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Stories in Sound Podcast

English, Documentary, 1 season, 98 episodes, 1 day, 22 hours, 35 minutes
Radio Ulster brings together some of the best radio documentaries from UK and Irish broadcasters
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Troubles Shared - EpisodeTwo

The journalists Peter Taylor and Fergal Keane have each been indelibly shaped by their experience of reporting on the Northern Ireland Troubles. Both witnessed the horror and pain of the conflict close up. Both would see the mixed fortunes brought by peace and reconciliation. Peter Taylor first arrived in Northern Ireland on the night of Bloody Sunday in 1972. A Yorkshire man with no family or personal connections to Ireland, he would go on to become one of the most distinguished journalists and broadcasters associated with the Troubles. Fergal Keane grew up in County Cork and first came to Belfast as an RTE reporter in the late 1980s. Keane's family past is deeply entwined with Ireland's history of armed insurrection, stretching back to the Irish War of Independence and Civil War. Now Peter Taylor and Fergal Keane are back in Northern Ireland to share their personal experiences of reporting on the troubles and ask what it all means now. In the concluding episode of this two part series, Keane and Taylor talk about the role played by key figures in helping to bring peace to Northern Ireland. Producer: Conor Garrett
11/7/202026 minutes, 25 seconds
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Troubles Shared - Episode One

The journalists Peter Taylor and Fergal Keane have each been indelibly shaped by their experience of reporting on the Northern Ireland Troubles. Both witnessed the horror and pain of the conflict close up. Both would see the mixed fortunes brought by peace and reconciliation. Peter Taylor first arrived in Northern Ireland on the night of Bloody Sunday in 1972. A Yorkshire man with no family or personal connections to Ireland, he would go on to become one of the most distinguished journalists and broadcasters associated with the Troubles. Fergal Keane grew up in County Cork and first came to Belfast as an RTE reporter in the late 1980s. Keane's family past is deeply entwined with Ireland's history of armed insurrection, stretching back to the Irish War of Independence and Civil War. Now Peter Taylor and Fergal Keane are back in Northern Ireland to share their personal experiences of reporting on the troubles and ask what it all means now. In the first episode of this two part series, Keane and Taylor begin a journey through Northern Ireland to revisit some of the key sites they associate with what happened and what they saw. Producer: Conor Garrett
10/31/202026 minutes, 21 seconds
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The Sinking of the Jack Buchan

Enda McClafferty meets the sole survivor of the 1958 fishing trawler tragedy that killed his great uncle and four others.
9/26/202026 minutes, 34 seconds
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The Upsides of Lockdown

Conor Garrett knows he's one of the lucky ones. None of his family or friends have contracted Coronavirus so far and he hasn't had to spend the time in quarantine alone. But working from home while trying to home-school two young sons hasn't been without its challenges. Conor's dad is also seriously ill and his niece Imogen - a recent medicine graduate - is facing one of the biggest dilemmas of her life: whether to join the NHS frontline helping to tackle Covid-19. As Conor loses track of the days and runs out of odd-jobs, he tries to find the positives in these tough times.
5/25/202025 minutes, 50 seconds
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Alone Together - Across Ireland

From having your wedding cancelled, to closing the doors of your business, and being hospitalized to making a recovery - people across Ireland share how their lives have been impacted due to COVID-19, from 16th March to the present day. Featuring Patricia McGinnis, Richard McBride, Maura Sloan, Angie Tandon, Ed Canning, Niamh Ni Chonchuir, Órfhlaith Ní Chearnaigh, Ryan Gaston, Lenny White, Jessica Anderson, Michelle Gallen and Luke McCann.
5/16/202026 minutes, 1 second
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Alone Together in China

People from Ireland share their experiences of being at the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic in China. We hear from those living and working in Wuhan and other cities, as well as getting the perspective from the NI Chinese community, as people talk of face masks, fear and hi-tech surveillance - but also of hope. The programme traces the emergence of COVID-19 in January, through China’s near total lock down and onto the first signs that the virus was receding. Did the Chinese government’s draconian measures make it possible to beat COVID-19 and are these something we could ever achieve here? And with the threat of a second wave of infection from people coming into the China from abroad, how are foreigners there being viewed? This programme tells a story that touches every nation on earth but from a uniquely local perspective.
4/22/202026 minutes, 16 seconds
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Alone Together - Across the World

NI & Irish people living across the world, tell us what life is like for them, since the invisible enemy of COVID-19 brought life as we know it to a halt. This is a snapshot of lives in lockdown across the globe from Mid-March to April 2020. Featuring Catherine Clancy, Paul Nelson, Morgan Fagg, Siobhan Ni Chiobhain, Jenny Goggin, Sinead McCambridge, Sean Burke and Alison Crozier.
4/4/202025 minutes, 23 seconds
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Keep Calm and Carry On

Local people across NI share the life experiences that have made them who they are today. To dig deep – to find the strength they might not have realised they had - to keep calm and carry on. With presenter Tessa Fleming, in association with BBC Radio 4’s Listening Project. For details of organisations which offer advice and support with any of the issues that have been raised in this programme - go online to Produced by Cathy Moorehead.
3/28/202026 minutes, 8 seconds
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How to be an Influencer

Instagram personality That Belfast Girl explains the perks of sharing your personal life online & meets the local influencers who are going viral on social media. From battling cancer on Instagram, to raising awareness of diabetes in laugh-out-loud TikTok videos, and the growing movement of body positivity, we meet the women brave enough to bare all online. With influencers: Instagram - @all.things.mia @felicityhayward @thatbelfastgirl YouTube - @Caitlyn Lendrum TikTok - @diabeticduo
3/14/202026 minutes, 16 seconds
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Breakdown: Episode Two

How the violence of the Northern Ireland Troubles began
2/29/202026 minutes
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Breakdown: Episode One

How the violence of the Northern Ireland Troubles began
2/22/202026 minutes, 10 seconds
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The Legenderry Boy In A Dress

Brian from Derry in Northern Ireland finally found the courage to live openly as a transvestite in California, and found happiness with his wife Debbie from Kentucky.
2/8/202026 minutes, 34 seconds
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Fly on the Wall

From overcoming homelessness, to tackling suicide, having a crisis of faith to being 'queer on stage'. Local people share their life experiences, struggles and triumphs around topics often considered taboo, with presenter Mairead Campbell. Produced by Cathy Moorehead.
2/1/202026 minutes, 8 seconds
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Crumlin Road Gaol - Escaping Dead or Alive

Comedian Ciaran Bartlett uncovers three strange but true tales of executions and escapes from Crumlin Road Gaol from 1854 to 1960. Dr Lynsey Black examines the first public execution at Crumlin Road Gaol, of soldier Robert O’Neill in 1854 which ‘entertained’ over 15,000 members of the public. Crime writer Steve Fielding shares the case of travelling circus member - Eddie Cullens in 1932 and the murdered corpse found naked with nothing but a bathing cap on. And Donal Donnelly - the only man who escaped and was never caught, recounts his break out on Boxing Day 1960. Produced by Cathy Moorehead.
1/25/202026 minutes, 5 seconds
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The Hoarder

Conor Garrett finds out if family friend David can break the hoarding habit of a lifetime
1/18/202026 minutes, 3 seconds
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A House With Two Rooms

Though they share a home, Marie Louise Muir often feels excluded from her autistic daughter’s world. Can the arts help her to enter and understand?
1/11/202027 minutes, 41 seconds
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The Life of Brian: 50 Years a Priest

Raised in the Fermanagh village of Bellanaleck amid story-tellers, yarns and football, Brian D’Arcy never dreamed he would become a priest until a meeting with a Passionist at The Graan Monastery set him on the road to priesthood against his parent’s wishes. Now, as he celebrates 50 years as a priest, Father Brian reflects on a long career of faith, fame and controversy. As he revisits the village of his childhood, the monastery that would become home for most of his vocation and the shores of his beloved Lough Erne, Father Brian recalls his journey towards faith, his love of music which in turn led to a life of show-business and a career in broadcasting – and the dark shadow that has haunted his whole life, the sexual abuse he suffered as a child and as a young man. Father Brian also explains why he has never been afraid to speak out on issues he cares passionately about. Priests’ celibacy, contraception, the role of women, the churches handling of child sex abuse scandals - Father Brian has spoken out about all of them and faced criticism and censure from the Vatican as a result, at times leading him to consider his vocation. 50 years on how does Father Brian feel about his faith, the future of the Church and his own future?
12/28/201926 minutes, 23 seconds
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The Man in My Attic - The Other Woman...Part 2

Part 2 of 2. In the leafy suburbs of South Belfast, journalist Ita Dungan discovered thousands of receipts in the attic of her Victorian terraced house. They reveal the middle class life enjoyed by Robert Smith, his wife Jeannie and their four children - Robert Cecil, Florence Eileen, Edward Ivan McCullagh and Donald Edgeworth. With the help of historian Dr Alice Johnson and newspaper reports, Ita discovers the controversial source of Robert’s wealth, a diamond ring heirloom and the forgotten ‘other woman’. The fate of the Smith family is revealed - involving emigration and World War II battles. But what of their descendants? Will Ita find any? Produced by Cathy Moorehead
11/30/201926 minutes, 6 seconds
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The Man in My Attic - Who Was He? Part 1

Part 1 of 2. In the leafy suburbs of South Belfast, journalist Ita Dungan discovered thousands of receipts in the attic of her Victorian terraced house. They reveal the lavish middle class life of a man, woman, their family and servant from the 1860s all the way up until 1916. Receipts for velvet jackets and feather boas, their grand furniture and holidays away give clues to the life they once enjoyed - in the very same house which Ita lives in today. With the help of historian Dr Alice Johnson, she learns about the history of Belfast - which was an even bigger city than Dublin at one stage, thanks to its booming economy, and which gave rise to a middle class of people that could really enjoy the high life. Produced by Cathy Moorehead.
11/23/201925 minutes, 59 seconds
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Before I Was An Orphan

Before I Was An Orphan tells the true story of local journalist Alex Kane. Despite not speaking a word until he was adopted from an orphanage at six years old, he now ironically makes his living as a political pundit and commentator. Alex has no memory of life prior to moving in with his adoptive mum Adelaide and her husband Sam, but suffers night terrors to this day about opening a door back into his childhood. His earliest memory is of a teddy bear given to him as a present by Adelaide and Sam, a bear that would transform his sense of trust and help sooth his trauma. Now a father himself, he is grappling with the decision as to whether or not he should open his social services file, which could reveal the truth about what happened to him before he was adopted. While he weighs up the decision, Alex visits the Public Record Office Of Northern Ireland to view information about the orphanage that he has no memory of - and as he sets off towards Portadown to discover if the orphanage still exists, he wonders what memories might come flooding back.
10/13/201928 minutes, 56 seconds
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The Silence and the Scream

Garrett Carr on the radical commune which broke the silence of rural Donegal in the 1970s
5/19/201926 minutes, 55 seconds
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Sticking Out

Joe Nawaz recalls growing up in Belfast with an Irish mother and a Pakistani father. His story sweeps from the partition of India in 1947 through to the Ulster Workers Strike of '74 and beyond. Teenage angst and struggles with identity caused Joe to shy away from his Muslim heritage and to rebel against his strict father. With humour and candour he remembers how he used to long to be Catholic and carefree - even changing his name to Joe Donnelly on a fake ID card. But maturity, fatherhood and time have allowed Joe to appreciate the difficulties his parents faced bringing up a mixed race family during the Troubles. Today Joe proudly states that you make your own identity.
4/27/201929 minutes, 33 seconds
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Being Ellen

The moving, challenging and groundbreaking story of Ellen Murray, leading light in Northern Ireland's transgender community. Immersed in her daily life, this programme records Ellen in her public and private worlds as she campaigns for her community and reflects on her own extraordinary life.
4/8/201829 minutes, 2 seconds
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When Home Hurts

It happens behind front doors in every village, town and city in Northern Ireland. Police respond to a domestic incident every 18 minutes and yet critics say the justice system doesn't take it seriously. It means pain, upheaval, and often lasting fear for the victims. In this revealing documentary, the BBC hears directly from women struggling to find safety and gets access to women's refuges to find out what life is like after violence at the hands of a partner.
3/25/201829 minutes, 30 seconds
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Picture Perfect Life

Many young people are living a lie on social media ; They’re posting flattering pictures, videos of nights out and location check ins - all in a bid to win approval from friends on facebook, Instagram and snapchat. But what is the impact of camouflaging reality behind this façade? Laura Trueman reports on the downside of living 24/7 online. Producer: Mary Kelly.
3/18/201827 minutes, 52 seconds
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Broke City

Londonderry is consistently at the bottom of the table on measurements like unemployment, incomes and investment. Why has the economic performance of Northern Ireland's second city been so bad? Is it the long legacy of partition and political discrimination? Or has there been failure of leadership in the city? What can be done to reverse the years of economic decline? And could Brexit provide a catalyst for radical new thinking? BBC News NI's business editor, John Campbell, investigates. Reporter: John Campbell Producer: Anna Quigley.
3/11/201828 minutes, 9 seconds
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Notes from the Camino, Part 2

Gerry Kelly completes his journey along the final stretch of the Camino de Santiago and beyond, to 'the end of the earth'. Exploring why so many people are drawn to walking the famous pilgrim network to the shrine of St James.
2/26/201830 minutes, 2 seconds
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Notes from the Camino, Part 1

Gerry Kelly begins his journey along the final stretch of the Camino de Santiago. From its ancient connections to Dublin, to its popular starting point in Sarria, Spain, Gerry explores why so many people are drawn to walking the famous pilgrim network to the shrine of St James.
2/18/201829 minutes, 17 seconds
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Man Mountain

Biceps that peak like mountains. Calves that can withstand the weight of the globe. A chest that can press a lorry in on single rep. Think Samson. Think Hercules. Think Arnold. The quest for muscle is a timeless pursuit, and in the modern era of neighbourhood gyms and protein shakes, the obsession has consumed those who chase it. Presenter, Marty Cullen, has built muscle since he was a teen, completely immersing himself in a world where men want to be mountains. There are sacrifices that need to be made in order to grow: money, time, in some cases even health. Whilst bearing the brunt of some of these sacrifices himself, Marty discovers the extremes that some local men push themselves to in order to become larger than life. It is the feeling of never being good enough that fuels bodybuilders. They endure an endless thirst for perfection. Their sanctuary is the gym, the feeling of their hand warming the cold iron and the release of adrenaline when they lift more than they have ever conceived.
2/11/201829 minutes
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On The Buses - From Swatragh to the World

Ballymena man Paul Clegg is at the heart of the world's music industry, keeping its life pumping through the veins of Europe via his company Crossland Tour Buses, based in Swatragh. In this feature, Frank Iero, Gogol Bordello and other luminaries from the touring circuit throughout the world, share their experiences of what life is like On the Buses.
2/4/201830 minutes, 36 seconds
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The Unforgettable Gig: When U2 Rocked The Kings Hall

June 24th 1987 was no ordinary day. Not if you were one of the thousands of U2 fans that streamed into Belfast's Kings Hall clutching tickets for a concert billed as one of the biggest and best the city would ever see. The release of the band's iconic album, The Joshua Tree, set Bono, Larry, Adam and the Edge on the path to super-stardom and, for one night, they brought their brand of rock n' roll soul to Northern Ireland. Thirty years on, Stories in Sound takes fans back to the Kings Hall to relive the songs, the spectacle of a leather waistcoat-wearing Bono on stage and asks why U2's commentary on the political situation here has endured for decades.
3/27/201728 minutes, 54 seconds
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The Icemen Cometh

When President Bill Clinton namechecked the Belfast Giants during a speech at the Odyssey Arena in December 2000, it gave Northern Ireland's newest sport the kind of publicity other teams could only dream of. In a city still divided by politics and religion, the Giants sought to redefine the parameters of sport with their 'no anthem, no emblems' policy and promoting tolerance and unity amongst its fan base. In The Icemen Cometh, reporter Nigel Ringland looks back at the team's highs and lows over the last 17 years and its transition from sporting novelty to sporting giant.
3/23/201728 minutes, 31 seconds
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All Children Together: The Story of Lagan College

1981 was the year of the hunger strikes, widespread rioting and tense Anglo-Irish relations. Yet against this backdrop of deep division, 28 Catholic and Protestant students walked through the doors of Northern Ireland's first integrated school. 'All Children Together: The Story of Lagan College' reunites past pupils, parents and teachers to talk about the early days of an education experiment many expected to fail. Reporter Karen Atkinson looks back at the hard-fought campaign to establish the school, the opposition it faced and how Lagan College sowed the seeds for the growth of integrated education in Northern Ireland.
3/12/201729 minutes, 15 seconds
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Crystal, Clay and Cloth - The Artisans of East Tyrone

In Christmas 2015 Jimmy Devlin was shown a DVD of his uncle hand-making clay pipes and chimneys in 'Kelly's Yard', Coalisland. Unaware of what this job as a labourer entailed, it sparked a journey to find out more about his work and the craft and skills of others employed in the industries of crystal, clay and cloth in late 20th-century east Tyrone. With expertise honed over decades, the artistry was evident in produce shipped all over the world.
2/26/201730 minutes, 58 seconds
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A Week in the Life of My Granny

At 18 Catherine Quinn, left Ireland and emigrated to London where she married and brought up her family. However, she always had one eye fixed on home, and after nearly three decades working in London she invested in a farm and retired back home to Ireland. Now 75, she has taken active retirement to a new level, running the 'Tory Hill Herefords' a herd of pedigree cattle by herself and keeping horses, hens and geese. Her grand-daughter Hannah spends one of the most important week's of the year with her, as Catherine prepares for her annual cattle sale and TB herd test. Producer: Hannah Quinn-Mulligan
2/19/201729 minutes, 29 seconds
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Split the Sap

Marty Cullen has grown up within the Armagh sport of bullets since he could walk. It is a world full of burly men, headstrong champions and unhappy wives. The yarns and tales of this pastime inspires him to pen a song bearing the dirt, grit and spit of a sport that sparks iron and tar. Bullets is a traditional Irish sport played primarily in the counties Armagh and Cork. The game is formally known as 'road bowls' and involves two competitors hurling a 28-ounce metal cannon ball or 'bullet' down a country road. Whoever crosses the finish line in the least amount of shots wins the match, or 'score' as it's called locally. The Armagh style involves a mighty jump and a swift under arm jerk to propel the bullet forwards. The cork men 'hynch' the bullet, this involves a full rotation of the arm over the head. Marty comes from a devoted family of bullet throwers, they make up one of the stronghold bullet throwing families in Armagh. He has won one of the highest honours in the game, an All-Ireland title. Now that he has grown and became a vibrant member of the traditional singing scene, Marty wants to write a song for the men he spent his childhood following along the roads. Producer: Marty Cullen Final Recording: 'Big Bridie the Bowler' Vocals: Eileen McKee, Marty Cullen. Flute: Marty Meehan Guitar: Paul Meehan.
2/12/201729 minutes, 39 seconds
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John Toal meets former death-row inmates Sunny Jacobs and Peter Pringle at the retreat they have set up in rural Ireland to offer restorative treatment to other victims of wrongful conviction in order to help them back to a normal life. Peter Pringle was sentenced to be hanged in Ireland in 1980. Sonia 'Sunny' Jacobs was sentenced to the electric chair in the United States in 1976. Sunny was accused of killing two police officers at a highway service area in Florida. Peter was accused of killing two police officers in rural Ireland during a botched bank robbery. Both had their sentences commuted to life and were later exonerated of their crimes. Peter and Sunny spent over 15 years each in prison for crimes they didn't commit. After their release, life in the outside world was tough. They struggled to re-integrate into society. Practical things like crossing roads, opening doors or even being touched joined a long list of everyday challenges. Neither could escape the feeling that they had re-joined a society that had moved on without them. In 1998 Peter heard Sunny give a talk about her death-row experience. Traumatised by her story and shocked by how similar their experiences were, Peter offered to drive Sunny to her next speaking engagement and their relationship grew from there. Now married, Peter and Sunny run the Sunny Centre in rural Connemara, a retreat for people from around the world who have been wrongfully convicted and who are trying to retrace a path back into normal life. For this programme, John Toal travels to the depths of the Irish countryside to hear Sunny and Peter's story. He hears how a combination of yoga, meditation, healthy food and the freedom to share their experiences with people who have been through similar trauma can assist those exonerated of dreadful crimes on their path back to normality ...and whether or not an exoneree can ever truly feel free again. Producer: Jennifer Goggin.
1/30/201727 minutes, 41 seconds
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Songs for the Dead

Marie-Louise Muir unpicks the mystery of keening for the dead in Ireland.
1/22/201727 minutes, 54 seconds
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Ian Sansom and the Little People

Leprechauns, sprites, imps and elves - Ian Sansom is searching for the diminutive other.
1/15/201727 minutes, 56 seconds
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Don't Go Far

The story of two young Dublin boys who, in August 1985, took a Dart ride that went several thousand miles beyond their stop.
12/13/201627 minutes, 51 seconds
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Retreat from the Sea

Jenny Witt investigates the idea of a 'planned retreat' inland, which some scientists now believe is the best option in the face of rising sea levels around Northern Ireland.
12/13/201628 minutes, 55 seconds
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Wild in the Country

Julian Fowler investigates the plight of Northern Ireland's endangered creatures and the efforts to protect them in the face of opposition.
12/13/201629 minutes, 11 seconds
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We Will Arise and Go Now

Marie-Louise Muir arises and goes with three Irish poets to the Lake Isle of Innisfree in County Sligo, a location made famous by WB Yeats' iconic poem.
12/13/201627 minutes, 53 seconds
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Water of Life

This is the story of Irish whiskey. In this programme Lynette Fay goes in search of the history of liquid gold and learns the process of whiskey production at the Old Bushmills Distillery.
12/13/201629 minutes, 3 seconds
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War Beneath The Waves

Jenny Witt tells the story of the sinking of the Lusitania 100 years ago, which marked a terrifying new phase of the First World War.
12/13/201629 minutes, 36 seconds
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Ulster's Forgotten Darling

Fionola Meredith goes in search of writer-scholar Helen Waddell, once known as 'Ulster's Darling', who sold millions of books in the 1920s and '30s but who died forgotten in 1965.
12/13/201627 minutes, 47 seconds
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Tiger Feet

Twenty years after it stole the show at the Eurovision Song Contest, Ryan Tubridy explores the Riverdance phenomenon, which still plays to full houses around the world.
12/13/201654 minutes, 41 seconds
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The New Group

Writer and broadcaster Ian Sansom explores Belfast's burgeoning poetry scene and asks why the city boasts so many poets.
12/13/201627 minutes, 47 seconds
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The Ceasefire Generation

Professor Geoffrey Beattie learns how Northern Irish 18-year-olds feel about their country's past and future. Is the Good Friday Generation doomed to carry the baggage of the past?
12/13/201627 minutes, 46 seconds
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Tea & Cappuccino

Anne Marie McAleese meets the Italian families whose ancestors left the village of Casalattico to build a new life in Northern Ireland.
12/13/201629 minutes, 36 seconds
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Springtown Baby

Marie-Louise Muir tells the story of a little boy called Thomas and two women - Hollywood superstar Jane Russell and Hannah McDermott from Derry's Springtown camp - which became an international scandal in the early 1950s, reverberating through the law courts of London and the boulevards of Beverly Hills.
12/13/201629 minutes, 17 seconds
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Speculating the Emerald Isle

Oil speculators are on the scene in the four corners of Ireland. Could an oil bonanza be the answer to the nation's economic problems? BBC Ireland reporter Andy Martin investigates.
12/13/201627 minutes, 15 seconds
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Orangemen on the Equator

Founded 220 years ago, the Orange Order is a Protestant organisation which, its members say, stands for civil liberties, fraternity and faith. However in the divided society of Northern Ireland it is rarely out of the news. Many Irish Nationalists and Republicans view it as an anti-Catholic, triumphalist organisation and disputes over some contentious Orange parades have generated headlines around the world. What is less well known is that in a tropical land three thousand miles away, there are Orange lodges made up of African men and women. Members of the Orange Order in Ghana share the same emblems and follow the same rituals as their brethren in Northern Ireland. While there may not be sectarian conflict in their homeland, the Orangemen on the Equator feel they too are misrepresented and misunderstood. Journalist Chris Page travels to West Africa to find out how the Orange Order took root there. Comparing the African brand of Orangeism to that found in his native Northern Ireland, he peers into the soul of an organisation which has been characterised by its ability to survive. While members in Ulster say they have been demonised by Irish Nationalists opposed to their Unionism, their brethren in Ghana describe their challenges in the face of prejudice from churches and wider society. From post-colonial Ghana to post-conflict Northern Ireland, Chris asks what the true essence of this often controversial fraternity really is - and what these two contrasting branches of the Orange Order can learn from each other as they consider their futures.
12/13/201628 minutes, 2 seconds
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Nowhere to Go

Chris Page investigates the issues faced by asylum seekers who arrive in Belfast and how their plight affects and reflects society.
12/13/201625 minutes, 35 seconds
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Notes from a Northern Irish Childhood

Amidst the violence and bloody conflict of the early 1970s, youth orchestras sprang up across Northern Ireland. Aged seven, Marie-Louise Muir took a bus to orchestra practice every Saturday morning, carrying her cello across a landscape marred by bomb blasts, riots and civil unrest. While the violence raged, she met children from other religious backgrounds for the first time. She formed friendships and a love of music that would endure long after the sound of gunfire had faded. But life moved on for Marie Louise. Her cello was set aside in her attic where it languished for 25 years. Even her own children have never heard her play. Now Marie-Louise dusts down her cello and allows it to reverberate with memories of a troubled but life-changing period. For Marie-Louise Muir, this is a personal and emotionally charged journey, taking her back to a time when her cello, the orchestra and music provided protection, friendship and hope.
12/13/201627 minutes, 57 seconds
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My Tall Ship Adventure

In the Tall Ship Races 2015, Cathy Moorehead set sail on the Sorlandet from Belfast to Alesund in Norway. Gaining 24 hour access to all of the day-to-day goings on, we learn about life on board...
12/13/201629 minutes, 7 seconds
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Fighting to Stay the Same

Andy Martin examines the current state of loyalism in Northern Ireland.
12/13/201627 minutes, 55 seconds
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Katikati - The Ulster Colony Down Under

Mark Thompson recounts the story of the Ulster Scots pioneers who travelled to New Zealand in the 1870s to start a new life.
12/13/201625 minutes, 35 seconds
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Invisible Belfast

When a visitor to Belfast discovers a mysterious note in a copy of Ciaran Carson's novel The Star Factory, she finds herself on a labyrinthine journey through the city and prose.
12/13/201627 minutes, 57 seconds
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Fifty Tails of Grey

A look at red squirrels and the threat they face from the introduction of the grey squirrel into their habitat. Could the elusive pine marten help save them?
12/13/201629 minutes, 39 seconds
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Father of the Big Bang

William Crawley tells the story of Georges Lemaitre, the Catholic priest who originated the Big Bang theory.
12/13/201627 minutes, 31 seconds
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Derry to Mostar and the Conquest of Happiness

Marie-Louise Muir follows a play co-produced in Northern Ireland and Bosnia as it travels from Derry-Londonderry to Mostar, asking what use is art in traumatic situations?
12/13/201628 minutes, 7 seconds
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Derry Taxi Tales

Award-winning documentary-maker Rob Mulhern pays a visit to Londonderry, using the city's taxi drivers as his guide.
12/13/201628 minutes, 15 seconds
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Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

Kevin Magee investigates the case of an east Belfast man jailed for life in 2007 who for nine years has protested his innocence regarding the brutal murder.
12/13/201630 minutes, 6 seconds
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Back Down the River

As teenage Mods in 1980s Lurgan, Mark and Boyd were best mates. In their twenties they canoed, hiked and climbed their way round Ireland and beyond, but as life moved on, they slowly grew apart. Now, as they approach their 50th birthdays, they set out on a canoe trip they’ve always wanted to take, from Lough Neagh to the Atlantic ocean along the tranquil waters of the Lower Bann. As they meet fishermen, lock keepers, otters and kingfishers, they reflect on the different paths their lives have taken, and whether or not they’ve found happiness. Produced by Conor McKay
12/13/201629 minutes, 16 seconds
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The Graveyard Shift

There was a time when the dead in our cemeteries did not rest in peace and the demand for bodies for medical research resulted in grave robbers starting a new grisly industry - the resurrection of the dead. Historian Dr David Hume investigates this dreadful upsurge in the exhuming of the dead by the ruthless resurrection men. There was robbery, violence and murder on The Graveyard Shift.
10/30/201629 minutes, 22 seconds
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Introducing Love Letters from the Front

As the epic Radio Ulster series reaches a close, Maggie Cronin presents another chance to hear in full the compelling true WW1 love story of English soldier Eric Appleby, and his Irish sweetheart Phyllis Kelly.
10/23/201629 minutes, 51 seconds
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Losing the Battle

The conflict in Afghanistan against the Taliban was a bloody war. Hundreds of soldiers were killed and thousands injured. Kevin Sharkey discovers that many soldiers have struggled with mental health problems since returning home to Northern Ireland. He speaks to veterans suffering with PTSD and how it has led many to try and take their own lives.
10/16/201629 minutes, 14 seconds
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Transgender Teens - Born in the Wrong Body

The transgender debate isn't confined to the US, it's coming to classrooms across Northern Ireland. This documentary reveals that in the last two years 134 young people under the age of 18 have sought help for gender identity issues. Robbie Meredith investigates.
10/9/201628 minutes, 45 seconds
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Brexit Streets: Belfast

Theresa May says 'Brexit means Brexit', but how do people in Belfast now feel about the biggest decision the UK has made in 40 years? Who better to ask than the people who live and work on the city's streets named after European capitals? Producer: Johnny Caldwell.
10/2/201628 minutes, 45 seconds
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If Truth Be Told

Could the tradition of storytelling play a part in helping Ireland move away from its troubled past towards a brighter future?
9/25/201629 minutes, 17 seconds
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A Very Noble Breed

Irish red and white setters were once on the verge of extinction. We look at one man's role in their survival, and explore the current outcross programme using red setters.
9/18/201629 minutes, 32 seconds
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My Kingdom for a Horse

Every thoroughbred racehorse can trace their pedigree back to just three Arab stallions, with the first stallion, the Byerley Turk, actually surviving war at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. So how from such a relatively small gene pool can you distinguish who is going to make a champion racehorse? Join Hannah Quinn Mulligan on her quest to find the perfect racehorse, where she'll meet Grand National trainers and risk taking punters, not to mention some very, very expensive racehorses.
9/11/201629 minutes, 45 seconds
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The Secret Life of Spiders

Bug mad Paul Moore goes in search of the eight-legged arachnids that scuttle around our homes and weave webs in our gardens at this time of year.
9/4/201629 minutes, 9 seconds
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A Poundful of Blues

Belfast has changed a lot over recent years. People leave and move on, businesses both create and follow public tastes and fashions and the City evolves as each generation makes its mark. The music scene is no exception. Belfast's Maritime Hotel is, quite rightly, celebrated as the labour ward for Rn'B in the early 1960s and a generation later the Harp Bar became synonymous with Punk. What happened during the years in between? A Poundful of Blues tells the story of one of the most iconic music clubs in Belfast, The Pound. The Pound was in Townhall Street just opposite Oxford Street Bus Station and it played host to some of the greatest Rock and Blues musicians that Belfast has ever produced. The Saturday afternoon sessions there in the 1970s have become legendary. Declan Forde, then a student teacher from Omagh, was often in the audience and in the documentary he retraces the path to The Pound and tells it's story through interviews with many of the musicians who played there. With the hindsight of forty years both the presenter and the interviewees reflect on the influence The Pound has had on their lives. Luckily there are some archive recordings and with these as a soundtrack the glory days of The Pound are brought vividly back to life.
8/28/201630 minutes, 2 seconds
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Ireland: Looking Beyond the Border

BBC Ireland Correspondent Chris Page examines the state of play between Irish nationalism and unionism 100 years after the Easter Rising - the key event in Republican history.
5/9/201627 minutes, 43 seconds
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An Accident Waiting to Happen

John Bennett investigates the story of the 1945 Ballymacarrett railway disaster and learns how a series of errors and poor decisions led to the worst accident on Ireland’s railways since 1889.
2/28/201629 minutes, 41 seconds
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Roads Less Travelled

Brian Kernohan travels to the Dark Hedges to ask why we make the choices we do in life. He meets Dawn Purvis at a photoshoot and talks to her about her journey from young mum, to politician and on to the public face of the Marie Stopes Clinic. He also explores different paths others have chosen to take with victims campaigner Raymond McCord, Patrick Cregg from the Woodland Trust and people who live and work near the Dark Hedges.
2/16/201628 minutes, 54 seconds
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Jocelyn and the Radio Star

Marie-Louise Muir meets Jocelyn Bell Burnell, famous for making one of the most significant astronomical discoveries of the 20th century.
2/7/201629 minutes, 23 seconds
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Ten Pound Pom Mum

Classical guitarist Craig Ogden journeys to Northern Ireland to retrace his mother's childhood before she immigrated to Australia in 1954 as a Ten Pound Pom.
12/13/201529 minutes, 33 seconds
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The Loudest House on the Street

As a daughter of two profoundly deaf parents, noise censorship did not exist in Cathy Moorehead's home. She was the go-between for silence and sound, and acted as her parent's radio to the world. In this story, she shares her upbringing and explores what life is like for deaf people in Ireland.
12/6/201529 minutes, 26 seconds
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For most of his life, 26-year-old Proinsias O'Coinn, has thought that there's something wrong with him. Ever since he was a teenager he's been trying to find a song, a film, a poem or any piece of art that could make him cry. When friends would be moved to tears by a weepy film or a sad song, Proinsias would look on in envy, wishing it could have the same effect on him. You see in his head, being able to cry at a piece of art would allow him to appreciate and engage with it like everyone else. He's come close on a number of occasions. Like when Jean Grey kills Professor X in X-Men 3 or when listening to the Adele song 'One and Only'. But it's the sheer joy at these moments; that this could be it, this could be the time he's finally able to cry, that stops the tears from coming. It's like the sneeze that comes tantalisingly close but just never happens. So Proinsias is on a mission to find a piece of art that has the power to make him cry. But as he embarks on this very personal journey, he finds himself facing up to far bigger questions about himself and who he is. Producer: Conor Garrett.
12/6/201527 minutes, 51 seconds
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Phillip Gallagher follows traveller and evangelical preacher, John Purcell, as he spreads the gospel, tries to heal the sick and sell a few caravans along the way.
4/26/201529 minutes, 58 seconds
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Churchill's Grave

William Crawley travels to Winston Churchill's final resting place in Bladon, Oxfordshire, to mark the fiftieth anniversary of his death in January 1965.
4/19/201527 minutes, 44 seconds
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A Diamond in the Rough

Football fan Rigsy goes on the trail of Belfast footballer Jimmy Hasty, who made European Cup history with Dundalk FC and was League of Ireland top scorer.
4/12/201529 minutes, 45 seconds
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Craigavon: The New City

Historian Eamon Phoenix explores the fifty-year history of Craigavon, meeting some of the key people behind the original plans.
4/5/201529 minutes, 3 seconds
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Culchie and Proud

Exploring the accents, dialects, characteristics and customs that make the world of the Culchie unique.
3/29/201529 minutes, 40 seconds
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Keeping the Faith

Declining numbers of Catholics are joining the priesthood. Elaine McGee asks if allowing priests to marry could be a solution.
3/23/201529 minutes, 30 seconds
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The Lady Computer of Strabane

Anne-Marie McAleese goes in search of pioneering astronomer and solar photographer Annie Maunder.
3/22/201529 minutes, 11 seconds
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The Death of a Dream Team

The untold story of Ballyhackamore GAA, east Belfast's Gaelic football club, which survived for just a few seasons in the late 1960s. With Kevin Magee.
3/9/201529 minutes, 44 seconds
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Not Dad's Army - Northern Ireland's Home Guard

Chris Capper tells the story of the Ulster Home Guard, including why Catholics were deeply suspicious of it and did not join up.
3/1/201529 minutes, 28 seconds
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The Roots of Rave

In the early 1990s dance music roared out of the underground and changed youth culture forever. In Belfast the biggest, loudest and most notorious raves took place at the Ulster Hall. Who was behind them, why did they come to end and what is their legacy?
2/23/201527 minutes, 50 seconds
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Vice Girl or Victim?

Lynne sells sex in Belfast to pay off debts to those who got her into the country. Will new legislation help the girls recruited into this industry? Andy Pag reports.
2/20/201529 minutes, 51 seconds
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Lisdoonvarna: Ireland's Love Capital

Alison Finch joins thousands of hopefuls from across the world at the 2012 Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival in Co Clare.
12/7/201427 minutes, 53 seconds
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Clearing the Air

Ten years ago, Ireland became the first country in the world to ban smoking in the workplace. On 29 March 2004, the air cleared in Ireland's bars, restaurants and other buildings - and there was hardly any backlash. The pub-loving nation became the model for a global health revolution. In the decade since, countries across the world have passed smoke-free laws of their own. In this programme, the BBC's former Ireland Correspondent Denis Murray looks at the impact of this type of anti-smoking legislation across Europe - and considers the future of tobacco. Denis's journey begins in Dublin, where he recalls how radical a move the smoking ban was at the time. His old haunt, Mulligan's bar, used to be memorable for its blue, reeking fug. And the success of the ban in Ireland made international news - leading other countries to follow suit. So Denis travels to two very contrasting cities to compare attitudes to smoking ten years on. The Czech Republic has the most liberal smoking laws in the European Union. In Prague, going to a bar can feel like stepping back in time - many of them permit smoking. France, so long synonymous with romantic movies featuring characters speaking to each other through clouds of smoke, has followed Ireland's lead and banned smoking in public places. Paris is a city with a fascinating relationship with tobacco - where the debate is often about philosophy as much as science. In a journey across three countries, with a cast list of doctors, politicians and businesspeople - with the odd musician and philosopher thrown in - "Clearing the Air" poses and answers many questions about the effect which smoke-free laws are having on health and society. Producer: Chris Page.
11/23/201427 minutes, 34 seconds
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Piers the Plowman Revisited

It's one of the strangest, most complex and frustrating works in Middle English, so when writer Ian Sansom is tasked with coming up with a radio adaptation of William Langland's medieval dream poem 'Piers the Plowman', it presents a bit of a challenge. His producer's solution? To lock Ian away in a Curfew Tower in the Glens of Antrim and challenge him to come up with his adaptation over the course of a weekend, after which time he'll be expected to put on a performance. The 14th century poem - part theological allegory, part social satire - may have eluded scholars for centuries but Ian has help at hand. Aside from three poetry students from Queen's University, renowned medievalist Dr Stephen Kelly will be there to guide him on his quest for salvation. As Ian grapples with the text written in alliterative long lines and framed in a series of dream visions, adaptation expert Brian Sibley will be just a phone call away. Then there's the members of Belfast outfit The Wireless Mystery Theatre who'll be dropping by to bring music and their own distinctive style to Ian's performance. Who knows, it could turn out to be a dream...or it could be a nightmare. Producer: Conor Garrett Sound Design: Jason Martin.
11/16/201426 minutes, 59 seconds
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Dinner at Annaghmakerrig

Marie-Louise Muir meets Ireland's artists at the former ancestral home of theatre impresario Sir Tyrone Guthrie. Before his death in 1971, giant of world theatre and pioneer of the open stage, Sir Tyrone Guthrie, bequeathed his ancestral home at Annaghmakerrig, County Monaghan, to the Irish State as a residential workplace and retreat for artists. Today 'The Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig' continues to function as a vital cog within the creative landscape of writers, composers, painters and dancers from Northern Ireland, the Irish Republic and beyond. It's a flagship example of cross-border co-operation, dependent on joint funding from Arts Councils on both sides of the Irish border and could be seen as a barometer of the nation's cultural health overall. Crucially, Guthrie stated in his will that a condition of any residency at Annaghmakerrig would be that guests sit together for dinner each evening in the dining room of this historic house set among the rolling hills of the Irish countryside. Now arts journalist and broadcaster, Marie-Louise Muir, is joined for 'Dinner At Annaghmakerrig' by Irish composer Neil Martin, Belfast born visual artist Rita Duffy and former Creative Director of Dublin's Abbey theatre, Christopher Fitzsimon. Together, over fine food and against a backdrop of archival recordings of the great man himself, they share their perspectives on Guthrie's gift and legacy and explain what they believe to be the role of the arts and the artist in Irish society today. Producer: Conor Garrett.
11/9/201427 minutes, 43 seconds
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Cold Water California

Mark Patterson explores how surfing is shaping Ireland's coastal communities north and south of the border.
11/3/201427 minutes, 51 seconds