Press Releases

RTÉ One Announces New Angelus Broadcasts

19 October 2015: The one minute daily reflective Angelus broadcast on RTÉ One is one of Ireland's longest-running programmes, having been aired daily at 6.00pm since the inception of RTÉ television in 1962.

Ireland has changed enormously over that time and the nature of the broadcasts has changed with it. They are now changing again.

New commissioned films create a reflective space for all in the peak-time schedule…

On Monday 19th October, a new set of short films will air. Commissioned from Kairos Communications following a competitive tendering process, the pieces aim to be “conducive to prayer or reflection for people of all faiths and none.”

Contributors, who range from a sand sculptor to a carer, were filmed in locations all over Ireland, from the Islandbridge Memorial, Dublin, to the Holy Well at Tobernalt, Co. Sligo, from a traditional bookbinder’s workshop in Athlone to a topiarist’s garden in Malahide. The six new films will be shown in daily rotation. (See Editors’ Notes for full details.)

The People’s Angelus…

In addition to these commissioned professional films, RTÉ One has designated one slot per week, on Fridays at 6pm, as The People’s Angelus slot, showcasing the work of aspiring filmmakers and artists in the wider community. Submissions have already come from a number of second and third level colleges, with more expected on an on-going basis. Genre Head of Religious Programmes, Roger Childs, selected the work to be featured on-air according to whether it met the same editorial brief as the commissioned films: to be “conducive to prayer or reflection for people of all faiths and none.” In addition, however, The People’s Angelus brief also specified that work would be welcome that reflected minority faith festivals, beliefs and practices.

Submissions ranged from animation to stills photography, from abstract work to contemplative shots of landscape and the natural environment. As well as being given the opportunity to feature their work on-air and on RTÉ Player, all the featured filmmakers and artists will receive a modest payment. In due course, the public will be invited to vote for a favourite, which will receive a further award and be shown again on RTÉ One.  Details on how to make a submission are below.

RTÉ Genre Head of Religious Programmes, Roger Childs, said: “The Angelus broadcasts on RTÉ One and RTÉ Radio 1 have been a feature of Irish life and Irish broadcasting for decades and continue to offer a space for prayer and reflection in an ever changing, modern Ireland. We are delighted to announce the six newly-commissioned films and The People’s Angelus slot on Fridays and hope that the Angelus will continue to afford people of all faiths and none some quiet space in a hectic day-to-day world.” 

History of the Angelus broadcasts on RTÉ

The Angelus chimes have been broadcast almost every day on RTÉ’s primary radio service since 1950. When RTÉ’s television services began, in 1962, the broadcasts were replicated once a day at 6pm on television, accompanied by Old Master paintings relating to the Annunciation or the Virgin Mary. Over time, however, as culture and religious belief in Ireland became more diverse, new, more inclusive and widely accessible content was commissioned, depicting a broad range of individuals taking time to “Go placidly amidst the noise…”

Leading figures from all the major faith traditions have expressed support for the idea of continuing to create space in the RTÉ schedules for contemplation, meditation, mindfulness or prayer.  

What is The Angelus?

The Angelus, itself, is a Christian Prayer, based on St Luke’s account of the Annunciation in the Bible. RTÉ has never actually broadcast the Angelus prayer in this slot and has taken conscious steps over the last 53 years to make the televised slots more inclusive of, and accessible to, people of many faiths and none. The short films that have been on air since 2009 feature a broad range of people in contemporary Irish settings finding a moment for reflective thought or prayer. Their personal beliefs, or lack thereof, are not specified. This is also true in the newly commissioned versions.

Monday 19 October, 2015


For further information, please contact: Fergus McCormack, Press Officer, RTÉ television, 086 8674751

Editors’ Notes:

THE PEOPLE’S ANGELUS is RTÉ One’s weekly showcase for aspiring filmmakers & artists. We welcome non-verbal submissions that are conducive to prayer or reflection for people of all faiths and none. For information, email

Notes on Angelus films commissioned from Kairos Communications:

Sand sculptor, Daniel Doyle, created his representation of a dove being freed at the Islandbridge War Memorial in Dublin. Where better for this universal sign of peace, love and hope than in a place that commemorates those who met violent deaths in the First World War of a hundred years ago? Moments after he completed it, Daniel’s dove was destroyed by rain – a sign of its fragile beauty.

Michelle Tremewen is a baker, who has worked for a number of years with Rehab, in Dundalk, Co. Louth, teaching skills to people with a variety of physical or learning disabilities. Martina is one of the most enthusiastic members of the group, who recently published their own cookbook, called Baker’s Dozen.

Blacksmith, Michael Calnan, works with his wife, Gunvor, out of a traditional forge workshop at Russborough House, Co. Wicklow. His artisan’s craft gives him a deep sense of spiritual fulfilment, as he harnesses the raw elements of fire and iron to create works of delicate beauty, such as the rose featured in this Angelus film. 

Declan Browne is a book binder and restorer, in Athlone. In his Shannonside workshop, by the castle, he and his colleague, Olga, meticulously craft and repair books, using traditional tools, materials and skills. Many are of religious significance, but they are often also of great personal value, having been handed down through families, or through faith communities, over generations.

Colm Hughes is retired and spends hours of his time transforming his garden in Malahide, Co. Dublin, into a haven of beauty and calm, most visibly through topiary – the art of hedge sculpture.

The Holy Well at Tobernalt, Carraroe, Co. Sligo, has been a place of pilgrimage since pre-Christian times. The site is maintained by local people, among them Martin Scanlon and his daughter, Helen, who help keep it as a place of prayer, peace and healing for people like local man, Paddy Walshe and the many hundreds who tie tokens of prayer to Tobernalt’s famous rag tree.