'Dear Daughter' director Louis Lentin dies

Wednesday 23 July 2014 21.34
The 80-year-old had a successful career as a film, theatre and television director
The 80-year-old had a successful career as a film, theatre and television director

The death has been announced of Louis Lentin, a former head of drama with RTÉ.

The 80-year-old had a successful career as a film, theatre and television director.

Among the programmes he produced was "Dear Daughter", which told the story of Christine Buckley's childhood in institutional care and exposed abuse suffered by children.

Mr Lentin was born in Limerick and began his professional career as a theatre director.

He joined RTÉ in 1961 and went on to direct many key productions, including "Insurrection" on the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising.

He was appointed head of television drama in 1978 and in the same year won the Jacob's Irish Critics Award for contribution to television drama.

He won several other awards in Ireland and abroad including International Film and Television awards in the US. 

In 1989 he left RTÉ to form his own production company and among the programmes he produced was "Dear Daughter". 

It was the first programme to shine a light on the suffering of children in institutional care here.

This exposure led to a commission to inquire into child abuse and eventually a redress board and an apology from the then Taoiseach.

Mr Lentin's last production for RTÉ told the story of his own grandfather who came to Ireland in the 1890s from Lithuania.

He died last night following a brief illness and is survived by his wife Ronit and children Alana and Miki.

President Michael D Higgins described Mr Lentin as "an outstanding television producer, director and documentary maker."  

"His body of work, which includes the documentary 'Dear Daughter', leaves us with a legacy that will continue to inform us in the years ahead.  He also made a most valuable and innovative contribution to Irish theatre in his early career."

"Our thoughts at this time are with his family, especially his wife Ronit and his children Alana and Miki"