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Radio Documentaries

Deirdre’s BAI-funded feature radio documentary, “Coosheen’s Forgotten Seanchai and Son” was first broadcast on Newstalk in December 2018.  The year previously, “Surrender on Grand Canal Street”, about Eamon De Valera’s alleged 1916 surrender on her Lower Grand Canal Street windowsill, premiered on Newstalk 106 – 108 fm on Saint Patrick’s Day, 2017.  Narrated by Deirdre, it featured Lower Grand Canal Street residents The Kilbane Family; historian, and author of “De Valera, Long Fellow, Long Shadow”, Tim Pat Coogan;  Una Kavanagh as Elizabeth O’Farrell; Lower Grand Canal Street business owner and nephew of Elizabeth O’Farrell, Ian Kelly; Lower Grand Canal Street Coffee Shop Owner, Colin Harmon; and grandson of Eamon De Valera, Ruairi O Cuiv.  Sound supervision was by Neil Kavanagh.  To peruse Deirdre’s many radio documentaries so far, visit her mixcloud page.

Portrait of Eamon De Valera by Margaret Crilly at Recent NGI Exhibition.

“Georgie’s Vision”, the first ever documentary about the fascinating but little-known Mrs. WB Yeats was broadcast on RTE Lyric FM in September 2016. “Georgie’s Vision” was funded by BAI, and featured Olwen Fouere channeling the voices of George Yeats; Pat Laffan as WB Yeats; Ingrid Craigie; and David Heap, intertwined with exclusive interviews with poet John Montague; Caitriona Yeats; Biographer Ann Saddlemyer; Professor Margaret Mills Harper; and former Abbot of Glenstal Abbey, Mark Patrick Hederman.  Sound supervision was by Brendan Rehill.  “Instructions” for the optimum listening experience: Put some violets around the room, light some incense, pour yourself a glass of whatever you fancy, and tune in…

George & WB Yeats

Listen back here:

We all know about Maud Gonne, but have you ever heard of George, aka Mrs. WB Yeats? Tune in to “Georgie’s Vision”, to learn more about this extraordinary but self-effacing genius who was the catalyst for her husband’s greatest poetry, yet said “thank-you for leaving me out”. Featuring Professor Margaret Mills Harper, official biographer Ann Saddlemyer, grand-daughter and harpist Caitriona Yeats, Mark Patrick Hederman, poet John Montague, Olwen Fouere, Ingrid Craigie, David Heap, and Pat Laffan, among others.  A Deirdre Mulrooney production for RTE Lyric FM with the support of BAI Sound and Vision Scheme.

So far, Deirdre has produced and researched 4 BAI-funded feature radio documentaries about WB Yeats which premiered on RTE Lyric FM, including “Doreen – Telling the Dancer from the Dance”, (2011), about the Abbey Theatre School of Ballet; and the 2 part series “WB Yeats – Words for Music Perhaps” (2013), which among other things featured an exciting collaboration with DIT Conservatory of Music who performed original scores for WB Yeats’s Plays for Dancers, composed by Walter Morse Rummel and Edmond Dulac.

BAI funded- radio documentary on Doreen Cuthbert, original dancer with the Abbey Theatre Ballets, founded by WB Yeats and Ninette de Valois. Doreen, born in 1913, was in the Abbey Theatre Ballets from its inception in 1927 until its demise in 1933, and here shares her anecdotes and memories of Yeats, De Valois, Robinson, Lady Gregory, the classes, and the performances. With contributions by Yeats experts Roy Foster, Richard Allen Cave and Jim Flannery, as well as by Doreen’s husband, Percy Lovegrove.
Narrated by Pat Laffan
Sound Supervision by John Davis
Featuring varied music from George Antheil to The Edge.
Produced and written by Deirdre Mulrooney
First broadcast on RTE Lyric FM in the Lyric Feature slot in November 2011.

 In the hope of effecting a democratic, “magical revolution”, WB Yeats evolved a philosophy of chanting his verse. He also commissioned avant-garde composers Walter Morse Rummel and George Antheil to write music for his plays. What was the poets relationship with music?

Riverdance composer Bill Whelan and director Jim Flannery reconsider their 1990s Yeats season at the Abbey in light of the first ever recordings of Rummel’s and Edmond Dulac’s forgotten scores, performed by DIT Conservatory of Music. What was Yeats – said by many to be tone deaf – hearing in his inner ear?

Contributors include Ron Schuchard, Meg Harper, Donnacha Dennehy, Olwen Fouere, Harry White, and Declan Kiberd.

Musicians from DIT Conservatory of Music: Cliona Doris, Julie Maisel, David Scott, Arun Rao, Tom Doorley, and Noel Eccles. Kerry Houston Head of Academic studies.
“Everlasting Voices” team: William Brooks, Nuala Hayes, and Paul Roe.

A Deirdre Mulrooney production for RTÉ lyric FM made with the support of the BAI Sound and Vision Scheme.  First broadcast November 15th, 2013.  Sound supervision: John Davis.

Deirdre’s hour long photo-documentary “Journey to YU (in the footsteps of Rebecca West)”, inspired by photographer Dragana Jurisic’s exhibition “YU: The Lost Country” premiered at the Belgrade-Irish Festival in March 2015; and subsequently screened at Dublin’s Photoireland Festival in Temple Bar Gallery and Studios  in July 2015; Guth Gafa International Documentary Festival in Kells, County Meath in October 2016; and the 1st Sarajevo-Irish Festival on March 16th, 2016.  The radio version, “Journey to YU” was broadcast on RTE Lyric FM in November 2015, and March 2016, and you can listen back on RTE Lyric FM here.

Deirdre’s  2-part BAI-funded radio series “WB Yeats: Words for Music Perhaps” (including a collaboration with DIT Conservatory of Music), was first broadcast on RTE Lyric FM in November 2013 – listen back here: Previous radio documentaries include “Irish Monsoon Wedding” (Newstalk), “Doreen – Telling the Dancer from the Dance” (RTE Lyric FM/ Funded by BAI) and “Ogoki – Call of the Wild” (Newstalk/ Funded by BCI) – which you can enjoy here:

An isolated Indian reservation in Northern Ontario, Canada is the setting for “Ogoki – Call of the Wild”. It was here in the 1970s and 80’s that the Mulrooney Family, from Limerick lived for seven years. Over two decades later Deirdre and her mother Mary return to the reservation and hear the Ojibway Indians share their shocking and moving history.  Featuring Pearl Achneepineshkum (nee Wenjack), telling the tragic story of her brother, Charlie Wenjack (subsequently subject of Tragically Hip October 2016 song “The Secret Path”).

A Deirdre Mulrooney documentary, funded by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland, first broadcast on Newstalk 106 – 108fm in December 2008.

In this heart-warming love story, the East meets the West, the Sea meets the Hills, and Darjeeling harmonises with the Cork lilt as Eileen and Brendan O’Brien make the long and arduous trip from Cork to the foothills of the Himalayas to give their only daughter Emma away in an elaborate Nepali wedding ritual involving destiny, and many bottles of whiskey… Irish Monsoon Wedding tells what has once again become an archetypal Irish story – of parents coming to terms with the loss of their children to foreign shores, or, in this case, to a far-off mountain-top above the clouds in India.  Bittersweet tears are balanced by the joy of a colourful, intercultural wedding celebration complete with intricate Nepali rituals. This exotic tale unravels against a backdrop of Edith Wilkins’ wonderful Centre for Street Children, and Fair Trade Organic Darjeeling Tea, available for sale here in Dublin and Cork.  A monsoon of tears, of singing, of laughter and of course that essential ingredient for any love story – true love.

A Deirdre Mulrooney Production, first broadcast on Sunday February 26th, 2012 on Newstalk 106 – 108FM.
Sound Supervision by John Davis

As part of the “Bohemians: Et Ce Chant dans mon Coeur” exhibiton tour to Culturlann Sweeney, Kilkee, County Clare, The Banner Theatre Company performed dancer Jacqueline Robinson’s seven poems “Songs from my Heart” on Culture Night, 2012.  This is the recording.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Deirdre Mulrooney interviews Ireland’s top performance artist Amanda Coogan for VULGO during Manchester International Festival’s premiere run of Robert Wilson’s “The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic”, in which Amanda was performing.