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The Forgotten Irish

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Programme cover for RTÉ's submission to the 1981 Golden Harp Festival: The Forgotten Irish.

Funded by the Archbishop of Dublin, the Radharc documentary film series was broadcast by Ireland’s public broadcaster RTÉ (Raidió Teilifís Éireann) between 1962 and 1996. It includes over 400 films dealing with issues of human rights, injustice, faith, religion, persecution, famine, Christian heritage, and struggles against oppressive regimes.

In August 1980, Aidan O’Hara returned to Newfoundland in the company of a Radharc film crew. Together the created three documentaries about the historical, religious, and cultural links between Ireland and Newfoundland. The first two documentaries, Westward Ho from Waterford and In the Wake of St Brendan, focused mainly on the fisheries, emigration, and sectarian tensions in Newfoundland.

The third documentary, though, took Aidan O’Hara back to the Cape Shore and provided viewers in Ireland with a chance to witness first-hand how shared traditions and repertoires have been preserved, but also adapted into a unique Newfoundland-Irish heritage. The Forgotten Irish television documentary first broadcast on 17 March 1981 and was RTÉ’s nomination for the 1981 Golden Harp Festival. 

With the generous support of RTÉ and the Radharc Trust, this gallery features video clips and still images from the Forgotten Irish. To view the entire documentary, visit the RTÉ Archives Radharc Exhibition.


A “time” in the Roche family house in Branch, from the opening scene from The Forgotten Irish (courtesy of RTÉ Archives).

 
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A house party in Branch, The Forgotten Irish / Aidan O'Hara

The opening sequence from The Forgotten Irish documentary depicting a “time” in the Roche household. This clip features set dancing and accordion playing. The Forgotten Irish television documentary first broadcast on 17 March 1981 in celebration of the Irish living overseas on St Patrick’s Day. The Radharc documentary film series includes over 400 films dealing with issues of human rights, injustice, faith, religion, persecution, struggles against oppressive regimes, famine, and Christian heritage.  With thanks to RTÉ Archives for granting permission to exhibit this clip from The Forgotten Irish. To view the entire documentary, visit https://www.rte.ie/archives/ex...

Dermot Roche watching a dance in his kitchen, August 1980 / The Radharc Trust Film Archive
Dermot Roche watching a dance in his kitchen, August 1980 / The Radharc Trust Film Archive
 
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Dermot Roche watching a dance in his kitchen, August 1980 / The Radharc Trust Film Archive

Dermot Roche watches a dance in his kitchen. This image appears in the opening scene of Radharc's 1981 documentary The Forgotten Irish.

Dermot Roche watching a dance in his kitchen, August 1980 / The Radharc Trust Film Archive

Dermot Roche watching a dance in his kitchen, August 1980 / The Radharc Trust Film Archive

© The Radharc Trust Film Archive

Gerald Campbell playing the accordion for dancers, August 1980 / The Radharc Trust Film Archive
Gerald Campbell playing the accordion for dancers, August 1980 / The Radharc Trust Film Archive
 
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Gerald Campbell playing the accordion for dancers, August 1980 / The Radharc Trust Film Archive

Gerald Campbell playing the accordion for a house party in the Roche house. This image appears in the opening scene of Radharc's 1981 documentary The Forgotten Irish.

Gerald Campbell playing the accordion for dancers, August 1980 / The Radharc Trust Film Archive

Gerald Campbell playing the accordion for dancers, August 1980 / The Radharc Trust Film Archive

© The Radharc Trust Film Archive

John Joe English sings for an audience of friends, August 1980 / The Radharc Trust Film Archive
John Joe English sings for an audience of friends, August 1980 / The Radharc Trust Film Archive
 
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John Joe English sings for an audience of friends, August 1980 / The Radharc Trust Film Archive

John Joe English sings for an audience of friends at the Roche house in Branch, Newfoundland, ca. August 1980. This image appears in Radharc's 1981 documentary The Forgotten Irish.

John Joe English sings for an audience of friends, August 1980 / The Radharc Trust Film Archive

John Joe English sings for an audience of friends, August 1980 / The Radharc Trust Film Archive

© The Radharc Trust Film Archive

John Hennessy step dances while Gerald Campbell plays the harmonica, August 1980 / The Radharc Trust Film Archive
John Hennessy step dances while Gerald Campbell plays the harmonica, August 1980 / The Radharc Trust Film Archive
 
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John Hennessy step dances while Gerald Campbell plays the harmonica, August 1980 / The Radharc Trust Film Archive

John Hennessy step dances to music played by Gerald Campbell on the harmonica. This image appears in Radharc's 1981 documentary The Forgotten Irish.

John Hennessy step dances while Gerald Campbell plays the harmonica, August 1980 / The Radharc Trust Film Archive

John Hennessy step dances while Gerald Campbell plays the harmonica, August 1980 / The Radharc Trust Film Archive

© The Radharc Trust Film Archive

Gerald Campbell plays singles on the harmonica while John Hennessy step dances in Dermot Roche’s kitchen (courtesy of RTÉ Archives).

 
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Step dancing in Branch, The Forgotten Irish / Aidan O'Hara

Gerald Campbell plays singles on harmonica while John Hennessy step dances in Dermot Roche’s kitchen. This sequence featured in The Forgotten Irish documentary. The Forgotten Irish television documentary first broadcast on 17 March 1981 in celebration of the Irish living overseas on St Patrick’s Day. The Radharc documentary film series includes over 400 films dealing with issues of human rights, injustice, faith, religion, persecution, struggles against oppressive regimes, famine, and Christian heritage.  With thanks to RTÉ Archives for granting permission to exhibit this clip from The Forgotten Irish. To view the entire documentary, visit https://www.rte.ie/archives/ex...