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Movies & TV

22nd Aug 2019

Season 2 of The Young Offenders and Dublin Murders amongst the highlights of new season on RTÉ

Paul Moore


Here’s the best of what RTÉ will be showing over the coming months.

RTÉ has launched its slate of programming for the coming season, with plenty of drama, sport, documentaries, news, comedy, reality TV and more to keep everyone happy.

In terms of the big hitters, we’re delighted to that Conor and Jsay ock will be back for Season 2 of The Young Offenders, while the eagerly-anticipated Dublin Murders is bound to be a hit.

Usual suspects like The Late Late Show, Dancing with the Stars, The Ray D’Arcy Show and The Tommy Tiernan Show are all returning, while joining the line-up is magician Keith Barry, who will have his own show titled The Keith Barry Experience.

Elsewhere, there’s going to be a three-part documentary about the beloved Brendan Grace and documentary features on Ross O’Carroll Kelly and the controversial former billionaire Sean Quinn.

Below are some of our highlights from the slate; at present, the majority of shows haven’t been assigned a broadcast date.

Drama and Comedy

Dublin Murders: The eight-part crime drama sees something of a Love/Hate reunion with Killian Scott, Sarah Greene, Moe Dunford and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor all starring. Set during the height of the Celtic Tiger, the series will focus on two murder investigations led by ambitious and charismatic Detectives Rob Reilly and Cassie Maddox.

The Young Offenders – Season 2: Picking up where the last season left off, it’s time to check in with the loveable rogues Conor and Jock.

Dead Still: Set in 1880s Ireland in the Victorian era heyday of post-mortem photography, the six-episode period drama follows a renowned memorial photographer as he investigates the murders of his recently deceased subjects. 

South Westerlies: Drama set in coastal town on the south-west of Ireland, which is earmarked for a Norwegian-owned wind farm.

The Keith Barry Experience: Guests, including Laura Whitmore, Rosie Connolly and Ken Doherty, are on hand to watch the magician attempt stunts, including an attempt at a death-defying escape from a straight jacket whilst suspended upside down from a crane.

The Doireann Project: Doireann Garrihy brings some more Irish celebrities to life in her comedy sketch series.

This year’s comedy slate includes four newly-commissioned RTÉ comedies: 

  • Headcases, starring Seana Kerslake, follows four women as they attempt to keep up appearances as they juggle husbands, affairs and gangsters while working in a Northside Dublin hair salon.
  • Bump, starring Charlene McKenna, deals with the trials and tribulations of becoming a surrogate for your sister.
  • Dad is the story of a middle-aged dad moving in with his conservative gay son in a one-bedroom apartment after his wife has kicked him out.
  • Handy tells the tale of two stepsisters specialising in the oddest of odd jobs

Factual and Documentary

Brendan Grace – Thanks for the Memories: Three-part documentary which began following Brendan Grace on his journey to put on a show with the Forget-Me-Nots choir and his friends in the Olympia Theatre. However, Brendan sadly got sick with pneumonia, then with cancer. The series changed focus immediately and went from a documentary about a man fighting to put on a show, to the story of a man fighting for his life.

Quinn Country: The story of how a billionaire became a bankrupt prisoner, brought down by the collapse of a multibillion-euro gamble on shares in the Anglo Irish Bank. Consisting of three 60-minute episodes, the makers of this series have been granted unprecedented access to Sean Quinn.

Pulling with my Parents: In this brand-new series for RTÉ 2, a generation who have only known digital dating let their parents take control of their love lives.

Sirloin Steaks & Semtex: Documentary told by Brian Kerr and the League of Ireland players who made the trip to Libya to play against the Libyan national side in 1989 when the Gadaffi regime was dominant.

The Redress Board: 20 years after the groundbreaking documentary series States of Fear, RTÉ returns to the stories behind Ireland’s industrial schools and asks, have we learned anything?

We Need to Talk About Ross: The documentary spends time with Paul Howard, the man behind Ross O’Carroll-Kelly. Described by the Irish Times as ‘Ireland’s pre-eminent satirist,’ the documentary attempts to get inside the mind of the wordsmith.

The Teenage Ambassadors: Natasha Maimba and Minahil Sarfraz met whilst growing up as asylum seekers in Direct Provision, their childhoods spent in cramped caravans on the outskirts of Athlone. Both spent years in limbo, not knowing if they would be able to stay in the country they were making home.

Their mothers were not allowed to work and were denied basic citizenship rights. Finally granted leave to remain, this film will follow the journey of these articulate, intelligent and funny young women as they prepare to sit their Leaving Cert exams.

First Dates Ireland: Ireland’s favourite daters are back for another series, which sees hopefuls search for love over the course of dinner in Dublin.

Niall Tóibín: With exclusive access to rare family archive and countless excerpts from his TV shows, movies and stand-up performances, this documentary is a rare insight into one of Ireland’s greatest comical minds.

Ar Son na Poblachta: The series returns to RTÉ One in October 2019 as the decade of centenaries continues. Episode one is the story of the life and death of Private George Duff Chalmers, who was born in Edinburgh 1902, executed by the IRA in June 1921 and buried in a bog in Clare for almost 100 years.

Episode 2 deals with Thomas Hodgett, who was abducted from his home, never to be seen alive again.

Children of the Troubles: Joe Duffy explores the lives and tragic deaths of the children who were killed during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

The Test: Each episode will follow the journeys of learner drivers as they are put through their paces before taking their driving test.


Live GAA coverage continues with the All-Ireland Football and All-Ireland Camogie finals, followed in September by live coverage of the AIB All-Ireland Club Championship.

As a curtain-raiser to the Rugby World Cup, Ireland face Wales at the Aviva Stadium in the Guinness Summer Series.

That’s just a precursor to the main event, when RTÉ’s Rugby World Cup panel will be welcoming some new additions in Jamie Heaslip, Donncha O’Callaghan, Fiona Coughlan and Michael Lynagh.

Ireland’s campaign in the 2020 Women’s Six Nations will also be live on RTÉ.

Both men’s and women’s Euro qualifiers feature heavily in live football this autumn. For the first time, RTÉ brings live coverage of the Republic of Ireland women’s campaign to qualify for their first ever major tournament in 2021.

The Republic of Ireland’s UEFA European Qualifiers for Euro 2020 against Switzerland (Thursday, 5 September), Georgia (Saturday, 12 October), Switzerland (Tuesday, 15 October) and Denmark (Monday, 18 November) will also be broadcast live.

The UEFA Champions League group stages return in September, and RTÉ will also have live SSE Airtricity League Premier Division coverage as the season finale approaches. The men’s and women’s FAI Cup finals will also be broadcast.

RTÉ will host the Irish women’s hockey team‘s Olympic qualifiers live from Dublin in November, provide live coverage of the European Cross-Country Championships and, for the first time, bring you live coverage of the European short-course swimming championships from Glasgow.

Racing continues with Champions Weekend in September, the Fairyhouse Winter Festival in December and the Leopardstown Christmas Festival.

The RTÉ Sport Awards on 14 December will mark the achievements of Ireland’s sporting men and women with a live show on RTÉ One.

Elsewhere, The Geansaí returns with a new three-part series focussing on Ireland’s sporting communities and their stories – ár gCluichí, ár bPaisean and ár Scéalta.

There’s also sure to be plenty of Irish interest in the World Rowing Championships.

News and Current Affairs

As well as regular such as the Six One and Nine O’Clock NewsRTÉ Nationwide, Claire Byrne Live and Prime Time, a new digital series, Explained by Prime Time, will aim to give viewers clear information on key current affairs issues.

RTÉ Investigates is also set to reveal a number of major new investigations this coming season.

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