By Noreen Bowden | August 7, 2008
Several programmes in RTE’s fall lineup deal explicitly with emigration. The following will surely be of interest to many people interested in emigration. No doubt some of these will be available on the station’s website at www.rte.ie.
The Great Escape – RTÉ One
Following the fortunes of four families as they relocate abroad to pursue new lives and careers, The Great Escape looks at the challenges facing those wishing to relocate in these tougher times.
J1 Summer – RTE Two
What happens when a group of Irish students head across the Atlantic in search of work, adventure and more …? This lid-lifting observational-documentary follows the kids where their parents fear to follow.
Living the Dream – RTÉ One
Have you always dreamt of running your own business and creating a new life abroad? This new six-part series for RTÉ One, narrated by Bibi Baskin, charts six families as they test-drive their dreams. From a couple running a Michelin-starred restaurant in Manhattan to a Flotilla in Greece, from a campsite in Normandy to a boutique Hotel in Provence, Living the Dream goes global in 2008.
Death or Canada – RTÉ One
This new two-part documentary series for RTÉ Television explores a fascinating sidebar of the infamous Black ’47. When thousands of Irish emigrants were exiled en-masse by famine, the ensuing deluge almost swamped the new city of Toronto. Thirty thousand refugees invaded a city of 20,000 people, then just a decade old. This documentary follows the progress of a new archaeological dig as it reopens this forgotten story from the Great Famine.
The Last Confession of Alexander Pearce – RTÉ One
When an Irish prisoner in Tasmania in the 1820s was reduced by the prison colony experience to serial cannibalism, it was a story that rocked the Englishspeaking world in its day. This fully dramatised documentary, part of RTÉ’s acclaimed and multi-award winning Hidden History series, explores a shocking episode in the controversial history of Van Diemen’s Land.
Aisling’s Diary – RTÉ Two
Aisling’s Diary tells the story of a 16 -year -old girl who returns to live in Ireland with her Irish family after a period of 13 years living in Boston. The American way of life is all she’s known, so adjustment to south side Dublin life presents its challenges and difficulties. A child of the Riverdance age, she is a talented and innovative Irish dancer who brings with her to Ireland some flash moves and innovative steps – something that invites the jealousy and resentment of her school dance teacher. From the producers of the hit Bebo interactive series Sofia’s Diary, this will be a cross-platform teen series for TTV in the Autumn.
The following, while not strictly emigration-related are also of interest.
Blood of the Irish – RTÉ One
Where did we all come from? Blood of the Irish tracks the origins of the Irish people from east Africa, through the Mediterranean basin and on to central Europe. Mingling history and cutting-edge genealogical science, this RTÉ documentary is presented by Diarmuid Gavin.
Welcome to My World – RTÉ One
This brand-new four part series for RTÉ One explores looks at what happens when immigrants bring home their significant other – be it a wife, a husband or a workmate – to their land of origin. How will they cope with the reality of life at home?
New Balbriggan – RTÉ One
A new four-part observational series based in Balbriggan will explore the reality of living in one of Ireland’s most multicultural towns through the eyes of a variety of its inhabitants.
Where Was Your Family During the Famine? – RTÉ One
Journalist John Waters, economist Eddie Hobbs and model Jasmine Guinness, set out to find the answer to a question lost in time: what happened to their families during the famine? Mixing genealogy with popular history, this ambitious production offers a dynamic new perspective on this most significant period in Irish history through the personal quest of our subjects.
Who Do You Think You Are? – RTÉ One
Where, and what, have we come from? Six Irish celebrities, with the aid of our specially chosen genealogy professionals, go back in time, tracing their roots. Ardal O’Hanlon, Charlie Bird, Joe Duffy, Dana Rosemary Scallon, Pamela Flood and Linda Martin are set for some surprises as they find out just who is at the bottom of their elusive family trees.
A Light In The Window: Mary Robinson’s Struggle for Human Rights – RTÉ One
To mark the 60th anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, RTÉ offers this revealing portrait of the former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson. The doctor’s daughter from Ballina, Co Mayo, could have settled for a life of comfort and privilege, but instead, her beliefs, values and experiences have fuelled a lifelong passion for justice. She has battled relentlessly to give a voice to the voiceless and to safeguard the dignity of the world’s most vulnerable and powerless people, whether through her campaigns for free legal aid and contraception or by fighting for the rights of prisoners, asylum seekers, women and children. Today, she is one of The Elders, a group of elder statesmen and women, including Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter, Kofi Annan and Aung san Suu Kyi, who aim to bring their experience and moral leadership to some of the world’s more intractable problems, from Darfur to the Holy Land. We follow Mary Robinson’s work within the group and accompany her to South Africa as the Elders gather for the 90th Birthday of Nelson Mandela.