, and RTÉ will continue to deliver.       

  • As Claire Byrne takes the helm at the mid-morning radio slot on RTÉ Radio 1, more schedule changes will see a big refresh on the nation’s most-listened-to radio station. Sarah McInerney and Cormac Ó hEadhrawill take the wheel at Drivetime from 4.30pm each weekday afternoon, dissecting all the main news stories of the day. Áine Lawlor and Mary Wilson join Ireland’s number one radio show, Morning Ireland,and Bryan Dobson moves to lunchtime radio news with RTÉ News at One with Bryan Dobson. Katie Hannon will presentSaturday with Katie Hannonon RTÉ Radio 1. 
  • This September also sees a refreshed version of the RTÉ News app launch, ensuring an enhanced user experience, more prominent live content and video, with a rebrand to the core RTÉ News identity for the app and the RTÉ News television channel.  
  • Brendan O’Connor will continue on-air on Saturday and Sunday mornings, with a live stimulating mix of news, interviews, reports, and discussion.     
  • The Late Late Show returns after an unforgettable season that brought the nation together at much-needed moments, and promises a Late Late Toy Show like no other this Christmas.      
  • Ray D’Arcy returns to Saturday nights this autumn on RTÉ One, more details of which will be announced in coming weeks.    
  • Joe Duffy will bring his warmth and curiosity to The Meaning of Life as he carries forward the torch of Gay Byrne’s much-loved series, posing burning existential questions this season to Vicky Phelan, Mary Lou McDonald, and BlindboyBoatclubamong others.      
  • Liveline continues to take the pulse of the nation and bring about real change, as seen recently with the bankingstory.      
  • Meanwhile, each morning, 2FM Breakfastwith Doireann & Eoghan guarantees smart and funny chat, while Jennifer Zamparelli brings her wry take to the topics of the day.      
  • Today with Maura and Daithi is back for more daily chat and craic on RTÉ One.      
  • In podcasts, there’s a second series of Unlocked with Laura and Emma, while Tara Stewart has more Dirty Laundry.      

HOME TRUTHS – News and Factual

In what has been an unprecedented year for Ireland and the world, RTÉ will continue to report, reflect and debate changing and challenging times with world-class news and current affairs coverage.  Recent research by Red C* has shown exceptionally high levels in public trust for RTÉ’s news and current affairs.     

  • RTÉ News brings you the most-watched news programmes in Ireland, and new team David McCullagh and Caitriona Perry will be at the helm of flagship bulletin, the Six-One News, from August 31st.      
  • This autumn sees more live studio debate withMiriam O’Callaghan anchoring Prime Time, and Claire Byrne Live returningon Monday nights.     
  • RTÉ Investigates, which brought us the powerful documentaries on the impact of Covid-19 in St James’s Hospital, will reveal new investigations.       
  • Extensive informed coverage on the US Presidential Election, with RTÉ News’ Washington Correspondent Brian O’Donovan, RTÉ’s dedicated US news and politics podcast, States of Mind, and live election results coverageright through the nightthis November.     
  • RTÉ News’ newest presenter Mícheál Ó Scannáill joins news2day, Ireland’s only news programme for children, returning this September.   

IMPACT– New Documentaries

RTÉ has a strong tradition in producing impactful documentaries and this season presents Irish stories across a diverse range of subjects.  

  • Home: A Year in Ireland’s Housing Crisis follows a cross-section of people from all walks of Irish life as they attempt to navigate a way through spirallingrents, soaring house prices, and now the impactof the Covid-19 pandemic.      
  • In Sins of Ireland,acclaimed documentary maker Alex Fegan (Older Than Ireland) meets with30 Irish priests to discuss the sins that have emotionally resonated with them.      
  • The Case I Can’t Forget features retired and serving Gardai telling the stories of the cases that had a profound impact on them.    
  • Marian Offers an intimate portrait of legendary broadcaster Marian Finucane.   
  • Bishop Eamonn Casey – Shepherd or Wolf? sees journalist Anne Sheridan investigate claims that the notorious former Bishop of Galway took even darker secrets to his grave.      
  • Fr. Niall Molloy documents the investigation of the murder of Fr Niall Molloy.     
  • The Real Field tells the real story behind one of Ireland’s most notorious unsolved murders.     
  • Also, three years on from his death, a new documentary, McGuinness, featuring interviews with Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, looks at the life and legacy of Martin McGuinness.       
  • From the makers of the acclaimed hurling series The Game comes Christy Ring: The Greatest, a film about the enigmatic Cork hurler, deemed by many to be the greatest player of all time, on the centenary of his birth.      
  • A Big Week in Septemberoffers a snapshot of school and family life in the early days of September 2020.   
  • The Decade of Anniversariescontinues with history documentaries and series across radio and television including The Bloodied Field, an adaptation of Michael Foley’s acclaimed book about Bloody Sunday; Cogadh ar Mhná which looks at acts of physical, sexual and emotional violence perpetrated against women in Ireland during the War of Independence and Civil War; and, 74 Days: Inside Terence MacSwiney’s Hunger Strike.     

This season, across a number of factual series, RTÉ will examine what has happened in our country and across the world over the past months during Covid19, and what might be coming next.     

  • A powerful new documentary Love and Loss in a Pandemic features seven people who faced the traumatic and bewildering experience of losing a loved one during Ireland’s Covid-19 emergency.      
  • In The Other Side, some of Ireland’s most vibrant voices look the possible wider impacts of the Coronavirus, exploring themes of the economy, the social contract, education, and spirituality.      
  • As we all move through a period of unprecedented social change, The Way We Were looks at aspects of our lives that have changed radically over the last 80 years.     
  • Taking Ireland’s Pulsereveals and discusses the results of a major poll as we survey the nation and find on how we feel as a people and how we see the future after six months of the Covid crisis.     
  • And against the backdrop of a year dominated by Covid, in Science Weekwe look at the future of health, wealth and happiness live on RTÉ One across three nights on Future Island.       

SPORTS FIX – RTÉ Sport brings you closer…     

During these unprecedented times, RTÉ will continue to bring live sport into your home this Autumn.     

  • October sees the start of the GAA championships and the return of The Sunday Game with Joanne Cantwell and Des Cahill at the helm.      
  • October also sees the culmination of the Women’s Six Nations, the Republic of Ireland’s Euro play-off semi-final against Slovakia, plus a Women’s Euro qualifier v Germany and the crowning of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division champions.       
  • The GAA Championships continue in November including the Munster Hurling Final, the All Ireland Hurling and Camogie semi-finals, as well as Ireland international rugby fixtures v Wales and Fiji, the FAI Cup semi-finals and final, and horse racing with the Irish Grand National from Fairyhouse.      
  • December features the historic climax of the All-Ireland Championships in Football, Hurling and Camogie alongside the Women’s FAI Cup Final and the European Cross-Country Championships from Dublin.     
  • Also this autumn a documentary, New Gaels, tells the unique stories of four GAA players who began life in different countries.    

HOME ENTERTAINMENT – GreatDrama, Comedy, Lifestyle and more …  

Home to Ireland’s most-watched entertainment shows, RTÉ will continue to provide moments of light relief this autumn, with new offerings and returning favourites.    

  • With 18 hours of new Irish drama, the autumn will see The South Westerlies, a six-part series starring Orla Brady, Eileen Walsh and Patrick Bergin, about an Irish coastal town earmarked for a Norwegian-owned wind farm, beginning on Sunday September 6th on RTÉ One.      
  • Also airing this season is Dead Still, a new six-part mystery set in the eerie world of memorial photography in Victorian-era Dublin, starring Michael Smiley, Eileen O’Higgins and Aidan O’Hare.     
  • Also coming to our screen, a new six-part dramawritten by Kate O’Riordan and starring Dervla Kirwan, Smother is a family thriller about deeply buried secrets and their unintended consequences, set in a small town on the wild and rugged coast of Clare.    
  • Fair City - after five months off-air - makes its return on Sunday September 6thas the people of Carrigstown reflect life through Covid-19.     
  • September also sees the return of Eastenders to RTÉ One.     
  • Amy Huberman’s hit comedy Finding Joy returns. 
  • New in comedy, The 2 Johnnies Do America sees the popular podcast comedians navigate their first US tour for a brand new RTÉ television series.      
  • Sinead Quinlan: Thanks a Brilliant starring up-and-coming Corkonian comedian Sinead Quinlan and co-written by the writers of OMG What a Complete Aisling - Sarah Breen and Emer McLysaght - is a new series for RTÉ Player.      
  • Fantasy Ireland is a new outrageous post-watershed animated comedy series set in a fantastical version of contemporary Ireland.  
  • RTÉ will air acclaimed international dramas Mrs. America, starring Cate Blanchett,hit Phoebe Waller-Bridge penned comedy series Fleabag with Andrew Scott, and series two of Yellowstone with Kevin Costner.    


As our lifestyles continue to evolve in the shadow of Covid-19, several new series will offer escape and insights. Last year we launched Climate Week with an entire week of investigations, events and debate. This year we will continue our commitment to Climate based output with one of the key pillars of that week,What Planet are you On?, a series based around Irish families that looks into how we live, the choices we make, and how little changes can have a positive impact on the environment. 

  • Baz Ashmawy fronts DIY SOS:The Big Build, an uplifting new series which sees tradespeople and locals band together to help improve the quality of life of a deserving family.      
  • In Davy Fitzgerald’s Toughest Climb, GAA manager Davy Fitzgerald brings a group of young men on the challenge of a lifetime.      
  • In My Uni Life, we meet seven Irish students who got to college against all the odds.      
  • Return of the Wild tells the story of solicitor-by-day Killian McLaughlin and his big ambitions to build a zoo in Donegal.      
  • The heart-warming Francis Street Photographer tells the story of Suzanne Behan who sets about to reunite people with precious family photos after she finds her photographer grandfather’s box of 40,000 negatives, capturing the pulse of everyday life in the Liberties.       
  • Returning favourite shows this season include Dermot Bannon’s Incredible HomesHome Rescue, It’s a Park’s Life, The Zoo, and John Creedon is back with a new series of Creedon’s Atlas of Ireland.       


Books, music, and entertainment have meant even more than ever to us in recent months and RTÉ will continue to support exciting culture makers in these challenging times.         

  • Denise Chaila with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Villagers, Dermot Kennedy, and others feature in Shine, an hour of music and specially commissioned spoken word and poetry airing on RTÉ One this Saturday 29 August at 8.15 pm.       
  • The RTÉ Player exclusiveShine On goes live on 30 August and Shine is on RTÉ Radio 1, 4 pm, 30 August from the National Concert Hall and Iveagh Gardens.       
  • Culture Night 2020 (Friday 18th September) will feature a special Culture Night edition of Nationwide on RTÉ One, bringing a taste of what Culture Night means across the country to a large national audience, together with additional content on rte.ie/culture and RTÉ Radio. A highlight of the Nationwide Culture Night Special promises to be an RTÉ commissioned dance film piece, designed to lift the spirits and filmed with playful irreverence on location in Dublin Castle.       
  • The Works Presents returns with a new five-part series in which John Kelly meets key Irish figures from the arts.       
  • Spoken Stories: Independence is a landmark RTÉ Decade of Centenaries RTÉ Radio series of 12 brand new commissioned half-hour stories from Ireland’s most acclaimed writers, inspired by what independence is today, 100 years after Ireland’s War for Independence. The writers include Oscarwinner Neil Jordan, Booker Prizewinner Anne Enright, and International Dublin Literary Awardwinner Kevin Barry.      

KIDS – RTÉjr and beyond …    

This autumn, RTÉ has a schedule of new and returning series for kids on RTÉjr (for 0 to 7-yr-olds)    

  • Hungry Bear Tales in which two friends Ned & Mikey, gobble their way onto our screens searching for something tasty to eat.      
  • Body Brothers the hilarious science and dance show returns.      
  • Bright Sparks is back with more magical fun and drama.    
    On RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player for 8 to 12-year-olds:        
  • Dorg Van Dango is back with brand new episodes.      
  • Squad Goals returns bigger and better than ever with new presenter Anna Geary.      
  • Ace My Space gives more kids across the country the opportunity to land the bedroom of their dreams.     
  • Gamer Mode is Ireland’s first gaming TV show, made by gamers for gamers.      
  • Blasts from The Past sees our young hero Emily Blast jumping through centuries on a mission to recover historical objects that have been lost in time.     
  • And for young teenagers: Growing Up at the End of the World follows three teen climate change activists over a year and a half as they demand change in a bid to save their future     

RTÉ Statement re Sean O’Rourke 

After a meeting earlier today between RTÉ and Sean O’Rourke, it was mutually decided that Sean would not proceed with plans for future projects with RTÉ.

RTÉ would like to thank Sean for his enormous contribution to broadcasting and wish him well with his future plans.

Sean O’Rourke said I spent many years with RTÉ presenting programmes on which public figures were called to account for their actions. Now I must call myself to account. The right course is to set aside our plans for my return to the airwaves.”


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