Joe’s tale of reclamation, not recrimination

Some TV programmes are nasty, some are forgettable fluff, some are enjoyable entertainment and some are hugely important. I’d put Children of the Troubles (RTÉ1, Monday) in that latter category. Presented by Joe Duffy, assisted by journalist Freya Clements, it outlined the stories of the children who died as a result of ‘the Troubles’. It…

Nostalgia and humanity with Fr Jack

Film footage of Catholic Ireland in the mid-20th Century can suggest a time that was grim and dour. But that’s not the full story – there was colour and joy too. I was impressed and entertained by the archive footage of old Dublin in Father Delaney: Silent Witness (RTÉ1, Thursday). Joe Duffy presented a fascinating…

A throwback to times before relativism

Irish Catholic readers should be able to wallow in a bit of nostalgia! On Wednesday of last week I happened upon The Dick Powell Theatre on satellite movie channel Talking Pictures TV (TPTV). It was an innovative TV drama show in its day (early 1960s) – a TV series of one-off dramas. This particular episode…

At least we’ve moved on from eugenics…maybe

A recurring line from the Twilight Zone movie came back to me last week: “You want to see something really scary?” Eugenics: Science’s Greatest Scandal (BBC4) over the last two Thursdays made for very scary viewing. We’re familiar with eugenics, pure race theory and the like from Nazi ideology, but the programmes showed that the seeds…

Good show but a broader canvas needed

In place of religious services on Sunday Mornings, RTÉ 1 has been trying out a new format on an occasional basis. I’m a big fan of Life and Soul, and enjoyed the latest episode last Sunday morning. As usual the focus was on personal stories interspersed with prayers, bible readings and musical interludes. And it’s…

Fly-on-the-wall doc illuminates Vatican

Every now and then there’s a high-profile TV programme that takes religion seriously. The occasions are rare enough but worth waiting for. I was certainly impressed by Inside the Vatican on BBC2 last Friday, a fine piece of documentary making from producer-director Silvia Sacco.  It was low key, subtle, nuanced and even moving at times.…

Imbalance was a bitter pill to swallow

Well, here we go again. When allegedly liberal social change is being advanced some elements in the media oblige by pushing carefully selected personal stories, imbalanced discussions and the full panoply of media bias strategies. It felt like the latest variation of this last week when Liveline (RTÉ Radio 1), with guest presenter Katie Hannon…

Great joy but not so easy to find on TV

The Pope’s visit to Africa received minimal coverage on mainstream media. BBC and RTÉ did cover the Mass attended by a million people in Madagascar last Sunday, while US Catholic channel EWTN filled the gap with a range of programmes during the week and over last weekend. Last Thursday I particularly enjoyed Pope Francis in…

Emotional words mark Fr Tony’s memory

With all the fractious controversies raging over Brexit, I like to listen to all sides of the debate, and there are certainly more than two! For the most part Irish commentary tends to range from mildly anti-Brexit to regarding those who voted to leave as stupid. But there are exceptions and we got relatively balanced…