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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


DocArchive(1985): View from the Thames

A journey through the boroughs of London city meeting Irish people who left their home to seek fortune in this bright and fast-moving metropolitan. London offers many young Irish a life of opportunity and adventure. But, at this time of year, the city can be a lonely place for those who cannot make it back home for Christmas. (1985)

Duration: 00:44:53

A New Niamh

Niamh has decided to turn over a new leaf for Christmas: she has decided to give up shoplifting. This time of year, it's no easy task - the festive season turns a tidy profit. Niamh wants to go straight for her grandson. She wants him to know her, not as someone with a "five-finger discount” but instead as a local Facebook celebrity and a poet.

Duration: 00:40:08

DocArchive (1980): Last Fiddle Master

Pádraig Ó Caoimh is regarded as one of the most influential fiddle players of all time and the greatest in the Sliabh Luachra style. Born in 1887 in Gleantán, he was the eldest of 8 children from a musical family. A music master, he passed his skills to many pupils and his influence on traditional music can be heard everywhere today. (1980)

Duration: 00:39:08

The Little Mouse in the Corner

Being a shy person is often seen as something that you will overcome as you get older. Many introverts feel that there is something wrong with them. Being an introvert is perfectly normal and defining it as something you lack doesn't seem fair. Pauline Dunne decided to challenge the common perceptions. Think you know introverts, think again!

Duration: 00:39:03

DocArchive(1993): Fatal Attraction-Shining Path Movement Peru

Sendero Luminoso take their name from Peru's first prominent Marxist, José Carlos Mariátegui, who said that Marxism will open the shining path to revolution. That path has been tarnished by their brutal campaign. Throughout the 1980s Peru's long-suffering people were caught between the violence of the Sendero and terror by the state. (1993)

Duration: 00:43:06

The Occupation

In August of 2006 a small group of anti-war demonstrators from Derry in Northern Ireland took on the might of a multi-billion dollar US defence and weapons contractor with ties to some of the most powerful countries in the world. The protesters faced serious consequences for their actions (2017).

Duration: 00:40:53

DocArchive(2001): They Sang Freedom

A treasure of recordings found in producer, Bill Meek's attic. Untouched for over three decades, they tell the story of the Civil Rights Movement in America's Deep South. Journeying from heartland of bluegrass to the heart of the blues to find out more about the injustices and brutality that people suffered as they fought for the equal rights.

Duration: 00:41:55

A Man Out Of Time

Fr. Pat Noise died when his carriage plunged into the Liffey in 1919. His death is commemorated by a plaque on O'Connell Bridge, installed without permission by a mysterious group. This was also where the Millennium Clock was lowered into the Liffey before disappearing after a few months. Was it coincidental that both events happened at this spot?

Duration: 00:40:20

DocArchive(1988): In Our Own Words

The experiences of Irish emigrants living and working in London are dramatised in this documentary. Arriving in London with nothing but the clothes on their back, sleeping rough in Victoria Station, wandering the streets as they struggle to get work, robbing to feed themselves, and drinking their sorrows away. (1988)

Duration: 00:40:22

The Tattooed Irishman

In 1836, Dubliner James F O’Connell published a book which told of his incredible life story. Shipwrecked on the remote Pacific Island of Pohnpei, he was forcibly tattooed about the body by natives. Eventually escaping, he landed in New York and quickly gained fame. O’Connell is fêted as the first man to publicly display tattoos in America (2017)

Duration: 00:41:08

Frank Stagg's Three Funerals

When Frank Stagg died he had three funerals, not only that, he had two graves and three headstones. That's because when Frank Stagg died in 1976 there was a sort of tug of war over his body between the Irish Government and supporters of the Provisional IRA. Where was Frank Stagg's final resting place? (2017)

Duration: 00:40:01

DocArchive (2002): The Tallymen of Tralee

Tallymen have a passion for politics and most would have been canvassing in the run-up to this election. But today, the Tallymen are centre stage, it is all about compiling the data to make early predictions. Theis election is hard to call with Sinn Féin tipped to win and Fianna Fáil doing badly in the polls. Can they handle the pressure? (2002)

Duration: 00:28:00

Do No Harm

Have you ever thought about what might happen at the end of your life? Dr Luke Dillon explores the controversial and divisive subject of euthanasia. From the Netherlands to Co. Wexford, Luke discovers some very difficult cases of extreme suffering and end-of-life care dilemmas. In Holland, he meets a doctor who has euthanised over 60 people. (2017)

Duration: 00:40:46

DocArchive (1987): The Story Fatima

The miracle of Fatima began in May 1917 when three children tending their sheep claimed to have been visited by the Virgin Mary. She reappeared to them over the next 6 months, her final visit became known as The Miracle of the Sun. 70yrs on this documentary looks at the Cult of Our Lady of Fatima and the people who make this pilgrimage each year?

Duration: 00:49:04

Richard Hayes, Nazi Codebreaker

If you were battling Nazi Germany which individual would you chose to take on the role? A soldier? Perhaps a great statesman? How many of you would choose a librarian? Well, this is exactly what happened in wartime Dublin. Marc McMenamin tells the story of Richard Hayes, Nazi Codebreaker. (2017)

Duration: 00:39:18

DocArchive (1977): The Garden of Eden

Originally from Manchester, Gill Gairdner and Rod Alston, moved to Eden in Leitrim with an idea to make a garden that is both productive and beautiful, and a farm that is capable of supporting those living here. Their exceptional horticulturist skills, plus a steely determination, resulted in them pioneering organic farming in Ireland. (1977)

Duration: 00:38:08

Colombia – Making the Peace

Almost 20 years on from the Good Friday agreement, the Colombian government has made peace with the FARC rebels. Veterans of the Northern Irish peace process are helping to make sure Colombia’s journey to peace stays on course. Luke Holland travels to South America where he encounters Former FARC rebels, victims and others making the peace. (2017)

Duration: 00:38:49

DocArchive (1990): Steve Coughlan - Episodes of his Career

Veteran Limerick politician, Stevie Coughlan, and his wife, Peggy recall episodes from his long and colourful career; the Blueshirts and the 1932 election, standing as a Clann na Poblachta candidate in 1954, Noel Browne and the Mother and Child Scheme, divisions within the Labour Party, and becoming the Mayor of his beloved Limerick City. (1990)

Duration: 00:40:03

Cairo Cellmates

After 4yrs in an Egyptian prison, Ibrahim Halawa, a 22yr old Irish student, was acquitted of all charges against him in Sept 2017. We revisit the documentary we made on Ibrahim’s story in June 2016 with Peter Greste, the acclaimed journalist, who shared a cell with Ibrahim and who had never previously spoken out about this controversial case.

Duration: 00:39:52

DocArchive (2004): The Little Eva Story

In 1962, a teenage singer called Little Eva was plucked from obscurity and shot to stardom with her number one smash hit, "The Locomotion". She enjoyed relative success with her next single but struggled to re-create the popularity of her original hit. After the dizzy heights of fame, how did Eva adjust to life out of the spotlight?

Duration: 00:38:12

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