RTE Radio Plays

Raidió Teilifís Éireann, usually shortened to RTÉ, is the national public service broadcaster of the Republic of Ireland: television, radio and the Internet. Radio broadcasts began on 1 January 1926; TV started on 31 Dec 1961.

RTÉ is financed by a television licence fee and through advertising. Radio Éireann was RTE's predecessor.

Regular Irish radio-broadcasting began on 1 January 1926. A high power (initially 60 kW) station was established in Athlone, in 1932, to coincide with the staging of the Eucharistic Congress. 2RN, 6CK and Athlone became known as "Radio Athlone" and were receivable across most of the country. Radio Athlone became known as "Radio Éireann" in 1938.

Radio Éireann tried to satisfy all tastes on a single channel, with limited programming hours, which resulted in a rather conservative programming policy. This did not really change until the station became free of direct government control in the 1960s. In 1973 the radio service moved from the GPO in the centre of Dublin, where it had been housed since 1928, into the Radio Centre beside the existing Television Centre on the Dublin Donnybrook campus.

RTÉ now has a nationwide communications network with an increasing emphasis on regional news-gathering and input. RTE Radio 1 covers news, current affairs, music, drama and variety features, agriculture, education, religion and sport, mostly in English but also some Irish. There are other RTE radio channels but none of them broadcast drama and so are not discussed here.

Radio plays have been heard on RTE for several decades. Its current regular slot is Drama On One, broadcast on Sundays at 8pm. Many of the broadcast plays are archived and can be heard online or downloaded.

The link for the RTE radio drama archive index page is here:


At the time of writing (Feb 2018) there are 25 pages of index, with about 12 items per page. Most are plays; there are a few related features. Authors include:

Geraldine Aron
Dermot Bolger
John Boorman
David Butler
Noel Carey
Mary Coll
Philip Doherty
Fergal Elherron
Bernard Farrell
Ian Gordon
Jennifer Johnson
Stephen Jones
Michael Kearns
Stephen Kennedy
Austin Kenny
Mary Kenny
Thomas Kilroy
Louise Lewis
Fiona Looney
Derek Mahon
Tracy Martin
Paul Meade
Pat McCabe
Charlie McCarthy
Meadhbh McHugh
Belinda McKeon
Tara McKevitt
Little John Nee
Joe O'Byrne
Karl O'Neill
Hugo Plowden
James Plunkett
Stefanie Preissner
Mirjana Rendulie
Raymond Scannell
Peter Sheridan
Gorretti Slavin
Noni Stapleton
Brendan Tiernan
Jody Trehy
Vincent Woods

RTÉ Radio Drama is one of the oldest radio theatre departments in the world. The radio drama archive it is building up reflects the national culture; it is also helping to develop the talent of new writers, actors and producers.

The production team featured on the RTE Drama home page consists of Kevin Reynolds, Aidan Matthews, Kevin Brew and Gorretti Slavin.

Kevin joined RTÉ as a radio producer in 1995. Since then he has worked in arts, current affairs, features, documentaries and drama, where he is Series Producer. He was educated at St. Vincent's CBS, Glasnevin, St. Patrick's College of Education and University College Dublin where in 1982 he graduated with a BA in Gaeilge, History and Politics and an MA in Film Studies in 2001. Before joining RTÉ he worked as a primary school teacher and as an actor with RTÉ, The Abbey Theatre, S4C and the BBC.

Aidan is a poet, dramatist and author born in Dublin. He has produced radio drama for thirty years, including some of the days when Radio 1 had its own Rep Players. He has written plays for Drama On One including 'Saint Artaud' and 'Information for the User'.

Kevin graduated at the University of Limerick and Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology. Since 2003 he has worked as a producer with RTÉ Radio 1, producing series and programmes such as Mixtape, Sound Stories and Sound Stories Live. He joined RTÉ Radio Drama in 2009. He has produced a number of plays including the 'Drama On One' Short Form Season and 'The Pipes' by John Kelly.

Gorretti joined Drama On One several years ago. She has a background in directing a wide range of stage drama. Gorretti joined the team to develop and promote the new Drama On One' website and enable access to the archive of radio plays mentioned above. She has produced many dramas for RTE Radio 1, with topics ranging from talking cows to whistle-blowing IMF fund managers.

More information is on the RTE Radio 1 website:


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