Newstalk features documentaries covering a wide variety of subjects, from the plight of the Malawi people to the Aurora Borealis, and everything in between.
In the latest episode of Documentary On Newstalk, Producer Jim Doherty goes on a road-trip with Europes first, and Irelands only, cross-border, cross-community mobile library in: ‘Books Over Borders’. In 2004, Europe’s first cross-border mobile library took to the roads, serving rural communities in Donegal, Derry and Tyrone. Funded by the EU’s Peace Programme, it was jointly conceived by Donegal Library Service and Libraries NI. It is a prime example of co-operation between institutions who operate in different jurisdictions, working together to serve isolated border communities. A practical, all-island approach to pooling resources and providing a quality service. However, this innovative and valued community resource that has trundled along our border roads for the past 15 years is facing a few bumpy future. Brexit, and the unknown impact it will have on our borders and cross-border institutions, is creating some uncertainty and worry. The service has become an important feature in the lives of the villages, rural housing estates and small primary schools that it stops at during its 6 days a week schedule. Many people have come to rely on it, not just for books but for the social element it provides. Much of this is due to the cheerful and knowledgeable librarian, Denis Doherty, who has built strong links with his clients over the years. The mobile service also has a key role to play in promoting literacy, particularly among children who would otherwise be glued to a smartphone or tablet. The people who use the service have many reasons for doing so and would sorely miss it if it were gone. Jim Doherty spent some time travelling with the mobile library, calling at the schools and villages and meeting the people who use it. The border itself is still invisible and will hopefully remain so. As Denis pointed out over one of many cups of tea “People are the same no matter what side of a border you’re on”. BROADCAST TIMES: ‘Books Over Borders’ will be broadcast on Newstalk 106-108fm on Sunday August 18th at 7am, with repeat broadcast on Saturday 24th August at 9pm. PODCAST from www.newstalk.com after the first broadcast CREDITS: ‘Books Over Borders’ was produced, recorded, and edited by Jim Doherty - and was supported by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, through the television licence fee. ABOUT THE PRODUCER: Jim Doherty is a lecturer in Media Production in Derry’s North West Regional College and produces documentaries and radio features for broadcasters including RTE, BBC Radio Foyle, Newstalk and Highland Radio.
16 August Finished
This weekend on Newstalk, a new radio documentary by Sorcha Heron explores the history of Ballykinlar Internment Camp in County Down, where thousands of Irish men, including her own grandfather, were interned by the British army during Ireland’s War of Independence…. Broadcast Times: Ballykinlar: The Barbed Wire Cage will air on Newstalk on Sunday 11th August at 7am, with a repeat broadcast the following Saturday 17th August at 9pm. Podcast available from www.newstalk.com after first broadcast. Ballykinlar: The Barbed Wire Cage that held 2,000 Irish Prisoners of War By Sorcha Heron. Many Irish families are laden with tales of republicanism and my family is no different. Growing up, I’d heard occasional stories of my grandparents’ (on my dad’s side) passion for the Republican movement. But it wasn’t until 2016, when the decade of centenaries was in full swing, that I took a keener interest. While rifling through an old bureau in my parents’ home, I came across a little notebook – an autograph book – and tucked between its pages was a very old black and white photo of some young men. It turns out my grandfather James Heron was among the rather dishevelled looking group and alongside him – with his hand firmly placed on his shoulder – was an older man, my great-grandfather Joseph Heron. Pic: My grandfather James Heron sitting, front row, centre. My great-grandfather Joseph Heron standing, second row, second from right (hand on James’s right shoulder) Credit: Muiris Heron But it was the inscription on the back that really piqued my interest: “Ballykinlar Internment Camp, 1921”. I’d never even heard of Ballykinlar – were was it? Was it a prison? A military camp? And how both my grandfather and great-grandfather ended up being there? Pic: A drawing of Ballykinlar by an internee. The Mourne Mountains can be seen through barbed wire with seagulls flying (signalling a beach nearby). Ballykinlar: The Barbed Wire Cage that held 2,000 Irish Prisoners of War is the story of how, in the aftermath of Bloody Sunday, November 1920, thousands of Irish men across the country were interned by the British army at a military camp in County Down. Some of the men would later have prominent roles in Irish society and culture - including former Taoiseach Sean Lemass; founder of Walton’s School of Music Martin Walton; along with esteemed songwriter Peadar Kearney. But many of the men were from ordinary backgrounds – like my grandfather and great-grandfather - whose lives were upturned by extraordinary events designed to break their spirit. And yet, these men not only survived but occasionally thrived within their small community - endeavouring to better themselves through education, the arts and above all else comradeship. Pic: Internees’ signatures in Hut 14, Camp 2 in Ballykinlar, including my grandfather James Heron (Seamus O’Hearagain) and my great-grandfather Joseph Heron. The 48-minute documentary features contributions from Moira Mahon and Muiris Heron (relatives of James and Jospeh Heron); Assistant Curator at Kilmainham Gaol Aoife Torpey; Professor of Irish Contemporary History Eunan O’Halpin; Author of Prisoners of War: Ballykinlar Liam O’Dhuibhir; Pat McCarthy of the Military History Society of Ireland; Music Historian at Illinois University Christine Bashford; and Major Tony Canniford at Ballykinlar Training Camp. With archive material supplied by Kilmainham Gaol; Down County Museum; Ballykinlar Training Camp; Pat McCarthy’s own collection; Heron family collection. A very special thanks to Mike King, Heritage Manager at Down County Museum where of the ‘Ballykinlar History Hut’ project will be located in 2020. For more information or to share any knowledge of Ballykinlar from 1914 onwards, go here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/BallykinlarHistoryHut/about/ Broadcast Times: Ballykinlar: The Barbed Wire Cage will air on Newstalk on Sunday 11th August at 7am, with a repeat broadcast the following Saturday 17th August at 9pm. Credits: Ballykinlar: The Barbed Wire Cage was produced and narrated by Sorcha Heron. Sound designed, recorded and edited by Neil Kavanagh. Actors were: Sean O’Suilleabhain, Aaron Creavin & Niamh Hassell. Music: Arise: Ballykinlar March performed by: David McEntee on piano, Frank McCann on vocals, and Niall Connaire on violin. The project was supported by The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland as part of the Sound and Vision 3 Funding Scheme.
14 August Finished
The personal accounts of refugees and migrants who have made Ireland their home In our latest Documentary on Newstalk, producer Brian Kenny brings us the personal accounts of refugees and migrants who have reluctantly left their homes to resettle here in Ireland in recent years in: 'Don't Look Back' The Irish people have a tradition of migration, leaving our shores in the face of poverty and hardship for pastures new. In recent times however, Ireland has become the place where refugees and migrants have sought refuge, and this influx has changed the once homogenous island of ours forever. The ‘land of a thousand welcomes’ has been put to the test as the economic and political climate has changed. Across Europe refugees from Syria have flooded across borders, and populist parties are on the rise. What about Ireland though? Are we immune to this? Has our own history of migration made us more empathetic to those arriving here in similar circumstances? Who better to address this question than the refugees themselves who have sought a new start in this small island on the edge of Europe? In ‘Don’t Look Back’, we meet Almuthana, the fiddle maker from Syria who has found a new home here after an epic journey across the ocean on a small plastic boat, and hear how his life has changed forever after an act of extraordinary kindness. From the communist fortress of North Korea we talk to Chung Lee who risked his life escaping to China as an illegal immigrant before seeking refuge in Ireland where he found solace tending to the gardens of the Columban Missionaries in Navan. Kurdish man Ahmed tells us how he was within 100 metres of ISIS as they ransacked his village forcing him to flee with his brother leaving everything behind . Ahmed like many of his counterparts look to the future rather than the past realising their children will be more Irish than anything else. Don't look back........ Credits: 'Don't Look Back' was produced by Brian Kenny and Malachy Smyth and was supported by a grant from the Columban Missionary Society. Broadcast Times: 'Don’t Look Back' airs on Newstalk on Sunday 28th July at 7am with a repeat broadcast on Saturday 3rd August at 9pm. Note for Listeners: The programme contains strong language and scenes which some listeners might find disturbing. If you are affected by any issues raised by this programme, freephone the Samaritans on: 116123
31 July Finished
Exploring the stories behind Ireland’s most popular park, St Stephen's Green. This weekend, Documentary on Newstalk airs the premiere of ‘Wigs on the Green’, in which IMRO-nominated producer Brian Gallagher looks at the lives of those who work and play in the vicinity of Ireland's most famous park, St Stephen's Green. Wigs on the Green will be broadcast on Newstalk 106-108fm on Sunday 21st July at 7am with repeat broadcast on Saturday 27that 9pm Using a lively mix of interviews, location recordings, sound effects and music, Wigs on the Green explores the stories behind Ireland’s most popular park, St Stephen's Green. Historian Arthur Flynn tells how the Green was originally used for pubic executions, before becoming a private park that in time was gifted to the people of Dublin by Arthur Guinness. Therese Casey, the Park Superintendent, talks of the challenges of running a city-centre park that gets 4.6 million visitors annually. The programme looks at the human interest stories associated with institutions located on the Green, such as Adolf Hitler's half brother working in the Shelbourne Hotel, and the canvas from the portrait of Queen Victoria in the College of Surgeons being used to make bandages during the 1916 Rising. Sinead O'Kane and Pat Rooney reminisce respectively about being a boarder at Loreto on the Green, and visiting the 1500-seater Green Cinema, while Arthur Flynn tells the story of the little-known Huguenot cemetery at Merrion Row, and its link to the family of Samuel Beckett. Niall Burgess, the Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs, gives a fascinating look behind the scenes at the historic Iveagh House, while Raymond Mooney tells of the changes that have taken place at the Hibernian Club, which was originally a gentlemen's club founded by Daniel O'Connell. Contributors reminisce light-heartedly about their memories of Stephen's Green, while Edmund Lynch, one of the founders of the Irish Gay Rights Association, recalls the important role played by Rice's, one of Dublin's first gay-friendly pubs. We hear of the social changes to the area, as observed by Eddie McEvoy, who has been a barber on Grafton Street for fifty-five years, then Bridget Spain explains why she loves her job as the minister of the nearby Unitarian Church. Looking to the past, Arthur Flynn tells of Dublin's first Catholic University at Newman House, while looking to the future the impact of one-way streets, pedestrianisation and the Luas system is reviewed. The programme concludes with contributors expressing what Stephen's Green means to them, and their hopes for its future. BROADCAST TIMES: WIGS ON THE GREEN was broadcast on Newstalk 106-108fm on Sunday 21st July at 7am with repeat broadcast on Saturday 27th July at 9pm CREDITS: WIGS ON THE GREEN was produced by Brian Gallagher, and funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television License Fee. Quotes from WIGS ON THE GREEN: “Adolf Hitler's half brother, Alyious Hitler, worked here. He would have washed the pots in the kitchen.” Denis O'Brien Concierge, Shelbourne Hotel. “I started in '64 and I'm still working there - I must be the oldest working in Grafton Street,” Eddie McEvoy, barber. “Trying to get the work done safely - with 4.6 million visitors it's impossible sometimes to get grass cut,” Gerry Donaghue, St Stephen's Green Parks Service Manager “For a lot of people, going into Rices was the start of their journey to their full freedom as a person.” Edmund Lynch, founder member, Irish Gay Rights Movement. “We employ over seventy nationalities, speaking forty languages, working in almoist every time zone. So this is a global organisation, working for Ireland, centred and headquarted, in a quiet house on the south side of St Stephen's Green.” Niall Breslan, Director General, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
25 July Finished
A look at a grassroots struggle for social change. In Learning To Change In Israeli and Palestinian Communities, producer Bairbre Flood travels from Tamra to Tel Aviv, and Nazareth to Jerusalem, to meet women involved in the grassroots struggle for social change. ‘It’s in the community, it deals with women, students and children; and it deals with Jewish and Arab, so I cannot find a more holistic way to make a change here in my society.’ - Fida Nara, the Palestinian co-director of Mahapach-Taghir For this documentary, Bairbre Flood met with women from Tamra to Tel Aviv, Nazareth to Jerusalem: an incredible network working together to fight discrimination, social exclusion and domestic violence. She spoke to members of Mahapach-Taghir (change in Hebrew-Arabic) and Sadaka-Reut (friendship in Arabic-Hebrew), and to women from all communities, to see how they're working on the ground in marginalised areas. In a region renowned for conflict, these women’s struggle for community and solidarity across sectarian lines is even more remarkable. CREDITS: "Learning To Change In Israeli and Palestinian Communities" was produced and presented by Bairbre Flood, and supported by the Simon Cumbers Media Fund. ‘Learning To Change In Israeli and Palestinian Communities’ was first broadcast on Newstalk 106-8FM on Sunday 23rd June at 7am, with a repeat broadcast on Saturday 29th June at 9pm
4 July Finished