Growing Older Is Part of Life

Friday 24 September - Friday 1 October

On RTÉ Television, on RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, on RTÉ Online and in the RTÉ Guide, alongside Age Action’s Positive Ageing Week, welcome to the Coming of Age season.

What is it like to be over fifty in 21st-century Ireland?  Is this a country for older men and women?  How are relations between the older and younger generations in their working and social lives?  What do they have to offer each other?  What are the challenges, opportunities and potential for the increasing older population within our society?     

Coming of Age includes documentaries on radio and television, features on shows from the Late Late to Today with Pat Kenny and Nationwide, music, arts programmes, movies and – popping up unexpectedly across radio and television – snapshots of life over fifty in Ireland today.  

Whether you’re already over fifty or hope to grow older one day, Coming of Age will entertain and sometimes move you, and possibly change your way of thinking.  Above all, it aims to remind us that growing older is part of life.

Please check programme transmission times with RTÉ Guide and newspaper listings. The content of live daily programming on television and radio may change due to unforeseen events. And don't forget that you can catch up with Coming of Age TV programmes after broadcast on the RTÉ Player.

  • RTÉ Guide

    Mon 20 Sept

    Full listings and highlights of all Coming of Age radio and television programming, features on 'Fab at 50' and an interview with Fair City's Jim Bartley and Health & Well-being will focus on the menopause.

    Find out more...

  • Radio: Barrscéalta

    Fri 24 Sept, 11.02am, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta

    Inniu, beidh Barrscéalta ag dÍriú ar sheanóirí a rinne cúrsaí i scileanna ríomhaireachta don chéad uair ariamh. Anois tá léargas acu ar shaol iomlán úr atá amuigh ansin agus iad ábalta dul i ngleic leis. áine Ní Churráin will be talking to a group of older people from Donegal who have recently undertaken computer skills courses for the first time. The course has given them an insight into a whole new world.

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  • TV: The Late Late Show

    Fri 24 Sept, 9.30pm, RTÉ One

    Ryan Tubridy marks Positive Ageing Week, with some special guests sharing their experiences of growing older in Ireland.

    Find out more...

  • TV: The Savages

    Fri 24 Sept, 12.10am, RTÉ One

    In this truthful and witty film starring Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman, a sister and brother face the realities of familial responsibility as they begin to care for their ailing father.

    Find out more...

  • Radio: CountryWide

    Sat 25 Sept, 8.10am, RTÉ Radio 1

    A special Coming of Age edition of CountryWide, recorded at the National Ploughing Championship, looks at positive ageing and country life.  Damien O’ Reilly will speak to those attending and hear their stories.

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  • Radio: The Business

    Sat 25 Sept, 10.00am, RTÉ Radio 1

    On The Business a group of older people talk to George Lee about the state of the nation, their pensions and savings.

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  • Radio: Marian Finucane

    Sat 25 Sept, 11.00am, RTÉ Radio 1

    Marian Finucane interviews cardiologist Ristéard Mulcahy, health commentator and campaigner, formerly head of the cardiology department and the heart disease research unit at St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin and author of Memoirs of a Medical Maverick.

    Find out more...

  • Radio: Documentary on One - Your Long Journey

    Sat 25 Sept, 6.05pm, RTÉ Radio 1

    Danny is in his 90's and Connor is his only child; he and Danny live together and work together and spend as much time as they can together.

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  • ...followed by The Curious Ear - An Eye on the World

    When Tom Shaw was a child in Kilkenny he was cutting a stick out of a hedge to make a hurley when a branch sprang back and hit him in the face. With one good eye, Tom went on a life journey from Castlecomer to Canada and back, mining, farming and telling stories.

    Find out more...

  • TV: All In The Mind?

    Sat 25 Sept - Fri 1 Oct, RTÉ One

    Watch out for this series of one-minute films which will pop up in commercial breaks during the season, featuring the ideas, opinions and passions of people who are coming of age. For evidence that 'older' doesn't mean 'over', watch one of the films at

  • Radio: The Poetry Programme

    Sat 25 Sept, 7.02pm, RTÉ Radio 1

    The Poetry Programme features Pat Boran in conversation with academic and poet Maurice Harmon, who in his 80th year, has just published his Selected Poems and been feted by the Irish literary world for his lifetime achievement.

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  • TV: iWitness

    Sat 25 Sept - Fri 1 Oct, after Late News & Weather, RTÉ One

    Coming of Age themes from the spiritual documentary series portraying stories of belief, prayer, passion and meaningful experiences.

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  • Radio: Sunday Miscellany

    Sun 26 Sept, 9.10am, RTÉ Radio 1

    In a programme recorded at the Dún Laoghaire Mountains To Sea Festival, Alex Miller reads a piece on catching up with his brother after many years and how longing and need play a part in memory.

    Find out more...

  • Radio: Miriam Meets

    Sun 26 Sept, 11.00am, RTÉ Radio 1

    To mark Coming of Age, Miriam meets singer Imelda May and her parents. Imelda, born in Dublin and raised in the Liberties, the youngest of five siblings, is the first Irish female artist to have two albums - 'Mayhem' and 'Love Tattoo' - simultaneously in the Top Five.

    Find out more...

  • TV: 84 Charing Cross Road

    Sun 26 Sept, 1.05pm, RTÉ One

    Starring Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins, the film version of the true story of a transatlantic business correspondence which became an enduring friendship.

    Find out more...

  • TV: Miss Potter

    Sun 26 Sept, 2.50pm, RTÉ One

    For more than a hundred years, the stories of Beatrix Potter have captivated children. So whether you first read about Peter Rabbit eighty years ago or only heard the adventures of Miss Tiggywinkle at bedtime last night, young and old will enjoy together this tale of Miss Potter's early struggles and eventual success, starring Renee Zellwegger.

    Find out more...

  • Radio: Documentary on One - Under the Wing Of

    Sun 26 Sept, 7.00pm, RTÉ Radio 1

    Kaye Mortley, an Australian long-time resident of France, looks at love and loneliness in the city of Quasimodo, through the eyes of two old ladies who ran a refuge for diseased pigeons. (First broadcast 1999)

    Find out more...

  • TV: Fair City

    Sun 26, Tues 28, Wed 29 (7.30pm) & Thurs 30 Sept, 8.00pm, RTÉ One

    Charlie, Esther and Bela highlight Age Action's Positive Ageing Week by organising an event to mark it and rediscover their playfulness by riding a motorbike and organising a swing dance. They also show the many virtues of their wisdom, with Charlie helping Carrigstown thug Zumo to learn how to read.

    Find out more...

  • Radio: Parlour Plays - A Proper Da

    Sun 26 Sept, 8.00pm, RTÉ Radio 1

    Johnny, formerly a homeless heroin addict, is trying to put the past behind him. He wants to get to know his children and to be a proper father, but when people have long memories it's not easy to win trust again. And Johnny's tendency to shoot his mouth off doesn't help! Recorded on location at the Dublin base of RADE (Recovery through Art, Drama and Education).

    Find out more...

  • TV: The End of Ageing

    Sun 26 Sept, 9.30pm, RTÉ One

    Professor Rose Anne Kenny looks at how and why Irish people are living longer than ever before and at the implications for our society, with contributors including psychologist Maureen Gaffney as well as scientists involved in the research into ageing prevention - in which Ireland is leading the way.

  • TV: The Meaning of Life... with Gay Byrne

    Sun 26 Sept, 10.30pm, RTÉ One

    Gay Byrne interviews fellow veteran broadcaster Terry Wogan about his thoughts on ageism, religion and a life which has had its highs and lows, its moments of tragedy, laughter and success.

    Find out more...

  • Radio: Reflections on Growing Older

    Mon 27 Sept - Fri 1 Oct, RTÉ Radio 1

    Throughout the week, RTÉ Radio 1 will broadcast thirty one-minute inserts across the daytime schedule. Producers Sheila O'Callaghan and Tim Desmond travel the length and breadth of the country speaking to older people about diverse aspects of the ageing process.

  • Radio: The John Murray Show

    Mon 27 & Thurs 30 Sept, 9.00am, RTÉ Radio 1

    Entertaining, lively conversation and invigorating debate, cut through with John's irreverent and singular style.  Taking a wry look at ordinary, everyday events and a sideways sweep at the stories all around us, including Coming of Age items on Monday and Thursday.

    Find out more...

  • Radio: Today with Pat Kenny

    Mon 27 Sept - Fri 1 Oct, 10.00am, RTÉ Radio 1

    Pat Kenny presents his mid-morning current affairs magazine with the stories of the day, sharp analysis, in-depth features and consumer interest.   Each day during Coming of Age, Today With Pat Kenny will present  three-minute pieces about getting older by a well- known writers: Maeve Binchy, Jennifer Johnston, Imogen Stewart, Tom Kilroy and Brian Keenan (who is sixty this year).  They will be repeated on Late Date (11.25pm, RTÉ Radio 1) in the evenings.

    Find out more...

  • Radio: Ardtráthnóna - An Pósadh

    Mon 27 Sept, 2.00pm, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta

    Daoine a phós agus iad ag dul siar i mblianta, daoine a phós go h-óg, daoine a phós blianta ó shoin agus a phós le blianta beaga anuas . . . an difir, an lá féin, an costas, etc. People who got married in later years, got married in their youth, got married years ago and got married very recently . . . the differences, the day itself, the cost, etc.

    Find out more...

  • Radio: Mooney

    Mon 27 & Thurs 30 Sept , 3.00pm, RTÉ Radio 1

    On Monday Derek will be joined by Barbara Strauch - author of 'The Secret Life of the Grown Up Brain' and on Thursday Katriona Mc Fadden will report on an initiative by the DSPCA where older people can foster a cat or a dog for up to eight weeks and then maybe adopt them permanently.

    Find out more...

  • TV: Four Live

    Mon 27 & Wed 29 Sept, Fri 1 Oct, 4.00pm, RTÉ One

    On Four Live's Coming of Age features across the week, meet a post retirement-age employee who experiences at first hand the prejudice of Irish society and three pensioners who have refused to take old age lying down. We also ask, what's wrong with looking your age?

    Find out more...

  • Radio: Drivetime

    Mon 27 Sept & Fri 1 Oct , 4.30pm, RTÉ Radio 1

    Drivetime on RTÉ RTÉ Radio 1 with Mary Wilson features the day's top news, current affairs and sports stories, exploring the issues of the day, asking tough questions and seeking answers. On Tuesday 28 Ciaran O' Byrne in his technology review looks at new devices and gadgets for older users.

    Find out more...

  • TV: The Daily Show

    Mon 27, Tues 28 & Thurs 30 Sept, 4.50pm, RTÉ One

    Questions posed in The Daily Show's Coming of Age coverage this week include: How well prepared is Ireland for our ageing population? How have other European countries prepared for an increasing older demographic and are there lessons that Ireland needs to learn?

    Find out more...

  • TV: Nationwide

    Mon 27 & Wed 29 Sept, Fri 1 Oct, 7.00pm, RTÉ One

    Across the Coming of Age season, Nationwide will be meeting some inspirational older people, including a ninety-five year-old dancer and the Cork woman who started her own business in her fifties and is still at the helm twenty-five years later.

    Find out more...

  • TV: Ceol gan Aois

    Mon 27 Sept, 7.30pm, RTÉ One

    Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh follows the Blow The Dust Off Your Trumpet orchestra through rehearsals and performance for their Bealtaine concert in the National Concert Hall in May this year. The musicians have all taken up playing again after a lapse of many years.

  • TV: Kidspeak

    Mon 27 Sept - Fri 1 Oct, RTÉ Two

    Across the week on RTÉjr and tRTÉ, watch out for thirty-second Kidspeak specials featuring children and young teenagers with their parents and grandparents, from an eight year-old boxer sparring with her dad to a boy making a cake with his nan in thirty seconds flat.

  • Radio: Documentary on One - The Balloon in Brosna

    Mon 27 Sept, 10.00pm, RTÉ Radio 1

    Blacksmith, musician and natural storyteller Con Curtin was born in Brosna, Co Kerry in 1925. His life in Kerry and London was defined by the music and the people he met through it. (First broadcast 2005)

    Find out more...

  • ...followed by The Curious Ear - Dawn Chorus

    Singing and laughing in Carlow with the local Active Retirement Group. (First broadcast July 2010)

    Find out more...

  • Radio: An Saol ó Dheas - Turas Lae

    Tues 28 Sept, 12.08pm, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta

    Inniu, tabharfaidh Helen Ní Shé cuairt ar roinnt ionad do sheandaoine i Múscraí leis an lá a chaitheamh leo mar chuid den Aois na hÓige/Coming of Age. Today, Helen Ní Shé will visit several homes for the elderly in Múscraí to spend the day there as part of Aois na hÓige/Coming of Age.

    Find out more...

  • Radio: Arena

    Tues 28 & Thurs 30 Sept, 7.30pm, RTÉ Radio 1

    As the great American writers age, who are the contenders to take their place? On Monday, Arena reports from the Tom MacIntyre literary weekend in Cavan and on Thursday Sean Rocks and his panel will examine Ageing in Literature.

    Find out more...

  • Radio: Documentary on One - Herman

    Tues 28 Sept, 10.00pm, RTÉ Radio One

    Herman, a bachelor farmer in Co.Galway, tells how he keeps his animal houses, his attitude to marriage, harvesting through the emergency in times gone by, tales of the traveller girls at the dance, his fishing memories and his parents. (First broadcast 2009)

    Find out more...

  • ...followed by The Curious Ear - Flower War

    The story of a Dublin man who was shot out of a bomber during WWII. (First broadcast June 2010)

    Find out more...

  • TV: The Home

    Tues 28 Sept, 10.15pm, RTÉ One

    Episode One of this two-part series from the makers of The Asylum and The Hospice, The Home is an intimate and moving portrait of life over six months in St. Monica's Nursing Home, an old people's home and day-care centre in Dublin's north inner city.

  • Radio: Ronan Collins

    Wed 29 Sept & Fri 1 Oct, 12.01pm, RTÉ Radio 1

    All this week Ronan will be playing tracks from a range of fantastic performers, all over sixty, who are still belting it out with real vigour and passion - from Mick Jagger to Tony Bennet.

    Find out more...

  • TV: TwoTube

    Wed 29 & Thurs 30 Sept, 5.30pm, RTÉ Two

    On Wednesday, Sinead Kennedy will be joined by Paul Byrne to look at the week’s Coming of Age movies and other movies that have dealt with similar themes, and on Thursday by Morgan Deane to talk about some critically acclaimed releases from older performers like Leonard Cohen and Robert Plant.

  • TV: Off the Rails

    Wed 29 Sept, 8.00pm, RTÉ One

    Brendan Courtney and the Off the Rails style team treat seventy-year-old granny Hannah Maher to a very special makeover after receiving a letter from her grand-daughter Aoife. Brendan waves his magic wand and works some fashion wonders, proving that you are never too old to look great.

    Find out more...

  • Radio: Sport At 7

    Wed 29 Sept, 7.00pm, RTÉ Radio 1

    For Coming of Age on Wednesday, Darragh Maloney will take a look at the connections and significance of sport and positive ageing. Sport at 7 will also feature all the sporting news of the day with comment and analysis from experts.

    Find out more...

  • Radio: An Caifé Ceoil - Mo Cuimhní Ceoil

    Wed 29 Sept, 9.00pm, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta

    Inniu, beidh an láithreoir scannán Bob Quinn ag comh-láithriú le Colman Seoighe ar an gclár, ag dul siar ar bhÓithríní na smaointe agus ag casadh cuid den cheol is mÓ a chuaigh i bhfeidhm air thar na mblianta. Today, film producer Bob Quinn co-presents An Caifé Ceoil with Colman Seoighe, looking back at the music that's had most impact on him over the years.

    Find out more...

  • Radio: Play on One - Old Punks Rule

    Wed 29 Sept, 10.00pm, RTÉ Radio 1

    Gerry McKenna can't stand the way he's being treated at his son's 40th birthday party and flees to the room of his niece, Emma, who's listening to The Sex Pistols. It gives Gerry an idea . . . . (First broadcast May 2010)

    Find out more...

  • TV: My Best Friend

    Wed 29 Sept, 11.55pm, RTÉ Two

    In his fifties, antique dealer Francois (Daniel Auteuil) has a stylish apartment and a fabulous life. But to win a bet, can he produce a best friend? This beautifully acted French comedy avoids sentimentality while telling some truths about the important things in life.

    Find out more...

  • Radio: Glór Anoir - Críoch leis an Obair

    Thurs 30 Sept, 5.04pm, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta

    Beidh Cormac Ó hEadhra ag caint le daoine a d'éirigh as a gcuid oibre le déanaí faoina dtaithí - an raibh siad ullmhaithe dÓ nÓ á shéanadh? Cormac Ó hEadhra will be talking to people who have recently retired about their experiences, and whether they were well-prepared or not.

    Find out more...

  • Performing Groups: Songbirds of the Silver Screen

    Thurs 30 Sept, 8.00pm, National Concert Hall

    To hear the sound of an era re-created live, and relive the joy of early movie musical experiences, join the RTÉ Concert Orchestra & Big Band for Songbirds of the Silver Screen on Thursday 30 September at the National Concert Hall.

    Find out more...

  • Radio: Documentary on One - Convict of the Road

    Thurs 30 Sept, 10.00pm, RTÉ Radio One

    Breaking a collarbone, escaping body-snatchers, stealing a bike, drinking cow's blood. Mick Murphy tells the extraordinary story of how, after taking up racing only in 1957, he won Ireland's premier cycle race the following year. (First broadcast 2008)

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  • ...followed by The Curious Ear - The Turn in the Road Tells a Tale

    Stories from the roads and fields of South Monaghan. (First broadcast March 2010)

    Find out more...

  • TV: Working Nine to Ninety

    Thurs 30 Sept, 10.15pm, RTÉ One

    The engrossing, entertaining and occasionally inspirational stories of six gainfully employed senior citizens as they go about their busy lives, all working on for different reasons - financial necessity, fear of boredom, others for more personal reasons.

  • TV: Autumn Gold

    Thurs 30 Sept, 11.15pm, RTÉ One

    This award-winning documentary follows elderly athletes as they train for the European Older Athletics Championships in Belgium in the summer of 2009, including Nick Corish, an 86-year old runner from Wexford. In spite of creaky knees, failing eyesight, arthritis and dicky hearts, these competitors are determined to make the finish line.

  • Radio: Iris Aniar

    Thurs 30 Sept, 9.08am, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta

    Inniu, craolfar an clár Ó Thearmann éanna ar an Tulaigh, ionad lae do sheanÓirí an cheantair, mar chuid den tseachtain cláracha Aois na hÓige/Coming of Age. Today, the programme will be broadcast live from Tearmann Éanna day centre in An Tulaigh for Aois na hÓige/Coming of Age.

    Find out more...

  • TV: Wild Hogs

    Fri 1 Oct, 9.15pm, RTÉ Two

    Four middle-aged men (John Travolta, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy) decide to take a road trip from Cincinnati to the Pacific in order to get away from their meaningless lives, but get more than they bargained for when they encounter a New Mexico gang called the Del Fuegos.

    Find out more...

  • Radio: Outside the Box

    Fri 1 Oct, 10.00pm, RTÉ Radio 1

    Outside the Box reports on a recent conference, hosted by the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Trinity College Dublin and part of which was chaired by presenter Olan McGowan, on 'Ageing, Health and Quality of Life of People with Intellectual Disability'. We'll bring you the atmosphere of the event, along with interviews with the wide range of speakers from across the disability and ageing sectors, who shared their knowledge, insights and experience.

    Find out more...

  • TV: Away from Her

    Fri 1 Oct, 11.55pm, RTÉ One

    Based on a typically astute and wry story by acclaimed Canadian writer Alice Munro and starring Julie Christie as a woman whose onset of Alzheimer's disease leads to an unexpected relationship which both challenges her husband and confronts him with some of his own past conduct.

    Find out more...