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The Curious Ear

RTE Ireland

A series of shorter radio documentaries. Ronan Kelly tells stories using sounds and words gathered with his inquisitive microphone.

A series of shorter radio documentaries. Ronan Kelly tells stories using sounds and words gathered with his inquisitive microphone.
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Dublin, Ireland


RTE Ireland


A series of shorter radio documentaries. Ronan Kelly tells stories using sounds and words gathered with his inquisitive microphone.




Donnybrook Dublin 4, Ireland


Riverchapel Ladies On Tour

The Riverchapel Ladies Group go on a Golden Years holiday to Westport, County Mayo. They dance, pray, sing, give out about each other and the hotel, post stuff or Facebook, hold starfish, keep each other company and chase the latest toy craze. Nathan is a young man with dreadlocks who joins them on the bus for this week long holiday (2018)


DocArchive (1980): Creel The Scrubber And The Knife

‘Once you got landed you where as healthy as a trout’ is the memory of life on board for one Donegal fisherman. Skilled workers and fishermen speak of their experience of working in the fishing industry and why hundreds from Burtonport in County Donegal left for Scotland and the Shetlands to catch and gut Herring. (1980)


Johnny Cash's Lost Tour of Ireland

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, twelve gigs in ten days. 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. (2018)


DocArchive (1990): Day In The Life Of The No 16

Many events can take place on a bus, but the drivers are the ones who see the whole show. Dealing with the public, grueling shifts, traffic and time pressures make it tough but the job is very rewarding for many. Producer Kintilla Heussaff, spent a day on the No 16 Dublin Bus route and hears from the driver, inspector and passengers (1990)



Beginning in 1888, hundreds of Irish teenagers were sent to a convent in Texas that was dedicated to educating emancipated salves after the American Civil War. A lifetime later, the grand niece of two of these nuns uncovers their stories, which chronicle a century of change in the Catholic Church, race relations and women's rights (2018)


DocArchive (2000): Lourdes

The small town of Lourdes, located at the foothills of the Pyrenees has been the destination for Irish pilgrimages to Lourdes for decades. Since the Apparitions in 1858, thousands of people have visited the Grotto of Massabielle to pray and reflect. Broadcaster Paddy O'Gorman joined one Dublin pilgrimage as they begin their trip to Lourdes (2000)


Prince At The Castle

On a summer morning in 2011, a group of production staff arrived at Malahide Castle, County Dublin to work on a concert for American musician Prince. That morning, Prince had fired his own crew and an Irish team had been hurriedly drafted in. What would the next 15 hours bring? Would the "difficult genius" have any more surprises? (2018)


DocArchive (1998): Remembering Michael

Remembering one of Ireland's most famous actors Alfred Willmore also known as Micheál MacLiammóir. This dramatist, impresario, writer, poet and painter was a prominent figure who dominated the arts scene in twentieth-century Ireland. Born in London, he adopted Ireland as home & co-founded The Gate Theatre in with his partner Hilton Edwards (1998)


Does My Bum Sound Big In This?

Joyce, is by her own admission, only living a ‘half-life’. A funny, vibrant, creative person with lots of friends, she rarely leaves the house. She’s morbidly obese. Recorded over the last two years, we follow Joyce as she tackles the complex reasons behind her weight, tries to shed her shell and ‘find her way back to normal’. (2018)


New York - 1, David - 0

David Atkinson, a cocky, 22-year old from Wexford goes to New York to find work after college. Which sounds great except that David’s going on a visa which gives him just 90 days to find work. The clock starts when the wheels of his suitcase hit American soil. Will he find a job before his money, his visa or his luck runs out? (2018)


DocArchive (1980): Scythes and Scythe Stones

The use of a scythes have been the trusted tool for many labourers and farmers of decades past. Although rarely seen in use today, this agricultural tool was used for cutting crops and mowing grass before the era of horse drawn blades and motorised mowers. We hear more about this ancient craft and the scythe stones used to sharpen them (1980)


The Reindeer Santa Left Behind

Last Christmas Eve Santa Claus was delivering presents around the world. Blitzen got badly injured after a rough landing in Scotland. Luckily the other reindeer made sure Santa made it to Ireland. Unsure if Blitzen could return to The North Pole. Santa asked the Mulready family in Wexford if they could nurse Blitzen back to full health (2018)


DocArchive (1984): New Emigrants, The Young Irish In Britain

Broadcaster Paddy O’Gorman hears from the young Irish who left for London as Ireland was deep in recession. Making home in Britain wasn’t easy as accommodation, jobs & social welfare were difficult to secure. London brought hope to many but also the grim reality of those working in uncertain employment from building sites to Soho sex clubs (1984)


Dark Snow & Emma

Over the past decade Ireland has endured some extreme weather cycles from heavy snow to summer heat waves. There is an argument that these events are influenced by what's happening with the Greenland Ice Sheet. Each year the ice sheet is covered in new snow but recently more ice is melting than snow falling. Liam O'Brien visits to learn more (2018)


DocArchive (1980): Mother and Child Scheme

Health Minister Dr. Noel Browne proposed a new mother & baby scheme that would lead an Irish government into political chaos in 1950. If introduced, it would have allowed free health care to mothers & their children up until the age of 16. In the end, the scheme failed, but who exactly was to blame; the doctors, politicians or bishops? (1980)


The Cut

Young girls throughout Africa, Asia and the Middle East are subject to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) each year. A procedure where the genitals of young girls are deliberately cut for religious and social reasons. Journalist Michael O’Kane meets women trying to end this practice which is seen as normal tradition within some cultures (2018)


DocArchive (1994): Return to Limehill

Irish writer Sheelagh Conway grew up in the village of Limehill, East Galway. A village in rural Ireland enriched with stone walls and flat green fields. Conway emigrated to Canada and became involved with the Women’s Movement. Sheelagh returned home with RTÉ Producer John Quinn to recall her childhood, her memories & the people of Limehill (1994)


The Garda Who Limped

In 2014, John Wilson was the first Garda whistleblower to go public. Uncovering a culture of ‘ticket-fixing’ in An Garda Síochána, he also had information on other serious wrongdoings within the force. Wilson, along with the other Garda whistleblower, Maurice McCabe, have both suffered greatly for refusing to turn a blind eye. (2018)


DocArchive (1949): Republic of Ireland Act

In '48 The Irish Government enacted the Republic of Ireland Act. Legislation that officially closed the door to British Rule and association. A topic that was discussed throughout every home & church across Ireland over 70 years ago but what did it to mean to Irishmen and Irishwoman. We hear from politicians guiding Ireland through this time (1949)


Notes From A Belfast Rape Trial

In 2018, 4 men, including Irish rugby stars Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding, were acquitted on all charges relating to the alleged rape of a 19yr-old woman. The trial provoked widespread media coverage, social media comment and street protests - followed by 2 reports into how Ireland's judicial systems handle serious sexual assault (2018)