Documentary On One, RTÉ tracks on Soundclound

#doc-on-one

The Last King Of Ireland
Documentary On One, RTÉ

Patsy Dan Rodgers is the last King of Ireland. He’s ruled his remote North Atlantic fiefdom of Tory Island for more than 20 years and can trace an unbroken lineage back to Saint Colmcille who granted the title to an islander in the fifth century. Over the centuries led by their Kings – and in at least one case a Queen – the Islanders have seen off Vikings, marauding Pirates and invaders from the mainland which lies nine miles across some of the most treacherous waters off the Irish Coast. For the Documentary on One, writer Kieran Devaney spent two and a half years recording the colourful life of his close friend the King as he battles to preserve a way of living some in authority would argue has no place in the 21st century. Kieran explores a vibrant community well versed in the Irish language, music and culture. He’s a guest at ceilidhs and sessions when the cream of Irish musicians and singers travel to Tory to perform with the King. He meets the Island’s primative artists who owe their internationally recognised work to an Englishman who taught Prince Charles how to paint. And he learns why the Prince who will one day be King of England wants to make a pilgrimage to the Island to meet the man who is already a King. Kieran gives a rich insight into Patsy Dan the fighter and joins him when he leads his subjects on a two day journey to the steps of Leinster House after the Islanders are offered a forty-year-old ferry to replace their lifeline to the mainland. Kieran’s story is Patsy Dan’s own very personal story, the story of a young boy fostered to the Island as an infant, his search for his mother, his faith, his music and his deep love for his Island, its Gaelic culture and its people. Now time may be running out for Patsy Dan. He confides in Kieran that he has been diagnosed with cancer and talks candidly about his fears for his future and the legacy he will leave behind as The Last King of Ireland.

579
Riverchapel Ladies On Tour
Documentary On One, RTÉ

Just before Christmas one year, Nathan Walsh’s neighbours went on holiday. Nathan decided to go along with them. Nathan’s neighbours were a group of mostly, grey-haired, older women; a ladies’ club, from Riverchapel in Co. Wexford. They were going on a week-long Golden Years holiday to Westport, Co.Mayo. Nathan is a young man with dreadlocks who was studying radio production. He decided to join the women on holidays to record a radio documentary about them and their trip. In Westport, the Riverchapel Ladies went shopping around the town for that year’s must-have toy for their grandchildren; they bet on horses and watched the races in the pub and they danced to the hotel band - but only if the music was suitable for line-dancing. The women also went on daytrips. Once to Knock where they talked about religion and took hay from the crib for good luck. Then to Achill where they talked about childhood games and held starfish in the local aquarium. Throughout the week, Nathan got an insight into the lives of these women - the harsh times their mothers had; how the widows leave the radio on so the house isn't so quiet and how the spirited ones defy old age by staying in touch with their grandchildren. What emerges from Nathan’s recordings is a picture of a group of women full of charm and vim who throw themselves into the week’s activities with gusto and who really revel in each other’s company.

Storytelling
426
Johnny Cash's Lost Tour Of Ireland
Documentary On One, RTÉ

In 1963, Johnny Cash accompanied by the Tennessee Three and June Carter played twelve venues across Ireland. A newly discovered recording featured in this documentary reveals how his long and loving relationship with Ireland began on the tour. A Documentary On One listener shares a recording he had for safe keeping. It brings listeners closer than ever to Johnny Cash on his first tour of Ireland. Few people remember the very first Irish performances by the country music legend who would come to love Ireland and be loved by the Irish. The year is 1963. Johnny Cash accompanied by the Tennessee Three and June Carter plays twelve venues in ten nights across Ireland , from ballrooms in Mallow and Dundalk to Mullingar and Athy. The group also plays a big concert in the National Stadium in Dublin. By the time he arrives Johnny has already had a huge Irish hit with the single Forty Shades of Green and is an established star having sold eleven million records worldwide. Johnny Cash’s 1963 tour of Ireland comes at a difficult time for the singer, he was struggling with addiction to alcohol and amphetamines , his voice was problematic and his record company were unhappy with him. Johnny Cash was accompanied on the tour by June Carter, with whom he had just begun a relationship. It was a secret affair as both Johnny and June were married at the time. The tour came at a time when Ireland had just celebrated the visit of President John F. Kennedy, Sean Lemass was Taoiseach, economic growth was at 4% and optimism was in the air. Newly discovered material featured in the documentary shows a different side to Johnny Cash and reveals how his long relationship with Ireland began through the interactions with his audience during the tour. The documentary hears from fans of Johnny Cash who attended the gigs and from Eileen Reid who played support for part of the tour and from Johnny, June and the Tennessee Three.

Country
757
Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes
Documentary On One, RTÉ

In October 2013 a blonde haired, blue eyed child was seized by police from a Roma camp in Athens, Greece. They suspected she had been abducted. The mystery of her identity prompted eight days of near hysteria which spread across the globe. By the time her mystery was solved, Irish authorities had wrongly removed two children from their homes and their parents. On Monday, 21st October 2013, an Irish journalist spotted a message that had been posted to the Facebook account of his show on Irish TV3. The message said that a child with blonde hair and blue eyes was living in the home of a Roma family on her estate in Tallaght, County Dublin. The author of the post said she suspected the child had been abducted and used to claim social welfare. The journalist passed it on to An Garda Siochana (Irish Police). Before the day was out, the child, a seven year old blonde haired, blue eyed girl had been taken from her home by Gardai and placed in care. But that wasn’t all. The following day a two year old Roma boy, also with blonde hair and blue eyes was placed in the back of a squad car on his own and taken from his family’s home in Athlone. Both children had had anomalies in documentation but both were removed while Gardai investigated whether they were living with their rightful parents. On the very next day, DNA tests in both cases confirmed that the children had been taken from their rightful patents by the authorities and were immediately returned. A huge mistake had been made. A year later - following a report by the Irish Children’s Ombudsman, Emily Logan- the Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Garda Commissioner all apologised to the two families. They have since been compensated by the state. There was a context to this. Something had happened the previous Wednesday that had put the world on tenterhooks. On that day. Greek police seized a girl, again with the same colouring, from a Roma camp outside Athens. She was living with a family who were not her parents. They put her in the care of a charity called The Smile of the Child Foundation and gave her the pseudonym ‘Maria.’ That event had summoned up a wave of hysteria that gripped the international media for eight days. The parents of dozens of missing children around the world claimed the child must be theirs. By Friday the 25thOctober it had been established that Maria had not been abducted. Her Bulgarian mother had been found and confirmed that she gave Maria to the Roma couple in Greece because she was too poor to look after her. And so the case was closed but by the time the dust had settled, two Irish Roma children and their families had been traumatized by events that seemed driven by the fact that neither child looked like their parents. Both children had an albino gene, well known to be in the Roma community. It simply gave them…blonde hair, blue eyes.

584
White Noise
Documentary On One, RTÉ

What happens when sounds exist inside your head? How do you cope with an internal soundtrack from which you can’t escape and only you can hear? These questions are explored in White Noise, a new Documentary On One production that investigates the mysterious world of people who suffer from tinnitus and the impact it has on their lives. Tinnitus, currently an incurable condition, is the experience of hearing sounds in the brain that don’t have an external source. According to documentary maker Orla Higgins, ‘One in ten of the Irish population have tinnitus and one in a hundred people are seriously affected by it. These figures are also reflected internationally where it is estimated that over 300 million people have the condition which can have a debilitating effect on people’s work, their relationships and how they live their lives with this secret symphony going on in their heads.’ Higgins was prompted to make the documentary when she herself was diagnosed with tinnitus almost two years ago. ‘I began to notice an intermittent sound in my head that, over time, became a constant presence. You’ll hear tinnitus sufferers talk about ‘their sound’ and mine resembles stormtrooper boots marching on loose gravel, if you can imagine that. Then I began to wonder who else had it and how could they cope with the unwelcome and unnerving sounds in their heads without it driving them over the edge?’ She collaborated with RTÉ producer Kevin Bew, who also suffers from the condition, to recreate the sounds of the tinnitus experience and explore the science surrounding it. Tinnitus sufferers hear a wide variety of these sounds from whines, crackles and whooshes to static, dentist drills and pounding jackhammers. Higgins explains that one of the challenges is that we can’t understand what people with tinnitus are going through unless we have experienced it ourselves. With this in mind, the documentary takes an innovative approach to the subject by placing the listener in the position of someone with the condition. A group of volunteers worked with sound designer Damian Chennells and Audiologist Tasso Papadopoulos from DeafHear (an Irish charity that provides services to people with hearing loss) to recreate these phantom sounds for the audience. There is no agreed cause and no agreed cure for the condition and the documentary tells the story of Sean O’Reilly whose life was turned upside down in the space of a week with the onset of sudden and unexplained tinnitus. It explores his journey of recovery as he works to reclaim his life. Fortunately, the vast majority of people manage to eventually adjust to these phantom sounds they hear but sometimes catastrophic tinnitus takes its toll. It becomes too much for some and the listener hears from the letter written by Welshman James Ivor Jones who was driven to take his own life because of his tinnitus in 2015. Along the way the listener also gets an insight in to the weird and wonderful world of the brain and the hearing senses from David Baguley, Professor of Hearing Sciences at the University of Nottingham. A lot of people with tinnitus, once diagnosed, are left to develop an understanding and way of coping by themselves and this proves to be one of the biggest obstacles to recovery. ‘There is no agreed cure at the moment’, says Kevin Brew, ‘but we take a look at the different ways people can cope with the condition. We also hear from ENT consultant Brendan Conlon about some ground-breaking Irish research currently taking place at St. James Hospital, Dublin that might hopefully form part of the answer when it comes to a cure in the future.’

5,825
Sisters
Documentary On One, RTÉ

It’s 1951. Cobh, County Cork, Ireland. Jo Murray is 18 years old and stands at the railing of a westbound transatlantic ship flanked by four other teenage Irish girls. But these aren’t just any mid-century Irish immigrants. They’re going to Texas, and they’re going to become nuns. For the past three years Emma Decker has lived on and off in the convent these women immigrated to in San Antonio, Texas. Sisters Jo (Josephine) Murray and Gabrielle Murray from Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, are Emma’s grand aunts—now aged 80 and 85. The more they talked to Emma about growing up in the West of Ireland in the 1940s, about emigration as young single women, and arriving into a deeply polarized American South in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement, the more Emma wanted to know: how the heck did hundreds of Irish teenagers end up in Texas, and what became of that choice? The resulting story follows Emma’s grand aunts from the Roscommon dairy where they grew up to their roles as teachers in what was the first free Catholic school for African Americans in the State of Texas. A lifetime later, these days the nuns in Emma’s grand aunts’ convent are coming to terms with the end of their way of life. Sisters Jo and Gabrielle Murray’s path from Ireland to San Antonio and the legacy they’ve left behind are both unlikely. In 1888, a widowed Irish immigrant established a pipeline between San Antonio and convents in Ireland so that she could staff an antebellum school for emancipated African Americans with young Irish nuns. During the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 60s, this order of nuns defied the Catholic Church’s call to stay away from politics by marching with protesters and supporting the desegregation of schools. Many became influential leaders in their communities and the first in their families to go to college. These mid-century teenagers turned entering a convent—of all places—into an opportunity to be pioneers. Emma’s grand aunts are candid about the difficulties of being a nun, an activist, and an immigrant. After Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, one of Emma’s grand aunts overheard a priest jubilantly shout, "Yes! They got him!" She remembers wishing she had hit him. The other aunt recounts meeting her infant niece for the first time, and realizing "that I would never have a beautiful baby of my own." The nuns in San Antonio are resilient, powerful women. They are bastions of justice and pillars of time. Soon, their stories will be gone and they are ones that need to be told — of the vanishing, the brave, and the silent forces of history. Their memories chronicle a century of change in the institutions of the church, race relations, economics and politics. Closer to heart for Emma, the curious grand niece of Sisters Jo and Gabrielle Murray, is that their conversations reveal the evolution of Emma’s international Irish family and the women who built it.

619
Prince At The Castle
Documentary On One, RTÉ

On the morning of July 30th, 2011, a group of Irish concert production staff arrived at Malahide Castle, Co. Dublin. And they were nervous. They were there to work on that evening's concert by American pop star, Prince but, although most of them had worked on concerts for years, this one had them thrown. Because, while Prince was a musical genius; he was also difficult and unpredictable. An Irish High Court judge described him as "an erratic person". Three years before the Malahide Castle concert, in 2008, Prince was scheduled to play Dublin's 80,000 venue, Croke Park. But he pulled out ten days before it was due to take place. He was taken to court by the promoters, who had already sold 55,000 tickets. Prince was found guilty and fined almost €2 million. He agreed to pay but held off doing so until 5 days before the Malahide Castle concert was advertised. And then, in the weeks before Malahide Castle, Prince was having his troubles in Europe: There were technical problems with concerts in Rotterdam and Cologne and, at one point, Prince walked off stage for over an hour. Most drastic of all, on the morning of the Malahide Castle concert, Prince fired most of his production crew. A whole new crew of Irish concert experts was drafted in at the last minute. No wonder they were nervous. One of those pulled in was a young Irish guitar technician, Scott Halliday. A guitar technician is a guitarist’s backup: stringing the guitars, tuning them, setting up pedals and amps and handing over different guitars during the performance. Prince had fired his existing guitar tech and Scott Halliday had to hurry out to Malahide and try to learn Prince’s guitars and setup in just a few hours. "I looked up Google", he said, "which was surprisingly helpful." And, then there were the promoters - they were nervous too. They had put in place plans for handling the crowds in case Prince cried off. Because, although they had a contract, it only required Prince to appear on the Malahide Castle stage - it didn’t say for how long. Prince could have walked off after the first song or even the first bar. So, on the morning of July 30th., 2011 all those nervous people were backstage at Malahide Castle wondering what the next 15 hours would bring. 'Prince & The Castle' is the story of that remarkable day in recent Irish music history.

Storytelling
725
Does My Bum Sound Big In This?
Documentary On One, RTÉ

Joyce is 55 years old and is, by her own admission, ‘living a half-life’. She has always been overweight but now is severely obese to the extent that her life has been affected dramatically. Five years ago Joyce developed chronic arthritis which means that she is in severe pain. Her movement is now so restricted that she rarely leaves the house and this sedentary life has led to her gaining an extra four stone – and this extra weight has been the tipping point for her life. In March 2016, after several years on the waiting list, she secured a place for treatment with the Weight Management Service in Loughlinstown, Co. Dublin, where one possible treatment is bariatric surgery – more commonly known as gastric band surgery. However, before she goes down this drastic surgery route, she’s going to try everything she can with the help of the team at the clinic to lose weight. In this documentary we follow Joyce over two years as she tries to lose weight and explores the reasons why she might have ended up in this place in her life. Joyce sees this as her ‘last chance’ to get a normal life back again. Joyce makes people howl with laughter. Even facing such huge challenges in her life, she remains a vibrant creative person. She has a solid group of good friends but is also aware that her self-esteem is now low. Before she had to give up work she worked in theatre and is passionate about film, culture and the arts in general. At her first meeting at the Weight Management Clinic in May 2016 Joyce’s was taken by surprise by feelings of both shock and shame. Though she knew in an abstract sense that she was very overweight, she would never have identified with the other obese people attending for the treatment at the clinic. She knows that the reasons for her being overweight are complicated and for Joyce it’s a constant battle to feel ok about herself and to stay hopeful. This documentary explores the complex reasons behind obesity and the challenges and prejudices that someone who inhabits an obese body faces. As obesity statistics multiply worldwise, we ask what’s it like to be one of these statistics? What is the physical and emotional impact on your life, your health and your well-being of being obese? And, most importantly for Joyce, is it possible to recover and regain all these things?

Storytelling
696
The Reindeer Santa Left Behind
Documentary On One, RTÉ

An Exclusive - Recorded over the last year, this is the incredible story which began last Christmas Eve just as Santa arrived into Ireland and Blitzen, one of his reindeers got badly injured. Over the course of last Christmas Eve, an incredible series of events took place involving Santa Claus and his reindeers - and the Mulready family who live on a remote farm in Co. Wexford. The story began when Santa Claus and his nine reindeers set off from the North Pole on Christmas Eve. Santa Claus's team of flying reindeer are Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Rudolp, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. They had journeyed half way across the world, working through all the time zones to ensure each child in every country received their Christmas gifts on time. After a rough landing just outside Edinburgh in Scotland, Blitzen (one of Santa’s reindeers) hurt his hoof badly. Just as Santa arrived over Ireland, it quickly became apparent that Blitzen would not be able to continue. He needed immediate assistance. Santa Claus had a decision to make. If he went back to the North Pole, carrying Blitzen on his sleigh, there is no way he would have time to deliver all his presents to all of the children all over the world in one night. This could have been the first time ever that some children did not receive their presents in time for Christmas. Imagine the Mulready family’s surprise when they heard a knock on the door in the very early hours of Christmas morning. None other than Santa Claus was standing at the front door, covered in snow flakes. He asked if the Mulready’s could help him out. “There’s been an accident in Scotland', he said glumly, 'Would they be kind enough to take Blitzen in and nurse him back to health as he just couldn’t go on?' The Mulready's didn’t need any time to decide. The decision was made there and then – they would do whatever it took to bring Blitzen back to health. It took nearly twelve months to get Blitzen back to full fitness and it was only in early December of this year, that Santa Claus came back to collect Blitzen - just in the time for this Christmas.

documentary
1,242
Perfume Isles Fatal Lure
Documentary On One, RTÉ

Douamour climbs into a small fishing boat to travel across open sea to try to get into the European Union.  Around his neck, he’s carrying a small audio recorder for the Documentary On One. The driver of Douamour’s boat will try to get past French patrol boats and and get his illegal migrant passengers into the EU. But this is not the usual story of migrants into the EU crossing the Mediterranean.  Doaumour and his fellow passengers are thousands of miles south:  in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Africa, north of Madagascar.  They are about to cross one of the EU’s most southern borders.  They’re heading from the Union of Comoros islands to the island of Mayotte, which is part of France and, therefore part of the EU. The journey is dangerous – it takes, at least, three hours – longer if they’re trying to avoid border patrols.  Also, the boats are not suited for the open water – some are only 20ft. long.    Because they’re so unstable, they’ve been nicknamed, "kwassa kwassa boats" – kwassa kwassa is a form of hip-swaying Congolese dance invented in the 1980s which became popular all over Africa. That jokey nickname belies the fact that the stretch of water around Mayotte has been described as "the widest cemetery in the world" – thousands have died when these kwassa kwassa boats have capsized. So, why do the passengers squeeze into these kwassa kwassa boats?    Some are pregnant women who know that, if they can give birth on Mayotte, the child will get French citizenship and the family can travel to France.  Some of the passengers are going for work – they can get €400 per month on Mayotte, working illegally.  Not much, but a lot more than the €12 per month they can expect on their home islands.   Others are going for medical treatment – the hospitals in the Union of Comoros are understaffed and underresourced and the French hospital on Mayotte treats allcomers. Finally, some passengers in the boats are travelling to be reunited with family members on Mayotte.  The French use radar, helicopters and patrol boats to intercept the kwassa kwassa boats of illegal migrants. And that’s what happened Douamour, the migrant recording his journey for the Documentary On One.   He used to live on Mayotte wth his wife and children but was caught and deported.  He didn’t get the chance to say ‘good bye’ to his family.   If he did get the chance, though, he would not have taken it – his wife and children would have been arrested and deported too. The island of Mayotte is not big – it’s 40km long by 20km wide – the population is 260,000.  Incredibly, almost half this population is illegal. The hospitals and schools are struggling.  Crime is a real issue, partly because of gangs of hungry and unemployed teenagers.   And the illegals from the other islands are not the only economic migrants to Mayotte.  French teachers, medics and police have arrived on the island to work, attracted by the 40% tax break given by the French government to take up posts there. So, when Douamour gets into the kwassa kwassa boat to make the night-time journey to Mayotte, he is part of global movement of people to better themselves economically.  But he is also part of a local phenomenon brought about by partition and a particularly hard border.   Douamour wonders if he will manage to make a new life for himself and his family on Mayotte.      But the more immediate questions for him is this:  Will he survive the journey or will his kwassa kwassa be intercepted and all the passengers deported or, worse still, will it capsize on open water?

Storytelling
748
A New Niamh
Documentary On One, RTÉ

Niamh has decided to give up shoplifting for Christmas. She put that simple pledge on Facebook for her grandson’s sake. She’s in been in prison before when her son was small and she doesn’t want another small boy to see her in prison again. She wants him to know a new Niamh: The one who writes poetry does stand-up comedy and is famous on Facebook for making people laugh. But, it won’t be easy. Stealing is profitable and thrilling. Turning over a new leaf is a daily struggle and getting through Christmas is especially tough - her clients contact her asking her to rob Christmas presents for them. But Niamh is determined - will she succeed?

Storytelling
1,058
The Little Mouse in the Corner
Documentary On One, RTÉ

"You're not shy, you're just quietly confident" That's what Pauline Dunne's mother told her to say when she was growing up and people would ask her the inevitable: "Why are you so shy?"  Another way of describing someone who is ‘quietly confident’ is as an ‘introvert’.  Which, it turns out, Pauline is. This realisation explained a lot. The school reports, the constant requests to speak up, her complete lack of ease with small talk.    Like others, she’d gone around for years thinking there was something wrong with her. So when she found out that being an introvert is perfectly normal and, actually, something you’re born as, she couldn't stay quiet anymore. She had to do her part in clearing the names of introverts everywhere. Or, at least the ones in Ireland. So, she decided to make a radio documentary about it.   In the documentary, Pauline found out that the experts define being an introvert as 'not being an extrovert'. But defining someone by what they lack doesn't seem fair, so this documentary also highlights the many things that introverts can bring to the table, when given the right opportunity. She also discovered that introverts in America have an advanced campaign in schools to make sure introvert children get the same chances as everyone else.  In fact, they say, one of the characteristics of being an introvert, not answering immediately but thinking something out carefully, can be of benefit to a whole class. Making the documentary, Pauline tells her own life story as an introvert.  She also spoke to other people who consider themselves introverts, many of whom have chosen less-than-typical lifestyles considering their personality-type:  For example, Sam Coll is an author - ideal introvert work - but he also works as an actor.   Mark Walsh, has a career in the kind of job you would rarely associate with someone who'd rather not hog the limelight: public relations. While being proud of her introversion, in the documentary, Pauline also decides to try something that may appeal more to the extroverts among us, and which she dreads:  public-speaking.  She joined her local Toastmasters Club and agreed to learn how to make a speech. The speech was about the joys and miseries of being an introvert and was entitled, "The Little Mouse in the Corner".  She had no problem writing the speech; all she had to do was stand up and deliver it to a room full of people.  How did she get on?

Storytelling
866
The Occupation
Documentary On One, RTÉ

‘The Occupation’ tells the story of how a small group of anti-war protesters caused a multinational arms manufacturer to leave Derry. The Raytheon company, makers of the Tomahawk cruise and Patriot missile systems, set up a software facility in Derry in 1999. It was hailed at the time as part of a ‘peace dividend’ following the signing of the Good Friday agreement of 1998. In 2006, after years of protest by the Derry Anti-War Coalition, the company’s offices were occupied and computer equipment was deliberately destroyed. The protestors were tried and acquitted by a jury at Belfast Crown court after successfully arguing that that were acting in defense of the innocent in south Lebanon, where missiles manufactured by the company had been used by the Israeli Defence Forces. In 2010 Raytheon pulled out of Derry but refused to admit it was because of the actions of the anti-war protesters. Michael Bradley worked for BBC Radio Foyle at the time and felt the story didn’t get the attention it deserved and the acquittal had far-reaching implications. Michael returns from Japan, where he now lives, to follow up on the story. It took a freedom of information request by a Derry Journal reporter to confirm that it was the actions of the protesters that caused Raytheon to leave Derry. Journalist, author and politician Eamonn McCann, who led the protests, says the occupation was his proudest moment in more than forty years of social activism. The documentary also features Joe Brolly who was a barrister for some of the protestors and argued in court that the protesters were acting in defence of the innocent in South Lebanon.

anti war
1,084
A Man Out Of Time
Documentary On One, RTÉ

In the middle of O’Connell bridge, in the heart of Dublin, there is a 6x8 inch space in which two stories intersect. In this space today is a plaque which commemorates a Fr. Pat Noise who is said to have died when his carriage plunged into the Liffey in mysterious circumstances in August 1919. This spot on the bridge was also where the postcard machine attached to Dublin’s millennium clock was located in 1996. In this documentary, we attempt to shed light on the enigmatic Fr. Pat Noise and discover just what happened to the millennium clock and its 120 million seconds. Dublin is home to many famous commemorative works, some controversial and other less so but none as mysterious as the plaque to Fr. Pat Noise. The small bronze plaque is situated on the busiest bridge in the country, despite this it went unnoticed after its installation in 2004 for two years. Little is known about Fr. Noise - and what is known, comes from secondhand sources. But the lack of a clear biography has not stopped Fr. Noise from becoming a cultural inspiration for Dubliners and those farther afield. We examine what’s known of Fr. Noise, look at his legacy today and attempt to peel back the myth surrounding him and his plaque. The trial of Fr. Pat Noise led this documentary team to another enigmatic piece of cultural history and urban architecture: the Millennium Clock. After much delay, this six-ton timepiece was installed in the River Liffey, just off O’Connell bridge in March 1996. The project was sponsored by the Lotto and was to countdown the 120 million seconds to the year 2000. However just three days after being switched on to much fanfare live on RTÉ's Late Late Show, the clock was removed to allow for a boat race. The clock proved to be a public relations disaster and while it entered the water with a bang, it left with a whimper in December of that year (1996).

Storytelling
1,121
The Tattooed Irishman
Documentary On One, RTÉ

In 1829, 21 year old Dubliner James F O'Connell found himself shipwrecked on the remote Pacific Island of Pohnpei. Over 13,000km from home, this was a moment that would define his life, but not in a way you might think. Clambering ashore, O'Connell was greeted by island natives brandishing weapons. Years later, O'Connell would write about this moment and how he 'talked' his way out of trouble by dancing an Irish jig. Brought into the local tribe, O'Connell was treated like one of their own, quite literally. He was heavily tattooed about the body as was the local tradition. He even married a daughter of a tribe leader leaving behind some Irish DNA on a remote Pacific island to this day. But Pohnpei was never going to be a lifetime home for O'Connell. His passage back to the western world came courtesy of a passing ship and by the mid 1830's, O'Connell found himself in New York City as a freak amongst men.  Americans had rarely seen tattoos, and with O'Connell's full body tattoo, he quickly gained fame - fêted by many as the first man to bring tattoos to the Western World. He became a seminal figure in the tattoo world and the first tattooed man ever on 'exhibition'. Taking advantage of his notoriety, in 1836, O'Connell published his memoir ‘The Life and Adventures of James F O’Connell, the Tattooed Man’ and for the following two decades, until his death, he performed in the circus and freakshow circuit across the United States. He showed off his tattoo's, regaled his story from Pohnpei - and sold his books. O'Connell tells of the reaction of people in the street to his appearance and of how young girls fainted when they laid eyes on him. Pregnant women were told not to look upon him for fear that their unborn children would be blemished with marks similar to his By 1842, O'Connell was one of the main attractions at Barnum’s American Museum in New York City. This museum was a live 'freak' show, with giants, dwarfs and those with unusual physical traits on show. The museum drew in up to 500,000 visitors a year - and O'Connell, the Tattooed Irishman, was top of the list when it came to live 'freaks'. His tattoos clearly marked his body, whilst also marking him out from the rest of the world. He also built on his story by dancing the famous Irish jig that had saved his life years earlier. Through tattoos and Irish dancing, a showman had come of age. By the time James F O'Connell died in 1854, it's estimated that upwards of 20million people had seen him in person as a result of his years on the freak show circuit. It's rumoured a hornpipe was danced on his grave as a sign of respect. O'Connell had remained a showman to the end of his days. And until very recently, there was a bar and a cocktail drink on Pohnpei bearing the name 'The Tattooed Irishman.' But just who was James F. O'Connell? And why isn't he celebrated back home in his native land? Born on Thomas Street in Dublin on November 10th, 1808, this documentary traces O'Connell's life from his childhood in Dublin to Pohnpei and across to North America. At times, fact, fiction and freaks fuse together to form what is a remarkable story that has come to be known as 'The Tattooed Irishman'.

Storytelling
1,725
Frank Stagg's Three Funerals
Documentary On One, RTÉ

There is a grave in Leigue Cemetery, Ballina, Co. Mayo which has a concrete surface, placed there by the Gárdaí  in 1976, to prevent the body from being stolen.   40 years ago, on November 5th., 1977, the body was removed from the grave, during the night, without disturbing the concrete, and buried elsewhere in the cemetery. The body was that of Frank Stagg, Republican hunger striker, who died in prison in Britain.   When Stagg died, there was a row over his funeral between the Irish government and the Republican movement - with members of his family on both sides.   The Republicans wanted a procession from Dublin Airport to the cemetery in Ballina where Frank would be buried, according to his wishes, in the Republican plot.    But the Irish Government didn’t want a show of Republican strength and diverted the plane, carrying Frank Stagg’s coffin, to Shannon.  Gárdaí seized the body and flew it by helicopter to Mayo and buried the body in a new plot in the Ballina cemetery.   They then placed an armed guard on the grave, for months afterwards, to prevent the body being moved to the Republican plot. What the State authorities hadn’t realised was that the plot beside the grave of Frank Stagg was available to purchase.  Frank’s brother, George, bought that grave.   22 months later, on a cold, windy and rainy night in November with no moon, 6 men came into the graveyard and dug down into the grave owned by George Stagg.   When they were deep enough, they then dug across into Frank Stagg’s concrete plot, slid out the coffin, and carried it to the nearby Republican plot.   A hurried decade of the Rosary was said and Stagg was reburied. Frank Stagg actually has three headstones:  One over the grave dug for him by the Gardai; one over the adjacent grave purchased by his brother, George, saying that his body had been stolen by the "pro-British, Irish government", and one over the Republican Plot. But this was more than a tug-of-war over Frank Stagg’s body, the dispute was an indication of the severe political tension that prevailed,  at the time, as a result of Republican activities in the South and the FG/Labour government’s hardline response to them. In this documentary, George Stagg speaks of the distress for the family arising from the events of the time, former Minister for Justice, Patrick Cooney, talks of the State being under threat from Republicans at the time and a Ballina Republican describes the exhumation and reburial.

Storytelling
1,020
Do No Harm
Documentary On One, RTÉ

In April 2015, a group of young Irish GP’s in training traveled to the Netherlands to learn about a different approach to end of life care. Most of the trainee GPs assumed this would involve a visit to a highly specialised clinic. Instead, they met a family doctor who sometimes shortened his patients’ lives at their request – he performed euthanasia. Frans Bollen, a 69-year-old retired GP from Almere in Holland presented the trainees with an alternate reality where "unbearable suffering" could be stopped overnight. The group was overwhelmed. Divided. GP’s do this? Could I do that for my patient? Do we do anything like this already in Ireland? The debate travelled home with us. No consensus was reached. One of the group, Dr Luke Dillon needed to know more. In Ireland, it is a crime that could result in 14 years in prison to assist anybody with suicide. And yet there are people in Ireland who are suffering greatly as a result of illness and would prefer to be able to die peacefully and with dignity. Luke met with 51 year old Kate Tobin at her home in Wexford earlier this year to hear her story. Kate is a retired palliative care nurse. Kate is now suffering with progressive MS and suffers greatly every day as a result of her declining health. No longer able to even brush her teeth for herself, she has lost her independence and is in constant pain. Kate is also deeply religious but she believes in her right to die if her suffering becomes too great. However, she knows that in modern Ireland this will not be legally possible. She struggles on, supported by her carers and her loving dog Bruno. Meanwhile, in Our Lady’s Hospice Harold’s Cross, a different approach to suffering is taken. Palliative Care is a relatively young specialty in medicine and its aim is to relieve pain and improving the quality of life for those who are reaching the end of life. The hospice is perhaps a surprisingly positive place. One of the patients there, 86 year old Gabriel Peelo, speaks of how he has found a new lease of life since his admission to the hospice after having a bowel tumor removed in May 2017. Along with availing of palliative care, Gabriel has chosen to take a route that he sees as the least amount of suffering. He has turned down any possibility of chemotherapy or other cancer therapy. Rather than spend what he believes could be the last year of his life being unwell as a result of treatment, he has prioritised making it to his 60th wedding anniversary and enjoying the time that he has left. Luke traveled back to Holland in July 2017. and met up with Frans Bollen. He meets the relatives of people who have undergone euthanasia and discovers that it was not an easy road for them, though they are glad that their loved one’s suffering is now over. Frans Bollen explains that from a medical point of view the criteria for ‘unbearable suffering’ must be met. Through exploring the topic of euthanasia Luke discovers that it may not be as black and white as he had originally thought and leaves him with more questions than answers. Should euthanasia be provided for people who desire it? How can anybody decide what constitutes ‘unbearable suffering’ for another person? And should euthanasia be extended to people who suffer from mental health illnesses as it is in Holland? And what does allowing euthanasia say about a society and the people in it?

Storytelling
1,067
Richard Hayes, Nazi Codebreaker
Documentary On One, RTÉ

During WW2, one of Nazi Germany’s most notorious communication codes was broken by a mild mannered librarian and family man from West Limerick, Richard Hayes. His day-job was as Director of the National Library of Ireland - but during wartime Europe, he secretly led a team of cryptanalysts as they worked feverishly on the infamous "Görtz Cipher" - a fiendish Nazi code that had stumped some of the greatest code breaking minds at Bletchley Park, the centre of British wartime Cryptography. But who was Richard Hayes? He was a man of many lives. An academic, an aesthete, a loving father and one of World War Two’s most prolific Nazi Codebreakers. At the outbreak of WW2 Hayes, being highly regarded for his mathematical and linguistic expertise was approached by the head of Irish Military Intelligence (G2) Colonel Dan Bryan with a Top Secret mission. At the behest of Taoiseach Éamon de Valera, Hayes was given an office and three lieutenants to decode wireless messages being covertly transmitted via Morse code from a house in north Dublin owned by the German Embassy. The coded messages posed a huge threat to Irish national security and the wider war effort. As Hayes team worked to break the code, it was all academic until he met his greatest challenge yet. The man who was to be his nemesis, Dr. Herman Görtz, a German agent who parachuted into Ireland in 1940 in full Luftwaffe uniform in an attempt to spy and transmit his own coded messages back to Berlin. Hayes the academic was soon to find out the true meaning of war. He stared at the enemy and saw the whites of his eyes. The events that transpired were a battle of wits between the mild mannered genius librarian and his nemesis, the flamboyant Nazi Spy. Hayes has been referred to by MI5 as Irelands "greatest unsung hero" and the American Office of Strategic Services as "a colossus of a man" yet due to the secret nature of his work he is virtually unheard of in his own country. Now, forty-one years after his death, the story of Dr. Richard J. Hayes, the National Librarian who kept Ireland neutral and helped turn the tide of World War Two will be told for the first time.

Storytelling
1,220
COLOMBIA MAKING THE PEACE
Documentary On One, RTÉ

After more than 50 years of fighting, and four years of negotiations, 2016 saw a breakthrough in the long-running armed conflict in Colombia. A tentative peace was arranged with more than 15,000 fighters from the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and other groups agreeing to move to transitional camps and allowing the re-integration of the areas they had occupied into mainstream Colombian society. During the peace talks, a number of Irish politicians, veterans of the Irish peace process and from both sides of the divide, visited the negotiations taking place in Havana, Cuba. Sharing their experience of de-escalating the conflict in Northern Ireland, they gave support to all sides in the talks. A former Irish foreign minister was appointed EU special representative to the peace process as Europe contributed towards the settlement. How does the resolution of the conflict in Colombia compare with the Irish peace process? Although many aspects are different, what lessons can be learned from the strategies used in the Irish process and what can the Colombian course of action offer as a lesson to the North? For long periods during the conflict rebel areas operated as a shadow state with people separated from the rest of Colombian society. What was life like under the FARC and how easy will the transition be for everybody involved? Will the peace bring changes to coca production and Narco trafficking associated with rebel areas and how will that affect the lives of rural dwellers.         Luke Holland has lived and worked in Colombia and has observed the changes there and in Northern Ireland over recent decades. He returns to Columbia to meet the newly demobilised FARC fighters and others who have suffered during the long conflict. He meets those opposed to the peace process who believe the only solution is to destroy the FARC completely. The areas previously under rebel control are now feeling a power vacuum and concern is growing over human rights in rural areas. What contribution can the EU and other outside agencies make to the fragile peace in Colombia?

Colombia
786
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