Documentary on One

Losing Erin

Erin Berg was a fun loving family woman whose world fell apart shortly after the birth of her fourth child.

A taste of what's said about us....

We broadcast every Saturday evening @6pm on RTÉ Radio 1, 88-90FM, repeated Sunday evening @ 7pm

itunes comment.....

"These programmes are a different kind of radio. They're about sound and time and space and also about the way things happen. They unfold in front of you. They have great diversity. Virtuoso Storytelling. Amongst the best radio there is."

"An excellent production, featuring up-close-and-personal interviews that let you peak through the windows of life in Ireland - now and of days gone by. Always varied, always interesting, always thought provoking."

"This is the best podcast I've heard so far. I love the different narrators and the stories are intriguing and touching. It feels like Ireland's version of, "This American Life".

"Just can't find enough time to listen to all of these wonderful podcasts - they are so well told and bring you into the homes and businesses of the storytellers"

"Powerful moving stories. Makes you wonder why we waste so much time in front of the the TV."

"This has become a very personal joy for me... the people and stories are sometimes powerful and always very real. Highlights for me are the 'Drugs, liver..' etc. episode about a '60s band in the mode of the commitments." What-you-may-call-it, Drugs and liver transplants

"What a range of documentaries - So Glad to see it's podcasted"

"What a beautiful piece of radio. Warm, funny and poignant, an honest insight into the lives of two people, leaving you wanting to hear more" Your Long Journey

"I first heard this over thirty years ago and it brough back memories of a similar operation carried out on John Hyland's farm in Cloyne, Co. Cork. This is a fascinating documentary for anyone regardless of background of an Ireland now long gone" Nobody ever went to America to learn how to kill a pig

"Great App with some fantastic documentaries - Extensive archive of RTE Radio's documentaries - Love the search and add to playlist options - Definitely recommend it - Great app and great selection - Excellent app, a must have for any radio fan - A brilliant library to choose from - Brilliant and Insightful, well worth downloading - Really fascinating library of recent and archive material - Find it easy to navigate with no playback problems"
iTunes coment on our DocOnOne iphone App - which is also available as a DocOnOne Android App

2011 COMMENT.....

These really were wonderfully interesting and odd and thought-provoking shows. On Radio 1, meanwhile, Sound Matters looked at, well, sound, and the incredible influence it exerts on our lives and bodies. It started, literally, at the beginning: how uterine amniotic fluid amplifies sound. The programme then journeyed through speech, pattern recognition, intonation, communication, synesthesia, whales and dolphins, the therapeutic use of echo-location, and something called psycho-acoustics, which sounded like it might be the music played inside Jeffrey Dahmer's head, but thankfully wasn't. Produced by Peter Stone and Susan Hickey, it was hugely entertaining. And unlike some other radio documentaries, which can be so gentle and uneventful they're virtually comatose, Sound Matters was packed to bursting with eye-popping -- or maybe ear-popping -- bits of information.
Irish Independent, Sat Dec 17th, Sound Matters

There are several things we do better than the English. Pubs, for a start. Goalkeepers, too. Traditional music. And crisps.. I was reminded of all this during The Curious Ear: Slow Shopping With Mike Furey (RTE Radio 1)... Like almost all Curious Ear documentaries, this sounded more like an accidental recording of a normal conversation rather than a professionally made radio programme, which is no bad thing. Furey, who at 81 apparently does not have a single grey hair on his head, was a warm and engaging presence...
Sunday Business Post, Nov 20th, Slow Shopping

Documentary on One: Don't Go Far from RTÉ Radio 1's multi-award-winning documentary unit was named Best Creative Feature at this year's Association for International Broadcasters' (AIB) International Media Awards. Documentary on One: Don't Go Far, was described by the awarding body as "story-telling at its best", citing "great use of music and sound" as a distinguishing feature.
RTE TEN - Nov 11th - Don't Go Far

The Documentary on One on RTÉ Radio 1 told the story of Oisín O'Neill, an eight-year-old who was introduced to us by his family. Oisín's presence ebbed and flowed through the documentary, his voice echoing around the edges of the family's interactions, his actions sometimes driving his parents to distraction or himself to distress...... Jools Gilson's poignant documentary painted a picture of a family dealing with a condition that caused frustration and hardship, yet Ann praised Oisín's qualities too...
Sunday Business Post , Oct 30th, Oisín's Story

Irish susceptibility to slick hucksters was once a concern for iconic agony aunt "Dear" Frankie Byrne, the subject of an excellent Documentary on One. A look at the Ireland of the time rather than Frankie herself, in one extract she entreated a letter-writer to ignore flash Harries "slipping into the kitchen with marriage proposals while you're slaving over a hot oven"
Evening Herald - Oct 28th - A Programme For and About You

But where did this spiced potato cake come from and how did it become such a staple of Wexford's culinary life? Everyone has an opinion on what constitutes the best rissole and whether it should be battered or breaded.....
Wexford People, 26th Oct, 2011, Breaded or Battered

Documentary On One: From A Jack To A King (RTE Radio 1) was an enjoyable interview - a monologue, really - with Mark Leen, an Elvis impersonator from Tralee. The jailing of his father for republican activities when Leen was aged nine was the unlikely spur for him becoming interested in the King, though he went on to have his (rhinestone) collar felt plenty of times in subsequent years for minor stuff. At his first gig, Leen fashioned a pair of sideburns out of melted chocolate. His collection of Elvisiana has come on a bit since then, including a suit that Presley wore when coming home to Memphis. A nice programme, though it made me wonder, not for the first time, why almost all Elvis impersonators model themselves on the sweaty, jumpsuited, late-period King and not the young, thrusting, leather-trousered version.
Sunday Business Post, 23th Oct, From a Jack to a King

RTÉ took home bronze, silver and gold awards, totalling 19, at this year's PPI Radio Awards. RTÉ Radio 1 took the most gold awards on the night by a considerable margin, for documentary, music, features, speech, drama and news. "The number of awards, and the breadth of genres they cover, underlines once again RTÉ's vital role as Ireland's public service broadcaster", commented Clare Duignan, M.D., RTÉ Radio. 'Gold, Best Documentary - Documentary on One - Don't Go Far » RTÉ Radio 1' and 'Silver, Best Documentary - Documentary on One - An Extraordinary Affair » Whistling Gypsy Productions for RTÉ Radio 1'
www.rte.ie - Oct 14th - Don't Go Far - An Extraordinary Affair

Have you ever stopped to think where the clothes we purchase on the high street come from? And what about the conditions of the factories in which they are made? Nicoline Greer's new RTÉ radio 'Documentary on One - From Delhi to Here' explores just that. She gained access to the Viva Global factory in India, where last summer workers protested about bad conditions, no clean drinking water, insufficient toilet facilities and underpayment of overtime.
Irish Independent, Sept 29th

In April 2011 the Directors Guild of Great Britain erected one of its cherished blue plaques to Desmond Hurst in Belfast. Last month RTÉ Radio 1's acclaimed Documentary on One series aired An Irishman Chained to the Truth which looked at Hurst's life. Twenty-five years on from his death, Hurst seems to be getting the recognition he deserves.
Irish Times, Sept 26th, An Irishman Chained to the Truth

Arrest at the airport, on the way home to Dublin, was the first of a series of bizarre and alarming events in what was an obvious case of identity theft - or was it? As we walked across the plaza at Schiphol airport, in Amsterdam, I held my head high and looked straight ahead, trying not to catch anyone's eye. The policeman on my left was carrying my coat. The policeman on my right had already explained that he wasn't going to handcuff me, although, strictly speaking, he was supposed to. It was February 5th this year. I'd been stopped at the passport check at the airport, on my way back to Dublin from the Netherlands. My name had come up on the system, the border police told me, and I had to wait while they ran a check with the Amsterdam police. It would take just 15 minutes, they assured me......
Irish Times, 24th Sept - I can tell by Looking at you

Curiously, the archive documentary RTÉ (Documentary on One) uploaded this week was a tribute to Fine Gael leader Richard Mulcahy. Recorded after his death in 1971, it featured Kevin Nowlan, Earnest Blythe, John A Costello and a young Brian Farrell. You could practically smell cigars and brandy as they discussed minutiae since lost to the broad strokes of history, but it was still relevant in one respect: Richard Mulcahy, like many of his generation, was no stranger to armed insurrection (although, as John A Murphy observed, Mulcahy's party were once considered "West British"). Mainstreaming our gunmen is an old tradition.
Evening Herald, September 23, Tribute to General Richard Mulcahy

THE first Certificate of Irish Heritage has been awarded posthumously at a ceremony in New York to an Irish American firefighter who died on 9/11. Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore presented the certificate to Bridget Hunter, mother of 31-year-old Joe Hunter, at the fire station in Maspeth, in the borough of Queens where he worked. "It's going to be right in front of everybody when they walk into my house," said a proud Mrs Hunter, who emigrated from Recess, Co Galway, in 1958.
Joe was last seen walking into the South Tower of the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001, to help people escape. His story first came to public attention when it was featured in an RTE radio documentary 'Still waiting for Joe' - broadcast at the end of August. The Department of Foreign Affairs approached the family to see if they would like to receive the first certificate.
Irish Independent, Sept 21st, Still Waiting for Joe

Irishman Maurice Sullivan was mauled to death by two dogs in Malaysia in January. An ensuing legal battle has only brought more stress to his grieving family. On Sunday, January 9th, Frances Crowe received a shocking phone call. Her 51-year-old brother, Maurice Sullivan, had died after being attacked by dogs..Sullivan's family and partner have recounted the story for an RTÉ Radio 1 documentary by Sarah Blake, in order to tell his story in full and to dispel some myths that circulated...
Irish Times, 17 September 2011, Maurice - A Final Journey

A SEARINGLY honest account of how one family copes with their father's depression has resulted in an outpouring of support. The documentary about the McGinnity family on RTE Radio has received so much interest, that the broadcaster is keen to re-run it. Loyola McGinnity, whose husband Peter suffers from the mental illness, said: "We're amazed how much of a chord it has struck with people. A lady came with a bouquet of flowers, and we've had cards, texts and emails. People just want to offer support." "It's lovely in a bittersweet kind of way. But it's not a consolation because we still live with it and have gone through so much."
Evening Herald, Sept 15th, My Dad's Depression

Radio moment of the week: In the run-up to the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Documentary on One: Victim No 0001 (RTÉ Radio 1, Saturday) looked at the momentous events of that day through the prism of the life of New York fire-department chaplain Fr Mychal Judge, the first official victim of the twin-towers attack. Produced by Yvonne Judge (no relation), the documentary focused on the priest's remarkable story. An ex-alcoholic Irish-American, he mixed with Aids victims, firefighters and presidents. After his death his legacy became more complex as it emerged that he was gay. In telling us about one lost life, this fine documentary underlined the enormity of the 9/11 crimes.
Irish Times, Sept 10th, Victim No. 0001

There was another similarly pleasant sonic experiment on RTE (Radio) 1 on Saturday when Colette Kinsella wandered Dublin Zoo at night with Zoo employee Leo Oosterweghel. It was a nice change from the usual talking heads that make up Irish radio broadcasting, though the various howls, grunts and quacks did recall a nocturnal version of Marian Finucane's Sunday panel.
Evening Herald, 9th Sept, Curious Ear - Conversations in the Dark

While Joe's bravery has been widely acknowledged, he was also known in his neighbourhood for his acts of kindness. Bridget, her husband Joseph Snr and her family will attend a major memorial ceremony next Sunday at Ground Zero in New York, attended by President Barack Obama. There will be local memorial events to Joe and his comrades and a mass in St Patrick's Cathedral on Saturday. She said she was moved by a "wonderful" documentary made about her 31-year-old son by broadcaster Joe Kearney for RTE Radio One and she had received several messages of support after it was broadcast last week.
Evening Herald, Sept 5th, Still Waiting for Joe

It took the makers of Documentary On One: Logan Way - The Story Of The Bulgers (RTE Radio 1) much time and effort to secure an interview with William. Discretion, too: in the letter they sent him, they did not mention his infamous brother once. Eventually the phone call came back. William was ready to talk. This amounted to a serious coup - for years, William had steadfastly refused to talk to the US media about his brother.
Sunday Business Post, August 28th, Logan Way - The Story of the Bulgers

The ties that bind were an overriding theme in last week's Documentary on One: Logan Way (RTÉ Radio 1, Saturday), which told the story of the notorious Irish-American gangster James "Whitey" Bulger through the prism of his brother William, a powerful Massachusetts politician. The documentary was a coup for its producer Ciaran Cassidy...
Irish Times, August 27th 2011, Logan Way - The Story of the Bulgers

It's been described as a modern-day Cain and Abel saga. One brother is a notorious gangster indicted for 19 murders; the other a successful politician and university president. Until now, William Bulger, the retired American Democratic party politician and former president of the Massachusetts state senate, has declined media requests to speak about James "Whitey" Bulger, his older brother and alleged head of Boston's infamous White Hill crime gang. His last major interview was on CBS in 1992. However, the former lawyer, now 77, broke his silence in an RTE radio documentary.....
The Sunday Times, 21st August, Logan Way - The Story of the Bulgers

A special documentary on Sleep Apnoea by Sarah Blake was aired in 2010 in the 'Documentary on One' slot on RTE Radio 1. It is very well worth while listening to. This is an excellent award winning radio documentary and a great source of matter-of-fact information for anyone suspecting they might have a sleep disorder like Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA).
Irish Sleep Aponea Trust - Aug 18th - Deadly Sleeper

RTE's excellent One World documentary, Oil in Uganda, examined whether the wealth generated by the Tullow Oil plant would trickle down to poverty stricken Ugandans (answer: hopefully, it will, but it probably won't).
Evening Herald - Aug 12th - Oil In Uganda

RTE Radio 1's acclaimed Documentary On One series recently included a documentary on the English Market, called "Cork's Hidden Village".
EnglishMarket.ie - Aug - Cork's Hidden Village

RTÉ Radio 1's Documentary on One website has clocked up almost 2.5m podcast downloads of its documentaries in two years. More than 20,000 people have downloaded its iPhone and Android apps, which have been available since February 2010. The broadcaster also said the site is the largest online archive of radio documentaries in the world. It hosts over 720 radio documentaries, which date from 1954 to the present day. "We are extremely proud of the Documentary on One website and apps," said Lorelei Harris, RTÉ Radio's editor of features, arts and drama. "Everyone loves a good story well told and the ability to pluck a story off the digital platform with the same ease that you'd pluck a book off a shelf is what makes this work. It is the way of the future and, once again, the Documentary on One team are trailblazers both nationally and internationally," said Harris.
SilconRepublic.com July 9th

"I've been listening to some of the station's documentaries recently - now that the Documentary on One is consistently available online - and reminded of some of the great colour pieces regularly produced, such as a touching portrait of the situation on Arranmore in light of changes in fishing regulations. This content doesn't attract the attention - or audience - of the big name stars, but is at the center of the public service remit of the station." Andrew Ó Baoill Blog - June 21st - Searching for Answers

Patrick Monaghan, a Mayo lighthousekeeper, was a particularly random and sudden victim of the cruel sea. He died in September 1937, tossed into the Atlantic Ocean from his post at Blackrock lighthouse by a massive freak wave. Seven months later, his widow gave birth to a daughter, Mamie.
One of Mamie's children, Cathal Murray, vowed to himself at the age of 13 that he would some day visit the scene and pay his own tribute. In Documentary On One: Good Day at Blackrock (RTE Radio 1), he did just that, narrating his ten-minute piece conversationally. He made his way to a spot 20 metres above sea level, but thought better of descending any further (his mother, understandably, couldn't bring herself to go down that far). "When I got to that spot, I cried . . . happy tears," he said. "With the hurling of a bunch of flowers into the water, the circle was squared, the promise kept."Finally, congratulations to RTE for winning 17 gongs at the New York Festival Radio Awards, including several for their often excellent documentaries.
Sunday Business Post, June 26th, Good Day at Blackrock

An old cookbook by a legend of Irish cooking provides an insight into a grandmother's life, days gone by and some good casserole recipes. And, having listened to Sarah Binchy's brilliant documentary about her on Radio One last week, I'm absolutely sure that Maura Laverty - who wrote her novels with such searing honesty about life in Rathangan that her books were burned in the town and stones were thrown at her in the street - would approve too.
Sunday Business Post, June 26th, Never No More - Maura Laverty Remembered

The bizarre narrative of Margaret Bulkley, a Corkonian doctor who ended up treating leprosy patients in the British colony of the Cape of Good Hope while dressed as a man and acting under her brother?s name was told in The Curious Ear: Amazing Graces (RTE Radio 1). Bulkley's alter ego, Dr James Barry, cut a swathe through the 19th-century medical world. Among other feats, he/ she carried out the first caesarean ever witnessed in Africa. Later in life, he/she performed similarly herculean achievements in Corfu and Jamaica, slashing the local death rate both times. All the while the gender subterfuge went unnoticed, a feat almost as impressive as anything Bulkley carried out in the operating theatre.
Sunday Business Post, June 19th, Amazing 'James Barry'

NETWORK PICKS UP 17 AWARDS
RTE has been crowned the best radio network in the world after scooping 17 prestigious awards in New York. The national station was awarded the coveted Broadcaster Of The Year prize - and a further 16 accolades - at a glitzy ceremony in the Big Apple. It is the first time in the New York Festivals radio awards' 54-year history that an Irish network has won the acclaimed top prize - beating 183 finalists from 26 countries. RTE Radio managing director Clare Duignan said: "For 54 years the New York Festivals awards has recognised the world's best programmes. This year, not only have RTE Radio 1, RTE Lyric fm and RTE Gold won 16 awards but the Grand Jury, comprised of top-level industry professionals from five continents, have crowned RTE Radio as the Broadcaster of the Year. It's a real achievement." Seven gongs, plus a grand award, went to RTE Radio 1's Documentary On One. Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte yesterday congratulated RTE management and staff.
Daily Mirror, June 22nd

My No.1 Radio App - The RTE Doc on One strand is one of the jewels of world radio. Multiple award-winning home to gorgeous, humane, intelligent documentary radio. The app does one thing really well - you can listen to hundreds of full-length programmes from the archive (including programmes from Ronan Kelly's equally important Curious Ear strand which is home to the less predictable, sonically interesting stuff). I spend a lot of time in the Doc on One app and I've still only listened to a fraction of the programmes on offer......
Steve BowBrick Blog, Interactive Editor BBC - DocOnOne iphone app - DocOnOne Android App

This is a story I would like to share with you all. It is a story of courage, a story of love, a story of the extraordiary lives of two women over two hundred years ago. You can listen to the always brilliant Documentary on One but maybe first read the story, and view the images?
Corina Duyn Blog - May 10th - An Extraordinary Affair

RTÉ Radio 1's Documentary on One series has won a prestigious award at The Gracies in Beverly Hills, and is the only winner outside of the US and Canada this year.
The radio documentary 'In the same Boat' took home the award in the Outstanding Interview Program or Feature Category. This is the thirty-first award the Documentary on One series has won in the last three years, making it the most successful radio documentary unit in the world at present.
Ploughboy.com - May - In the Same Boat

The story of the Second World War is full of innumerable characters who darted in and out of the shadows, leading double lives, fighting for both sides and generally confusing everybody. Documentary on One: Did Michael Keogh Save Hitler (RTE Radio 1) looked at one such enigmatic individual... A year later he found himself on guard duty at a Munich barracks when a row broke out in the gymnasium. Two right-wing political agitators were getting beaten to a pulp by a mob of soldiers who didn't find their spiel too appealing. Just as the bayonets were being unsheathed, Keogh sashed in. He orderd a guard to fire a warning shot and promptly dragged the two men out of the fray. He asked their names. 'Adolf Hitler' replied the one with the moustache.
Sunday Business Post, April 3rd, Did Michael Keogh save Hitler?

Documentary on One: More Irish Than the Irish themselves (RTE Radio 1) focused on Hibernophiles from far-off nations, who for varying reasons, identify with this isle so strongly that they have decided to learn the Irish language. One interview, a Norwegian, appeared to have gone native in a big way. Basically, the woman's voice had somehow turned into an Offaly/Tipp twang, which reverted to a Nordic accent only on isolated words such as 'daughter''.
Sunday Business Post, March 20th 2011, More Irish than the Irish themselves

LAST WEEKEND the airwaves crackled with insults and threats. Rival factions took swipes at each other against a backdrop of angry confrontations that at times spilled into physical aggression. No, this was not the Smithfield horse fair: it was Dogfight: Conor and Charlie (RTÉ Radio 1, Saturday), a gripping portrait of the doomed election campaigns by the two erstwhile Fianna Fáil TDs for Dublin South West. Part of the Documentary on One strand, Ciaran Cassidy's programme followed Conor Lenihan and Charlie O'Connor - little love lost between them - as they canvassed in their working-class constituency, which has been badly hit by the downturn. Initially, the voters sounded disillusioned and weary: many spoke of their children emigrating. But as the programme went on the reactions became more pointed.
Irish Times, March 12th, Dogfight: Conor and Charlie

In contrast, the excellent documentary Dogfight examined two rival Fianna Fail TDs in Dublin South West fighting it out on the road to electoral divistion. The minutiae were fascinating
Evening Herald, March 11th 2011, Dogfight: Conor and Charlie

Patricia, Mary and Mary-Lou Too was the title of a brilliant post-general election 2007 on three female candidates who ran (ultimately unsuccessfully) for the Dail in Dublin Central. Dogfight: Conor and Charlie was this election's offering on that front, documentary maker Ciaran Cassidy following Dublin South West Fianna Fail dudes Conor Lenihan and Charlie "Mr Tallaght" O'Connor as they battled for their political lives. Cassidy's time with the candidates produced radio gold. What stood out was the reaction the pair received on the doorsteps... What also stood out was the pair's reaction to this anger. There were lots of laughs, jibes and slaggings as the Fianna Failers failed time and time again to realise just why the constituents were so outraged... If those compiling Fianna Fail's post-game blame report needs something else to analyse, this documentary should be compulsory listening
Irish Times, On the Record Blog, Mar 7th, Dogfight: Conor and Charlie and Patricia, Mary and Mary-Lou Too

The David James affair is one of those stories that a surprising number of people remember well, even two decades after the fact. It is also a classic example of how dangerous a disgruntled employee can be to his or her bosses. James's strange tale was retold in Documentary On One: The Caretaker (RTE Radio 1)... This was a fascinating retelling of a great story. Bonus points, too, for using Massive Attack's remix of Musst Musst by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the Muslim world's greatest ever singer.
Sunday Business Post, February 27th , The Caretaker

'Radio at its most raw and shocking; Some programmes on edgy topics are shocking for their viscerality, their extremity, their starkness. Documentary On One: The Age of Attraction (RTE Radio 1), which profiled a pair of Australian paedophiles, jarred differently with the senses - its two subjects were utterly banal individuals, neither fitting the well-worn stereotype of the Fr Brendan Smyth-esque bogeyman figure.
Sunday Business Post, Feb 6th 2011, The Age of Attraction

The documentary was full of touching moments. I was moved by the story of one survivor in the school collapse who was told by his trapped brothers to make his escape and save himself - sadly they couldn't escape. There was the young woman, Edel, whose parents taught in the school and who couldn't get to the ruins until the next morning to find them - unfortunately, they had died. Compliments to the team of Brian Kenny, Nicoline Greer and Damian Chanelle for a fine documentary, well worth listening back to on RTÉ's website, a programme that makes one proud of Ireland's missionary heritage at a time when other aspects of Church life are bringing such controversy and grief.
The Irish Catholic, January 20th 2011 City of Tents

In a week dominated by lurid headlines of premature death, Donegal woman Helena Gallagher will have known all too well what it feels like to lose a loved one decades before their time. In January 1975, when she was four, her dad Hughie drowned off the west coast of Donegal while fishing on a trawler. Ten other fishermen also perished. Documentary On One: Searching For Answers (RTE Radio 1) saw Gallagher interview her own relatives about the catastrophe. It was a hard listen at times, punctuated by terrible sobbing.
Sunday Business Post, Jan 16th, Searching for Answers

Hopes and predictions for 2011.. And RTÉ Radio 1's Documentary on One series continues to impress - Lives Less Lived, (repeated) last Monday evening, being a moving documentary about Josie, a woman committed to a mental institution from an early age. Media at its best.
Irish Catholic, January 6th 2010, Lives Less Lived


2010 COMMENT.....

'Another cautionary tale on the perils of travel came in the form of JG Farrell: 149 Days in the Life Of , the latest Documentary on One (RTÉ Radio 1). Ciaran Cassidy's documentary recounted the English novelist's short but fateful relocation to Kilcrohane, Co Cork, in 1979......It was a simple but effective programme, interviewing friends, locals and, most poignantly, a mother and son who saw Farrell being swept into the sea as he fished on coastal rocks.'
Irish Times, Dec 24th, JG Farrell: 149 Days in the Life Of

'RTÉ also finds time to broadcast in-depth stories on a range of issues. Why would Jennings interfere with the fine Documentary on One, when that is exactly the kind of public service programming that RTÉ was set up to deliver?'
Sunday Independent, Dec 12th

"A Mum of two has told her poignant nine year journey to bring two beautiful siblings to this Irish home after overcoming acres of red tape."
Irish Daily Star, Dec 11th, Los Preciosos

'RTÉ should concentrate on what it does well - Considering how good RTÉ radio documentaries tend to be, and how many awards they have won, it is a source of continuing puzzlement that the station doesn't just suspend its clumsy attempts at scheduling altogether and hand the whole business over to the experts. Think of the scores of talented documentary-makers who have presented programmes in that format; now contrast their work with the output of almost any daytime radio luminary of your choice. Imagine what dubious pleasures we could happily forgo if Radio One just broadcast documentaries.. In the meantime, pending that glorious day, anyone who's interested in making radio for RTÉ should at least be forced to spend a fortnight with the Documentary on One team. There they might learn how to let the story tell itself, instead of shouting over the story.. last week's Documentary on One was yet another work of unassuming brilliance. Sarah Blake's 'Fr Paddy - A Young Man on a Mission' (granted, the Documentary on One programme titles need serious work) was about another job no one wants to do. This was the story of 36-year-old Fr Paddy Byrne, a curate in Bagenalstown, Co Carlow. That's it. As a pitch, it's as low-concept as they come. Byrne is not a liberation theologist, not a gay rights campaigner, not a Tridentine, not a convert from Islam, not the father of unacknowledged triplets; he's just younger than most of his peers. He seemed an ordinary, modest, kind-hearted man, and a far from atypical priest, but that was the documentary's strength. It was also unexpectedly sad. Of his few complaints, loneliness was the main one. Byrne traces the problem back to "the old boys in Rome, not listening" on the subject of celibacy. "My life as a human being, and as a follower of Jesus Christ, and as a minister of the word of God, I think it would be greatly enhanced if I could share my life with a significant other," he said. "He shares the burdens of many but at the end of the day he has no one to go home to," Sarah Blake observed. For the most part, though, she let him tell it himself. There are lessons to be learned there.'
Sunday Tribune, Dec 5th 2010, Father Paddy - A Young Man on a Mission

'...The documentary will be of interest to people across Wexford and is well worth a listen if you have an interest in languages or history.'
Wexford Echo, Nov 24th 2010, Yola - Lost for Words

'... So, the reaction to this week's deterioration in the economy has been, predictably enough, close to Biblical proportions...For God's sake, could everyone calm down a bit and, yes, get some bloody perspective. You could have started with this week's Documentary on One: The Little Cross of Bronze, which provided it in spades. Produced by Elizabeth Rice, it looked at all the Irishmen who have won the Victoria Cross, the highest honour that is given out by the British Army'
Irish Independent, Nov 20th 2010, The Little Cross of Bronze

'The documentary features Briain's earliest memories on what it was like to live in the area. It is very interesting for people to know what like was like at the time and he speaks very eloquently about his views...The documentary is very interesting as it highlights the stark differences in society over the years'
Dundalk Democrat, Nov 3rd 2010, The Curious Ear: The Turn in the Road tells a tale

'There are roughly 1,930 Jewish people in this country, a miniscule number whittled down by decades of emigration to the US and England. No one know more about that communitry and its forebears than Terenure man, Stuart Rosenblatt, whose tireless work was the focus of Documentary on One: The Keeper of the Faith (RTE Radio 1)'
Sunday Business Post, Oct 17th 2010, Stuart Rosenblatt: The Keeper of the Faith

'Documentary on One: Love Notes (RTE Radio 1) saw Evelyn Grant mark 40 years of the National Youth Orchestra by revisiting her own spell as a flautist in the woodwind section. One of the then cellists, Gerry Kelly, is today her husband'
Sunday Business Post, Oct 17th 2010, Love Notes

'RTE's documentary about Nixon brought forward an unexpected eyewitness in the form of broadcaster Ray D'Arcy. He was six years old when the president's cavalcade rolled through Kildare, and he stood with his classmates waving American flags supplied by the nuns. Then they trooped back to class. It summed up the differences between Kennedy and Nixon. Kennedy came to Ireland and the whole country shut down; for Nixon, the children got an hour off school.'
Sunday Business Post, Oct 10th 2010, The Forgotten Visit

'A radio documentary on County Louth's best known father and son was broadcast on Rte Radio recently. The programme featured Danny Hughes and his son Conor from Blackrock.... In this brilliant documentary, Paula Flynn captured the humour, wit, honestry and charm of these two wonderful people..The Hughes story as told in this wonderful documentary was moving and hilarious.. This was radio at its best, capturing the integrity and roguishness of a truly remarkable father and son.'
Dundalk Democrat, Oct 6th 2010, Your Long Journey

'It is the presidential visit that hardly anyone remembers, overshadowed in collective consiousness by John F Kennedy's trip to Irelandn. But these pictures serve as a reminder that 40 years ago this week, another American president arrived in Ireland on a State visit.. Among those who saw him was Pat O'Mahony, then a nine year-old schoolboy, who has now produced a radio documentary on the event'
Irish Independent, Sept 29th 2010, The Forgotten Visit

'Some of the Doc on One are brilliantly whimsical snapshots of moments in time - such as the recent one about Ennis transvestite Michael Tierney. '
Sunday Business Post, Sept 26th 2010, I could have danced all night

'A wonderful, idiosyncratic character, this "extremely old bachelor" came from a pre-modern world and lived in one of the harshest inhabited environments on earth.'
TV Now, Sept 18th 2010, The Unknown Nomad.

"There is not enough space left to do credit to last weekend's programme in the Documentary on One series (RTÉ Radio 1), John McCarthy's Lives Less Lived. It's the story of a woman who was forcibly placed in a psychiatric institution in the early 1950s and is still there today, 58 years later, at the age of 75. It's a stunning documentary, in more ways than one; you can download it from the RTÉ website."
Sunday Tribune - Sept 12th - Lives Less Lived

"RTÉ Radio 1's Documentary on One and podcast archive. Why aren't they promoting this more widely? It's a fantastic resource, the kind that makes the licence fee worth paying (even though RTÉ denies the licence fee funds online activities)."
Macdara Conroy - Sept 10th

Reel back the years to 1989: U2 were one of the world s biggest bands and the country s finances were in a right old mess. Okay, no change there, then. Documentary on One: The Curious Ear (RTÉ Radio 1, Saturdays) aired two documentaries on similar themes: Waiting for Jarod and Waiting for U2. The former was about the mother of an Iraqi soldier who longed for her son to come home safely. The latter was about three star-struck Dublin girls in 1989 who waited outside Windmill Lane Studios for Bono....... Julian Vignoles Waiting for U2 was an intriguing trifle that was well worth the rebroadcast.......Oh, how I wish someone would track down these three girls now.
Irish Times, Sept 4th, Curious Ear: Waiting For

They used to say that you'd really made it when you appeared as yourself on The Simpsons. Then it was when you had your own personalised stalker. Now, the ultimate sign of success is when someone very famous mentions you on Twitter. So hats off to RTE Radio 1 whose documentary archive was recently lauded by Stephen Fry, the much loved and terribly brainy British TV personality, who has more than 1.7million followers on the vaguely pointless by undoubtedly influential social thingamabob.
He recently tweeted, "Hours of fun, radio docs from Ireland - huge podcat archive - some v interesting stories - well worth a trawl through. rte.ie/doconone" It's a thoroughly deserved recognition of the 'Documentary on One', which has been one of the jewels in the Irish broadcasting's crown for a long time, and incidentally was also recently nominated for seven of the prestigious New Your Festival's awards for radio. We're quick enough to hammer RTE for its failures so there's no harm paying tribute when it's due. This week, they broadcast another excellent programme, Birdy, about a paraglider who cheated death. Ewa Wisnierska, a 35 year old German, was up in one of those ridiculously dangerous contraptions - or so they seem to a fraidy -cat like me - when she got sucked into a storm vell and was carried to above the height of Mount Everest. She spent 40 minutes unconsious while being dragged around the sky. She was battered by hailstones the size of melons and almost zapped by lightning. She endure tempatures of 50 below freezing. Any yet she survived. This was one of those wonderful, crazy, scarcely believeable stories; the ones that seem stranger than fiction. Which, of course, makes for a gripping documentary. Meanwhile, Radio 1's Curious Ear series continued with an almost equally bizarre story. Marking the week in which the last US soldier quit Iraq, this looked at the phenomenon of the 'flat' daddy; life sized cardboard cut-outs of dead soldiers that families were given to help them deal with their loss.
They would literally sit the image at the dinner table or, in the case of Maine woman Margery Richard, carry the cardboard cut-out of her son around town. A decidely odd tale, but a moving one too.
Irish Independent - Sept 4th - Birdy and The Curious Ear: Waiting For

The international audience for certain types of Irish radio continues to grow. It is not, as it once might have been, a function of nostalgia, a case of the Irish diaspora seeking links with home. The new audience is aware of Ireland as a cultural brand, and turns to Irish radio as they might look for Irish novels, poems or films. Such branding is particularly strong in Documentary on One (RTE R1, Sat). The latest in the series, Don't Go Far, produced by Paul Russell and Ronan Kelly, told the story of Noel and Keith, two boys from Dublin who stowed away on a plane to New York in 1985. Aged just 10 and 13 when they had their great adventure, the pair spoke about it now with a kind of awed bemusement. They expected to be caught at any moment, yet somehow slipped under the radar, travelling by ferry and train from Dublin to London Heathrow and then ambling onto an Air India flight for New York. When challenged, the boys simply replied that their mother was behind them. This story had all the right elements: lively narrators, a quirky tale, and a sense of adventure. It crisply evoked another time and place, while filtering the yarn through the present's altered perspectives. It had, too, the Documentary on One trademark: an identity as distinct as Irish art or literature. This low-key approach eschews melodrama, and allows even the most improbable of stories the space to tell themselves. This is a quality, and an approach to telling stories, that audiences identify as an Irish brand.
Sunday Times, 22nd August - Don't Go Far

When it comes to posh accents, there's no one posher than Stephen Fry who, incidentally, was the cause of an exultant press release from RTE last week because he tweeted in praise of the Documentary on One website. "Fry a RTE Radio documentary fan", crowed the headline.
Sunday Tribune, August 22nd

Another age-old profession was featured on yesterday's Curious Ear (RTE Radio One). The unimaginatively titled 'Bus Stories' was patched together from two documentaries about Dublin Bus. One was made by RTE producer Kintilla Heussaff in 1990; the other was made this year by communications student Sarah Lennon. The patched-together programme worked better than the two original pieces on their own.
Sunday Tribune, August 8th , The Curious Ear: Bus Stories

TRACING THE steps of a man who no longer walks the streets of Ennis, Co Clare selling newspapers provided Brian O'Connell with a challenge in Documentary On One: I Could Have Danced All Night (RTÉ Radio One, Saturday). O'Connell's documentary was more than a search for one man. It was a slice of social history from rural Ireland. It gave some insight into how a culture that did not accept homosexuality could embrace a local man who wore his heart - if not his sexuality - on his sleeve. It's important to remember that there were - are - Michael Tierneys in towns all over Ireland.
Irish Times, August 7th, I could have danced all night

Pat O'Mahony's absorbing Documentary On One: One Evening In July (RTE Radio 1) rewound 15 years to revisit the accident and its aftermath. McGowan himself has coped admirably with the appalling setback.
Sunday Business Post, 25th July 2010, One Evening in July

.. This documentary takes listeners on a journey into the heart and mind of this forgotten poet, to discover the magic, philosophy and possibility generated by music
Southern Star, July 3rd, Gentle Genius, Forgotten Poet

Anyone who's ever belted out a song in the shower will have enjoyed Documentary On One: Mad About Ned (RTE Radio 1), a profile of Ned McDonagh, an 80-year-old Traveller who settled in Ennis in the 1970s and is now a well-known figure in the town.
Sunday Business Post, June 20th, 2010, Mad about Ned

Che Guevara was another Argentinian who could claim Irish heritage, and wasn't a bad goalkeeper either, as Hardeep Singh Kohli's documentary, The Loneliness of the Goalkeeper (Documentary on One, RTE Radio 1, Saturday, 2pm) revealed. Other well-known figures to have played in goal include Julio Iglesias, Pope John Paul II, Vladimir Nabokov and Albert Camus.
Sunday Business Post, May 30th, 2010, The Loneliness of the Goalkeeper.

Sometimes you enjoy something in spite of yourself. Take 'The Dead News Network', this week's Documentary on One. I was prepared to hate this. I wanted to.. Yet l liked this programme and Anne the medium, very much. The wry contributions of producer and presenter Colette Kinsella helped.
Irish Independent, May 29th, The Dead News Network

The Irish Poker Open is the oldest poker tournament in Europe. It's three and a half grand to get in, and the prize pot is €600,000. Documentary On One: Shuffle Up And Deal (RTE Radio 1) followed three players to the event, where their fortunes were mixed. The back-stories were more absorbing than the action at the tables.
Sunday Business Post, May 2nd, 2010, Shuffle Up and Deal.

... a fascinating documentary on the life of Nenagh man John Moylan who like many Irish people of his generation immigrated to the United States.
Nenagh Guardian, April 24th, My Bones won't rest here

Anyone who's ever been to Berlin will know how true the joke rings. In Berlin Salad (RTE Radio 1), Brenda Tobin explored the place with three Irish artists who live there. Editorial timidity aside, this was an agreeable if slight jaunt around one of Europe's most fascinating cities.
Sunday Business Post, April 1st, 2010, Curious Ear: Berlin Salad

Ten Minutes from Kenema gave a glimpse of the awfulness of everyday life in Africa. Elayne Devlin's documentary compared the rigours of her own pregnancy with the travails faced by two women in a similar situatioin in Sierra Leone... The successful culmination of Devlin's own pregnancy struck an isolated happy note.
Sunday Business Post, February 28th, Ten Minutes from Kenema

Two Hundred Shaves a day waves together the two strands that have shaped his life; his career as a barber and his talent as a jazz musician. Past and present mix to create a powerful vignette of this remarkably generous, knowledgable and modest man.
Mayo News, March 2nd, Two Hundred Shaves a Day

The compelling journey of one County Limerick amateur drama group will be the focus of an RTE radio documentary which airs this weekend.. Listeners can feel the tension as the opening night draws near.
Limerick Leader, February 6th, Bright Lights, Small Village

'Two more gorgeous documentaries: 'Peter Healy-Luthier'... it was a lovely programme about the seductive pleasures of chamber music.... And in 'The Brady Bunch'... programme about legendary horse Monaghan horse trainer, Oliver Brady.... He's a great teller of funny stories, and the documentary is tremendous fun.'
Sunday Business Post, 31st Jan, 2010, The Curious Ear: Peter Healy-Luthier and The Brady Bunch

'Generation X-Factor, this week's Documentary on One, gave a most enlightening insight into the mindset of people who enter TV talent shows.'
Irish Independent, 30th January 2010, Generation X-Factor

'Included in the documentary are the sad tales of disappointment and disillusionment by the likes of Tabby, Eoghan and my old pal Emma O'Driscoll who discuss the pitfalls of the music industry and why it's not all as glossy and fabulous as it looks on the google box'
Amanda Brunker, January 24th 2010, Sunday World, Generation X-Factor

'Through all the effluent of a typical radio day, inspired people can occasionally be heard swimming to the surface. Yesterday's Documentary on One was a perfect example. In 'Song from the Slum', Brian Kenny recorded the union between two hip hop artists, one in Dublin and the other in Nairobi to brilliant effect..... There are not words to describe how sweet and touching this programme was'
Sunday Tribune, 17th January 2010, Song from the Slum

'This was a stark lesson in inefficacy and abdication of responsibility inherent in our system. But it was also a heartening, inspirational story of familial love, of a duty willingly undertaken.'
Irish Independent, 16th January 2010, Mr Farren Goes to Brussels

'I would like to commend RTÉ for airing this documentary. Mr Farren goes to Brussels highlights just one of the remedies available to Irish citizens at European level. I have no doubt that the documentary will provide listeners with a greater insight into the operations of the European Parliament. and may also inspire others in similar situations"
Jim Higgins MEP, Donegal Democrat, January 10th, 2010, Mr Farren Goes to Brussels

'Tina Leonard's documentary Mr Farren Goes to Brussels followed Sean and Magdelene, Sinead's parents, as they went to Brussels with two other families, the Gallaghers and the Keanes. The sad documentary described the EU petition system....... A workmanlike documentary, its throb of music was like weeping as Sinead's father presented his case, the German translator was described as translating though her own tears.'
Sunday Business Post, Jan 10th 2010, Mr Farren Goes to Brussels

2009 COMMENT......

'There was however, a more instructive insight into the state of the nation on The Curious Ear last weekend. Colin Murphy followed four immigrant candidates in the local elections last June, and reported on their expectations and their success or otherwise'
Sunday Tribune, Dec 13th 2009, Candidates

'And while trips down memory lane can often be self indulgent, trite and boring, this one struck the right balance of nostalgia, curiosity and a wry, mature take on modern Irish youth.... What I liked most about Pat's University Challenge was its general good-natured air.'
Irish Independent, 28th November 2009, Pat's University Challenge

Finally a word of praise about the latest delivery of whimsy in yesterday's Curious Ear..... As always with The Curious Ear, you begin by thinking, with a scowl, "This is utterly pointless". Then, after a few minutes, you find yourself thinking, with a small, satisfied smile, "This is utterly pointless"
Sunday Tribune, Nov 15th 2009, The Neighbours at 52

'Kudos, too, to the Documentary on One, which continued an excellent recent run of form with Pieces of the Wall. Here we met a group of Irish people who had lived in Berlin since before rapprochement'
Irish Independent, Nov 14th 2009, Pieces of the wall

'Fitzpatrick and her people were furious at the drop and believed it cost her the election. Given that there were only 169 votes between her and brady when she was eleiminitaed, she might have had a point. The Dublin City Councillor didn't pull her punches when she was interviewd for an RTÉ (radio) documentary that was covering the contest in the constituency between three high profile female politicians, Patricia McKenna, Mary Lou McDonald and herself. "I never thought they were the Legion of Mary. I never thought they were going to do me any fovours. I thought my insurance policy was that they needed a second seat, so I didn't think they would go out to completly undermine me and shaft me, " Fitzpatrick told RTÉ's Ann-Marie Power.
...her outburst went down like a lead balloon with the Ahern machine. They would not forget. Now it was personal.'
Nov 2009 - an excerpt from the just published book "Bertie Ahern and the Drumcondra Mafia" by Michael Clifford and Shane Coleman published by Hachette Books Ireland - Patricia, Mary and Mary Lou too

"The Annotated Jack... Newfoundland Jack's anecdotes tell of an everyman who outwits giants, demons and bad luck with cunning and humour.......
Hearty congratulations to RTE Radio 1 on winning the world's greatest radio prize, the Prix Europa for documentary (Mighty Mac) ... It was a well-deserved honour for a department that produces one superb programme after another."
Sunday Buisness Post, Nov 1st 2009, The Annotated Jack and Mighty Mac

"All of this is a precursor to talking about RTE's massively impressive (web) site devoted to their radio documentaries. While I love great daily radio, a good radio documentary is something quiet extraordinary and RTE are past masters of creating well crafted and enjoyable documentaries for the radio. Even the selction of history documentaries will impress the toughest critic. There is a particularly interesting piece on mass emigration featured called The Starry Frame. Even if that doesn't work for you, I'm certain you'll find something you can enjoy."
History Journal - Editors Blog - November 2009 - The Starry Frame

"Documentary On One: The Starry Frame (RTÉ Radio One, Saturday) ... was a beautiful and heartbreaking piece of radio, tracing 40 years of a family's letters."
Irish Times, Oct 31st 2009, The Starry Frame

"The RTÉ radio production Mighty Mac has won the best documentary prize at the Prix Europa awards in Berlin, reports Derek Scally . The documentary, by Michael O'Kane and Liam O'Brien, tells the story of Limerick master upholsterer and world-champion powerlifter Ger Mac Namara.
Mr O'Brien, RTÉ's Documentary on One series producer, said the win was a vindication of the national broadcaster's investment in documentary-making. "Over the past five or six years, documentary-making has improved hugely," he said."
Irish Times, Oct 26th 2009, Mighty Mac

"Two Documentary on One (RTÉ) shows not to miss: Silver Stars Unplugged and The Starry Frame.."
Sunday Business Post, Oct 25th 2009, Silver Stars Unplugged and The Starry Frame

"On RTÉ Radio 1, last Saturday's Documentary on One - After Belfast, Fr Aidan in Paris was a fine piece of radio... Interviewer Kaye Mortley was refreshingly unobtrusive."
The Irish Catholic, Oct 15th 2009, After Belfast-Fr Aidan in Paris

"The gripping, tragic documentary mixed the words of Oliver's sister and cousin with tormented friends and neighbours to give a picture of a man who adored his work, and fell victim to a baffling, miserable crime."
Sunday Business Post, Sept 29th 2009, Death of a farmer

". a fascinating insight into the lives of those unique workers in the Arigna Mines in North Roscommon..This was an excellent documentary."
Roscommon People, Sept 11th 2009, The Long Strike

"In Documentary on One: The Long Strike, an atmospheric and moving piece.. spoke to men who lived without an income during the strike between November 1968 and February 1969."

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