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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


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

Return to Shark Island

When a group of people arrived on Achill Island in May, 1951 nobody foresaw that only two of them would leave alive. The film they had arrived to make – “Shark Island” - would end in tragedy. Actor Claire Mullen was in that film and returns to Achill to finally try to achieve closure on what was one of the worst film accidents in history.

Duration: 00:40:27

Doc Archive (2003) Unconquered Champion

A look at the life and works of essayist William Hazlitt, the 18th century English writer best known for his humanist essays. Willett spent much of his childhood in Ireland. In particular we look at his most celebrated essay, 'The Fight' (2003)

Duration: 00:42:03

DocArchive (1981): Three Wishes of John Bradburne

Three wishes in the life of John Bradburne. A mystic, pilgrim, and poet he joined the war in 1939 looking for adventure but instead, he found religion. He converted to Catholicism and began his pilgrim across the world. His last journey was to a leper colony in Zimbabwe where he fell victim to its civil war. Did he get his last wish? (1981)

Duration: 00:39:31

The Brigadier

Eric Dorman O'Gowan was an Irish general in the British Army who fought in WW1 and outfoxed the Germans during WW2, yet was sacked by a British Prime Minister. He later became an advisor for the I.R.A, turning his back on the British. Delve into the unorthodox life of one of Ireland's most remarkable mavericks, known as ‘The Brigadier’ (2017).

Duration: 00:46:05

DocArchive (1987): Wilkinson on Broadway

Irish tenor and actor, Colin Wilkinson, best known for originating the role of Jean Valjean in Les Misérables in the West End and Broadway talks about his life in musical theatre and preparing to leave this iconic character behind as he moves on to new productions. (1987)

Duration: 00:46:18

Pisusuuq, The One Who Walks

60 years ago, Mick Mallon left his home in Ireland, eventually settling in remote arctic Canada. Fascinated by language, Mick began to learn Inuktitut, the native language of the Inuit Eskimo. But not only did he learn to speak one of the most difficult languages in the world, he created a way to teach it - and save it from extinction. (2017)

Duration: 00:37:01

DocArchive (1978): Weapon of Choice

A day on the beat with Irish American detectives from the NYPD Homicide Squad who police the streets of Harlem. By the late 1970s, violent crime was a daily part of life in New York City, and the police had to deal with gruesome murder scenes and criminals who were armed and dangerous. (1978)

Duration: 00:42:11

DocArchive (1966): Hidden Manna

Contemplative monks from The Roman Catholic Church and The Church of England speak about life behind the walls of the monastery and challenge common misconceptions about their vocation. What are the mysteries behind this life a prayer, and what is the point of the contemplative life? (1966)

Duration: 00:43:20

An Holy Trinity

A baby girl is abandoned on a doorstep in Dublin in 1923. A priest and his housekeeper seen acting suspiciously are handed over to the police. One month later a young doctor is shot dead on the streets of a small town in county Leitrim. Was there a conspiracy of Church, State and Irish Rebel forces determined to cover up a scandal? (2017)

Duration: 00:44:58

With the Irish in New York - No. 1 Gaelic Park

Gaelic Park is the home of hurling and football in New York City, but for many Irish immigrants arriving in America, it is much more than a sports club. It was a place to meet old friends, sing songs, have a few drinks, and reminisce about life back home. ( 1978)

Duration: 00:23:54

Love Letter to Wezz

Mention “disco” and “Donnybrook” to people in Ireland and they’ll have a vague notion of a get together for teenagers. Numerous articles have been written speculating on what happens behind the doors of Old Wesley with many parents dreading the day that their kids start mentioning the word, Wezz! But for those who went, what was it like?(2017)

Duration: 00:40:03

DocArchive (1987): Woman at the Window

Mary Leadbeater's letters tell the stories of real people from the village of Ballitore at the beginning of the 19th Century. Giving us an insight into the life of a remarkable woman, who wrote constantly about the people she met and the events that we unfolding at this time, including witnessing first-hand the horrors of the 1798 rebellion.

Duration: 00:42:29

In Tom Crean's Footsteps

In 1916, Tom Crean was part of one of the greatest adventure stories ever told when he joined Ernest Shackleton's Expedition to the Antarctic. 100 years later, in October 2016, his granddaughter, Aileen travelled thousands of miles to try and retrace her grandfather's footsteps. ( 2017)

Duration: 00:38:39

DocArchive (1985): With Pen and Paper

A profile of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies which was established in 1940 by the then Taoiseach, Éamon de Valera. We look at how DIAS became a world leader in advanced research and Celtic Studies. (1985)

Duration: 00:44:00

007, The Irish Connection

First appearing on cinema screens in 1962, James Bond brings many famous names to mind - Ian Fleming, Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig – the list goes on. However, Dubliner Kevin McClory is rarely a name that people connect with 007. We take a look at how one Irishman is inextricably connected to the most famous spy of them all. (2017)

Duration: 00:43:55

Polar Opposites

In 1935, Iceland legalised abortion making it the first Western nation to create what we might now recognise as an abortion legalisation policy. We travel to Iceland to meet Corkman Fr Denis O'Leary who leads a very small Pro-Life group named Lífsvernd. We also meet staff working in the area of abortion at the National Hospital of Iceland (2017)

Duration: 00:43:06

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