The Black Irish


About this Item

Kinsale, Montserrat (West Indies) is home to a unique race of people, 'The Black Irish'. 'Radharc in the West Indies' takes a look at the Irish story in Montserrat and the legacy that remains.

  • Title
    The Black Irish
  • 1st Broadcast
  • Contributor
    Peter Lemass (Reporter)
    Paul O'Connell (Sound)
    Joseph Dunn (Director)
    Patrick Robert Reilly
    Catherine Ryan
  • Clip Duration
  • Material Type
  • Series title
  • Clip title
    The Black Irish
  • Extended description

    The story of Irish immigrants is known the world over and the island of Montserrat in the West Indies is no exception.

    'The Black Irish' opens with a tongue-in-cheek advertisement for holidays in Kinsale. However, this is not Kinsale, Co. Cork, this is Kinsale on the island of Montserrat in the West Indies. Settled by Irish people in the 17th century, there are still reminders of Ireland everywhere. The flag, the accents, and the names.

    The film features interviews with local resident Patrick Robert Reilly, (singing 'Mother Machree'!) school teacher Catherine Ryan, Cork man Barney Columbia, University Lecturer Dr. Howard Fergus, Post Officers Mr. and Mrs. Allen, and a Belgian Bishop, Anthony Demesne, all of whom provide evidence of 'Irishness'. The legacy of Irish immigrants lives on in the names, religion, accent, traditions and sentiment of many of the island's inhabitants.

  • Information

    'The Black Irish' was one of a six-part series of Radharc looking at the topic of Irish and religious interest in the West Indies and Peru.

    Described in the RTÉ Guide as "A fascinating account of the people and places on the island of Montserrat, known as the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean".
    RTÉ Guide, 25 October 1976, Vol. 13, No. 39., p. 18)

    Filmed and directed by Joe Dunn. The reporter on this episode of Radharc was Peter Lemass.

    '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, Montserrat, Carribean, West Indies, Peter Lemass, Joseph Dunn, Emmigration, Immigration, Diaspora, Emerald Isle
  • Geographical coverage
    Montserrat, Caribbean
  • Topic
    Religion and Belief
  • Publisher Broadcaster
  • First broadcast channel
  • 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
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  • Language used
    English (eng)
  • Original language
    English (eng)