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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.
More Information

Location:

Dublin, Ireland

Networks:

RTE Ireland

Description:

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

Language:

English

Contact:

Donnybrook Dublin 4, Ireland


Episodes

DocArchive (1958): Centenary of Lourdes

3/19/2019
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In 1858 Bernadette Soubirous, a fourteen year old girl had multiple visions of the Blessed Lady in a grotto in the outskirts of Lourdes, Frances. One hundred years later, The Catholic Church celebrated the Centenary of Lourdes. We follow those who travelled there for miracles including Irish clergy and Irish pilgrimages. (1958)

Duration:00:58:34

The Sinking of The Saint Patrick

3/15/2019
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We go in search of the truth behind one of Ireland's worst maritime disasters, the sinking of the St Patrick Vessel. A cross channel passenger ferry on the Rosslare-Fishguard route which was targeted by the German Air Force during World War Two, resulting in the death of 30 people. (2012)

Duration:00:32:46

DocArchive (1978): Incorporating The Skibbereen Eagle

3/12/2019
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We recall the story of the Irish provincial newspaper which became embroiled in international relations for its editorial; “keeping an eye on Russia”. The Skibbereen Eagle was quoted across Europe & in the House of Commons for it's clear editorial message to Russia. Editors & staff speak about the newspaper & it's successor The Southern Star (1978)

Duration:00:41:56

An Extraordinary Affair

3/8/2019
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As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we recall the story of two Irish women who were born into upper-class Anglo Ireland in the 17th century. Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby's relationship scandalised Ireland long before Ireland passed the same-sex marriage referendum, but were these two women the first openly Irish lesbian couple? (2011).

Duration:00:38:49

DocArchive (1986): Fathers Role Of Fathers In Today's World

3/5/2019
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Becoming a father for the first time is daunting to many men to say the least, as it’s not only mothers who find new parenting challenging. Fathers recall the challenges of access to maternity wards while unmarried, the importance of the son for the family farm and the pressures of life as this new chapter begins. (1986)

Duration:00:41:27

The Pope's Prisoners

3/1/2019
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Just before the Papal Visit to Ireland in 2018, we look back at the first-ever visit of a Pope to Ireland in 1979. We've come across two intriguing stories which have largely been forgotten. One about a Papal amnesty, where the government released 76 prisoners and the other about the hopes of people in Dublin's Sean McDermott Street. (2018)

Duration:00:40:53

DocArchive (1996): Confession

2/26/2019
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Confessions have played a multifaceted and powerful role throughout history in Ireland. Millions of people have shared their sins, not always revealing wrongdoing but they can often benefits the one who is confessing. RTE Producer Lorelei Harris investigates the cultural phenomenon of confession in modern Ireland. (1996)

Duration:00:42:08

The Last King of Ireland

2/22/2019
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Patsy Dan Rodgers is the last King of Ireland. He's ruled his fiefdom of Tory Island for more than 20 years and can trace an unbroken lineage back to the 5th century. Over time, Led by their Kinds and in at least one case a Queen. The Islanders have seen off Vikings, marauding Pirates and invaders from the mainland (2018)

Duration:00:42:07

DocArchive (2003): Monks Of Unreason and Abbots Of Misrule

2/19/2019
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The Feast of Fools was a popular festival held during the Middle Ages. During this festival a mock bishop or pope was elected. It was a cherished day, for it was the one day where Christian morals were abandoned and replaced with ridiculous rites. Performers wore animal masks, women's clothing, sang obscene songs and rolled dice at the altar (2003)

Duration:00:38:59

Riverchapel Ladies On Tour

2/15/2019
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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)

Duration:00:43:54

DocArchive (1980): Creel The Scrubber And The Knife

2/11/2019
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‘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)

Duration:00:38:39

Johnny Cash's Lost Tour of Ireland

2/8/2019
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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)

Duration:00:39:45

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

2/5/2019
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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)

Duration:00:39:49

Sisters

2/1/2019
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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)

Duration:00:38:28

DocArchive (2000): Lourdes

1/29/2019
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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)

Duration:00:42:31

Prince At The Castle

1/25/2019
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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)

Duration:00:40:21

DocArchive (1998): Remembering Michael

1/22/2019
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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)

Duration:00:44:30

Does My Bum Sound Big In This?

1/18/2019
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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)

Duration:00:41:28

New York - 1, David - 0

1/11/2019
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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)

Duration:00:40:21

DocArchive (1980): Scythes and Scythe Stones

1/8/2019
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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)

Duration:00:39:49