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Haughey drama begins shooting next week

1 of 2 Aidan Gillen - set to play Haughey
Aidan Gillen - set to play Haughey
2 of 2 Charles Haughey pictured with British Prime Minister Magaret Thatcher in 1980
Charles Haughey pictured with British Prime Minister Magaret Thatcher in 1980

A new three-part drama starring Aiden Gillen and Love Hate's Tom Vaughan Lawlor about disgraced Taoiseach Charles J Haughey goes into production next week.

Gillen, who previously starred in The Wire and the first two seasons of Love/Hate, stars as Haughey with Vaughan-Lawlor, who has won acclaim as Nidge in Love/Hate, as spin doctor PJ Mara. Lucy Cohu (Ripper Street, Gosford Park) plays Terry Keane.

The drama has a working title of "Charlie" and covers the period from Haughey’s bid for power in 1979 and chronicles his desperate attempts to hang onto that power until his departure from politics in 1992.

The 45-strong cast also includes Gavin O’Connor, Risteard Cooper, Peter O’ Meara, Frankie McCafferty and Love/Hate's Laurence Kinlan in other keys roles.

Produced for RTÉ by Touchpaper and Element Pictures, the three-parter is written by Colin Teevan and will be directed by Kenny Glenaan and Charlie McCarthy.

Filming will last for nine weeks. Broadcast details will be confirmed closer to transmission.

Producer Catherine Magee said: "Element Pictures and Touchpaper Television are delighted to begin production on a trilogy of dramas about Charles Haughey for RTÉ, penned by Dublin-born writer Colin Teevan and drawing on the finest of Irish screen talent."

George Dixon, the recently-appointed Channel Controller of RTÉ One said, “As the unprecedented audience for this week’s opening episode of Love/Hate shows, the Irish public have a great appetite for quality Irish drama.

"I’m delighted that we are in a position through our partnership with the BAI to deliver another landmark Irish drama series to viewers and to support the independent production sector in Ireland”.

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