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RTÉ New Season Celebrates Irish Culture, Creativity and Talent

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This upcoming season from RTÉ celebrates Irish culture, creativity and Irish talent, with Irish drama, unique Irish stories, and Irish talent taking centre stage.

Irish talent will be to the fore with over 40 hours of new Irish drama including series 2 of internationally acclaimed Kin, as well as brand-new series North Sea Connection, SisterS, The Dry, Clean Sweep, and the return of Smother.

Rising stars and new talent will hit screens in new comedy No Worries if Not, and a new series of Storyland aimed at developing new writing and directing talent will bring audiences new perspectives in four short dramas.

A range of brand-new documentaries and series will share unique Irish stories exploring Irish life and culture, from our rich history to the stories that matter today, and a continued increase in Irish language output.

A comprehensive range of local, national and international free-to-air sport will showcase our national teams, national games and athletes in action, while our youngest citizens can look forward to an innovative range of original Irish content on topics as diverse as promoting mental health to learning sign language, with world-class Irish animation and original Irish drama.

Drama
RTÉ continues to be the home of quality Irish drama with over 40 hours of brand-new Irish drama this new season. From dark comedies and family dramas to Nordic-Irish thrillers, RTÉ is working with a number of national and international partners to deliver more drama to Irish audiences, to nurture new Irish talent and showcase it on international screens.

The Kinsella clan make an eagerly anticipated return for a second series of the internationally acclaimed Kin starring Claire Dunne, Aidan Gillen, and Charlie Cox, with production currently underway in Dublin. The new season will see the Kinsellas as top dogs in Dublin, with killing Eamon Cunningham having created as many problems as it solved. New comedy-drama The Dry, set in Dublin, written by Nancy Harris, and starring Roisin Gallagher, Moe Dunford, and Oscar-nominee Ciaran Hinds, tells a sometimes poignant and often hilarious tale of familial values and the lure of returning home. North Sea Connection is a contemporary thriller set within an isolated and traditional rural Irish fishing community in Connemara, starring Lydia McGuinness, Sinead Cusack, Kerr Logan and Alida Morberg.

New thriller Clean Sweep sees Charlene McKenna star in the lead role as a housewife married to a Garda detective who kills her former partner in crime when he threatens to expose her dark past. Smother with Dervla Kirwan is back for a third series set against the stunning vistas of county Clare, while new series SisterS is a dark comedy-drama about two women who discover they are half-sisters and embark on a road trip across Ireland. Ireland’s favourite drama Fair City continues to entertain viewers four nights a week.

RTÉ Player will feature plenty of fresh box sets of top drama titles including Irish drama Dublin Murders. Viewers can also enjoy a range of Irish drama such as, Smother, Love/Hate, The South Westerlies, Pure Mule, Striking Out and Acceptable Risk.

This year Storyland comes to RTÉ television for the first time with brand-new single dramas. Contemporary whodunnit Storyland: Balor Hall by Rioghnach Ni Grioghair, an imaginative story about substance abuse and self-harm in Storyland:Mustard by Eva O’Connor, and Storyland:Every Five Miles by Sinead Collop, which tells a powerful story about people trafficking in Ireland. There were an unprecedented number of Storyland applications this year, with RTÉ working with Screen Ireland in partnerships and collaborations to grow the Irish drama sector together.

RTÉ Radio 1 continues to support the development and discovery of writing talent through Drama on One which this year includes Bloody Writers by Charlie McCarthy, and Primroses le Colm Mac Con Iomaire.

Factual
RTÉ’s factual series and documentaries this season will tell unique Irish stories documenting how we as nation now live, have lived in the past, and will live into the future, celebrating our culture and heritage and chronicling our ever changing society across all platforms.

The War at Home captures the experiences and emotions of Ukrainians travelling to Ireland and the Irish response to the crisis, while a DIY SOS Ukraine Special features Baz Ashmawy and his team of volunteers as they work against the clock to provide temporary housing for families fleeing the war-torn country.


Stardust examines the Stardust disaster in the context of fresh evidence being presented to the inquest. Arthur Gourounlian and Brian Dowling document their surrogacy journey in Brian and Arthur’s Very Modern Family.Saipan-Rebel Without a Ball asks how far the Irish team could have gone had Roy Keane stayed, while hurling stalwart Davy Fitz puts another group of teenagers through the mill for the greater good in Davy’s Toughest Team.

Our natural history and landscapes are explored as underwater cameraman Ken O’Sullivan delves into the North Atlantic, while The Island is a three-part series celebrating our natural histories and presented by Liz Bonnin.

Build Your Own is a new series following the trials and tribulations of homeowners from across Ireland, while Maggie Smith is back with more Cheap Irish HomesRoom to Improve returns, and Dermot Bannon travels to Spain and Scotland for more Dermot Bannon’s Incredible Homes. In Takeaway Titans, Carl Mullan and James Kavanagh are on the hunt for Ireland’s greatest chipper.

As the Decade of Centenaries comes to a close, this season also contains a diverse array of specialist content on the Irish Civil War and revolutionary Ireland available across television, radio and online. Highlights include The Irish Civil War, a three-part documentary series narrated by Brendan Gleeson and written and directed by Ruán Magan. Two Tribes presented by Sean O’Rourke follows the diverging paths taken by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael in the post-civil war landscape. In Communism, Sex, and All That Jazz, Katie Hannon delves into the national archives to discover what we as a nation did once we achieved Statehood. A Deal with the Devil sees Michael Portillo tell the story of the Civil War from the perspective of the British government.

Entertainment, Music & Comedy
This new season will also deliver a fresh slate of entertainment, music and comedy that brings us together and celebrates our talent.

The brand-new comedy series No Worries if Not! brings a host of viral comedy stars including Justine Stafford, Emma Doran, and Michael Fry to RTÉ2. The Ultimate Irish Playlist, presented by 2FM’s Tracy Clifford, will count down the songs that define Irish music and culture as voted on by over 100,000 2FM listeners. New genre-bending show Mise FRESHIN’ will creatively combine various strands of Irish music, while Season 2 of The 2 Johnnies Do America takes the lads to Nashville and the home of country music. In Réaltaí na Gaeltachta, 5 well-known Irish people go back to the Gaeltacht to relive bunk beds, curfews and the no Béarla rule.

RTÉ continues to bring the country together on Friday nights for the very best in live entertainment, music and chat with the return of The Late Late Show for its 61st season, with Ryan Tubridy at the helm. The Tommy Tiernan Show and Angela Scanlon’s Ask Me Anything will provide Saturday night entertainment as winter draws in. Dancing with the Stars series 6 will see a new line-up of brave soldiers take to the dancefloor in early 2023, and as Nicky Byrne heads on tour with Westlife, RTÉ will be announcing a brand-new co-presenter. Ireland’s Fittest Family returns with a brand-new coach in the form of current Dancing with the Stars champ Nina Carberry. Will Nina’s winning streak continue? Competitive streaks are sure to present themselves inwith Ultimate Hell Week: The Professionals putting a new line-up of well-known recruits through their paces, and there are still plenty of singletons looking for love in the ever-popular First Dates Ireland.

Callan’s Kicks returns for a 20th series on RTÉ Radio 1, as Ireland heads for blackouts and big bills in the ‘post-Garth Brooks Boom’ and to close 2022 Callan Kicks the Year with his annual TV news review.

Sport
The new season on RTÉ will also deliver a comprehensive range of local, national and international sport live and free-to-air. All 64 games from the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar will be live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player. In total RTÉ will have almost 200 hours of coverage culminating in the FIFA World Cup Final on December 18 and RTÉ’s unrivalled team of presenters, panellists and commentators will bring Irish viewers every minute live.

As the nation winds-down from the excitement and thrills of the GAA Championships, RTÉ will have live AIB GAA Club Championship action throughout the autumn, while the Allianz National Leagues return in the new year, ensuring GAA is served to audiences end to end throughout the year.

The second season of the United Rugby Championship kicks-off on the weekend of September 16 in partnership with TG4, while The Six Nations returns in early February in partnership Virgin Media.

The Republic of Ireland Men’s, Women’s and U21 soccer teams will all play crucial games live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player in the coming months. The Men play Armenia and Scotland in The UEFA Nations League; the Women play Finland and Slovakia in September with a place in a FIFA World Cup 2023 play-off at stake; also in September the Men’s U21s face Israel in a play-off with a place at the 2023 UEFA European Under-21s Championship up for grabs.

The Men’s and Women’s FAI Cup Finals will be live on RTÉ2 in November. Racing continues including the winter highlight – the Leopardstown Christmas Festival. RTÉ2 will show the Men’s and Women’s Rugby 7s World Cup Finals live from Cape Town in South Africa from 9-11 September.

RTÉ Radio will have live commentary, reports, features and results all through the new season on RTÉ Radio 1’s Saturday Sport and Sunday Sport and on RTÉ 2FM’s Game On with RTÉ Sport online keeping fans up-to-speed on all the latest sports news, views and features.

Arts and Culture
The upcoming season in Arts and Culture offers a vibrant mix of content featuring performances, creative collaborations and documentaries that celebrate our artists and explore our rich culture.

RTÉ’s centrepiece on Culture Night 2022 will be an hour-long live broadcast from Lough Borra featuring the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and special guests, which will be broadcast on RTÉ One. A Note for Nature, will explore the country’s most fragile landscapes through music  and spoken word, showcasing the wildlife that has managed to survive in these locations- featuring RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Christy Moore, Kíla, Clare Sands & Susan O’Neill, Alannah Thornburgh, Niamh Regan, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Iarla Ó Lionáird, This is How We Fly, Myles O’Reilly & Wilzee and Tolü Makay.

Tommy Tiernan’s Epic West takes a contemplative, personal look at the west of Ireland – its culture and landscape, and in Untameable, award-winning author Colm Tóibín seeks to re-open the bog-inspired works of Heaney and other artists. 100 years on from the formation of the Irish State’, we look back at our first decade as a new state, with Lady Gregory: Ireland’s First Social Influencer, an around Ireland road trip with Miriam Margolyes and Lynn Ruane and Francis Bacon: The Outsider, a new diary revealing an unrecorded chapter in the legendary painter’s life presented by U2’s Adam Clayton. RTÉ One will also broadcast a programme featuring the six books and authors shortlisted for the An Post Irish Book of the Year award 2022.

Irish Language
RTÉ continues to grow the range of its Irish Language offering, with an exciting new season of documentaries and series as Gaeilge for peak-time audiences on RTÉ One. Scannal this season examines topics including the unsolved case of the shooting of Brian Stack, and the Hillsborough disaster, An Ré Réabhlóide is a landmark documentary, commissioned as part of the Decade of Centenaries, in which GAA legend Gráinne McElwain explores how the GAA helped to bridge, and sometimes heal, the bitter divisions created by the Civil War 100 years ago. In Ceol na nGael, a new documentary to mark the 50th anniversary of Raidió na Gaeltachta, Altan’s Mairéad Ní Mhaoinigh explores the role the station has played in the story of modern traditional music in Ireland.

A new Irish-language documentary series, Mealladh na Mara, explores ordinary people’s extraordinary relationships with the sea. In Madraí, a crack team of vets and animal behavioural specialists help stressed-out owners sort out their problem pooches.

Young Peoples’ programmes on RTÉjr and RTÉ2 RTÉjr solidifies its place as the home of Irish animation with brand new series such as Ray of Sunshine, Atom Town, Happy the Hoglet, Kiva Can do, Fia’s Fairies & Wee Littles in a stellar line-up of home-grown animation.  Don’t miss out on World Mental Health Day, October 10th, where we launch our series of 5 animated shorts based on the theme of mental health awareness for kids of all ages. Launching on National Lámh day, the 19th October, our new live action series Dizzy Deliveries featuring Joe the Delivery man and Ozzy his robot side-kick is RTÉ’s first ever Lámh series for children. Lámh is a manual sign language used by kids and adults with intellectual disability and communication needs in Ireland.

News and Current Affairs
The most recent Reuters Digital News Report (Ireland) 2021 revealed RTÉ as the most trusted news source for Irish consumers, with 78% of respondents saying they trusted the service. This season, RTÉ will continue to deliver trusted news, and to challenge on behalf of our audience in RTÉ’s ongoing current affairs and investigative work. RTÉ News has stepped up its commitment to trusted journalism and has become certified with the global Journalism Trust Initiative Mark. Developed by Reporters Without Borders, it aims to promote trustworthy journalism and news sources, with the process including an external audit involving an independent evaluation by a licensed certification body.This season, RTÉ Investigates will also reveal several new in-depth documentaries and reports.

RTÉ One will be home to brand new eight-part current affairs panel series Monday Night Live this autumn, dealing with the major issues affecting people right across the country, including the cost-of-living crisis, the housing shortage, childcare, and climate change; with more details announced this September.

Dee Forbes, Director General, RTÉ, said: “Today, RTÉ’s new season launch is a celebration of Irish culture, Irish stories,  and Irish creativity, while reflecting our vital role  in creating a shared space for important discussion and debate, for supporting Irish talent, for celebration, for telling national stories and marking national moments. With 40 hours of original Irish drama, this is RTÉ’s biggest drama slate to date and brings exciting new talent to our screens; live broadcasting remains central to our schedules and this is really to the fore in our selection of top class free-to-air live sport showcasing our national teams, national games and our athletes, and including all 64 games from the FIFA World Cup 2022; our strong offering of factual programmes tells uniquely Irish stories which consider many facets of Irish life and culture, while our schedule of arts and culture programming connects audiences with some of the great artists and musicians we have here in Ireland.

Dee Forbes continued, “Anchoring our daily live schedules on television, radio and online we have trusted news and current affairs, analysis and discussion, as well as ground-breaking investigative and specialist reporting, which, as we proved during the pandemic, are RTÉ’s key contribution to the democratic functioning of Irish society and the increasingly important fight against misinformation and disinformation.  On top of that we also have world class natural history, original Irish content dedicated to our younger audiences, new series showcasing our comedic talent, wonderful Irish animation series, more content in the Irish language, and so much more. Through hard work, collaboration, creativity, innovation and an eye on the future, I believe we have developed a season of programming and content that is fitting of Ireland’s national broadcaster and which I hope will engage audiences of all ages in the weeks and months ahead.”