Father of the Red Bull


About this Item

An account of the efforts being made by a Mayo born Kiltegan Missionary, Fr. Tony Barrett, in the Turkana desert of Kenya to inculturate Christianity in the customs and traditions of a nomadic people.

  • Title
    Father of the Red Bull
  • 1st Broadcast
  • Contributor
    Donal Wylde (Camera)
    Jim Wylde (Sound)
    Maureen Sheehy (Research)
    Brian Cash (Editor)
    Dermod McCarthy (Reporter/Director)
  • Clip Duration
  • Material Type
  • Series title
  • Clip title
    Father of the Red Bull
  • Extended description

    'Father of the Red Bull' visits the Turkana desert in Northern Kenya, which is home to wandering nomads whose lives centre on their herds. Each Turkana tribesman is given an animal's name and an Irish priest that settled there 12 years previously has been given the name 'Father of the Red Bull', a mark of high honour.

    Fr. Tony Barrett, while very much the missionary, takes on an anthropological role in the tribal community. His approach to missionary work is one of 'inculturation' and as a result he has become respected by the indigenous population as a man of wisdom. While this approach is seen by many as unconventional, Fr. Tony has achieved great success and believes he is fulfilling the objectives of Vatican II to spread Christianity across Africa. Analogies are drawn between his work and the work done by St. Patrick in spreading Christianity in Ireland.

    The programme also features commentary from: Father Brian Hearne, lecturer in theology at the GABA Pastoral Institute; Bishop John Mahon, the first bishop of the Turkana desert; and Bishop Raphael Ndingi.

    The work of Father Barrett in the Turkana desert is being watched with great interest throughout the whole missionary world. His work is seen as the starting point for further missionary work that takes into account a respect for the traditions and values of the indigenous population.

  • Information

    Radharc 'Father of the Red Bull' was first broadcast on RTÉ 1 on 12 May, 1980.

    'Radharc', a series specialising in religious programming, was produced for RTÉ by Radharc, an independent production company run by Catholic priests and lay staff. 'Radharc' can be translated to English as 'view' or 'panorama'.

    Co-founders Fr Joe Dunn and Fr Desmond Forristal who had received training in television production in New York in 1959 gathered around them a team of like minded priests with creative talent.

    The 'Radharc' team made their first production in 1960 in Donegal, a short film about customs relating to St Brigid's Day. The first programme in the 'Radharc' series for RTÉ was broadcast on 12 January 1962.

    Between 1961 and 1996 the Radharc team would produce over 400 films in Ireland and 75 countries worldwide. The films dealt with human rights, injustice, faith, religion, persecution, struggles against oppressive regimes, famine, and Christian heritage.

    The popular series ended production in 1996 after the death of Fr Joe Dunn.

  • Local keywords
    Radharc, Religion, RTÉ, Kenya, Turkana, Father Tony Barrett, Anthropology, Inculturation, Father Brian Hearne, Bishop John Mahon, Christianity, Missionary
  • Geographical coverage
    Africa, Kenya
  • Topic
    Religion and Belief
  • Publisher Broadcaster
  • First broadcast channel
    RTÉ One
  • Production year
  • Country of production
  • Original identifier
  • IPR restrictions
    Rights Reserved - Free Access
  • Rights terms and conditions

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  • Item type
  • Item colour
  • Item sound
  • Aspect ratio
  • Language used
    English (eng)
  • Original language
    English (eng)