RTS Republic of Ireland

RTS ROI commemorate the life and works of Patrick Kavanagh

Art Agnew and Dr Una Agnew and Peter Murphy gave the Presentation (Credit: George Adjaye)

Dr Una Agnew, the author of The Mystical Imagination of Patrick Kavanagh, gave a fascinating insight into the life and works of the poet with her brother Art Agnew and Peter Murphy.

Kavanagh wrote of everyday Irish life and his best-known works include the poems On Raglan Road and The Great Hunger, and the novel Tarry Flynn.

RTS ROI holds a special screening of A Jar with Brendan Behan

Godfrey Graham and Alan Esslemont at the RTS ROI Student Awards (Credit: Charles Byrne)

The film was shot and produced by Godfrey Graham, who revealed at the RoI event that, at the time, Pierre had been a Swedish researcher working at RTÉ Television. She was fascinated with the Irish writer and approached Graham, who took on the challenge of producing the tribute to Behan.

A Jar with Brendan Behan features Níall Tóibín as Behan, who died in 1964. Tóibín also appeared in a stage adaptation of Behan’s Borstal Boy on Broadway, as well as acting in the movies Ryan’s Daughter and Veronica Guerin.

Peter McEvoy sheds light on documentary filmmaking from the 1960s

In his presentation at RTÉ Television Centre, Dublin, Peter McEvoy explained how the Radharc – Gaelic for vision – films started in the early 1960s. They are not religious programmes as such, but reflect a spiritual ethos.  

McEvoy, a former RTÉ producer, used excerpts from the films to illustrate Radharc’s remarkably broad reach, both geographically and thematically.

The first Radharc programme was aired in January 1962 and over the next 34 years RTÉ broadcast more than 400 from Ireland and around the world.

Christopher Fitz-Simon delivers presentation at RTÉ in Dublin

Christopher and Anne Fitz-Simon

In “How not to train for drama ­– Hamlet without the prince”, Fitz-Simon recalled his life as a stage-struck teenager, including a visit to a 1950 production of Hamlet by the legendary director Tyrone Guthrie at the Gate Theatre.

The production had been announced as being “in modern dress”, which the Dublin theatre critics snidely attributed to the management’s desire to save money on costumes. In the event, the cast was sumptuously dressed in Schiaparelli and Chanel.

The filming of Ryan's Daughter remembered

The arrival of Oscar-winning director David Lean – who had already made the revered epics The Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia – in Dingle, Co Kerry in 1970 to make Ryan’s Daughter was big news.

The movie, set in the years after the Easter Rising, starred Robert Mitchum, Trevor Howard, John Mills and Sarah Miles, with an original screenplay from Robert Bolt and cinematography by Freddie Young.