The Radharc Collection

Founded in 1959, Radharc is considered one of Ireland’s most important independent documentary production companies. It initially comprised of a small group of Dublin priests lead by Father Peter Dunn and Fr Desmond Forristal. The team made over 400 documentaries which were screened on RTÉ, Ireland’s national broadcaster, between 1961 and 1996. Their insightful and challenging filmmaking garnered many critical accolades.

The Radharc documentary series had a remarkably broad reach both geographically and thematically. It was shot in more than 60 countries around the world and looked at life from a range of religious, social and cultural perspectives. The team were not afraid to tackle difficult and often controversial topics and their standing as clergy allowed a level of access that lay filmmakers may not have been able to achieve. The Radharc output is significant, in both Irish and international terms, as a body of finely-crafted documentary work and an insightful record of Irish cultural, social and ideological engagement from the 1960s to 90s. The Radharc cameras shone a light onto a changing Ireland and recorded values, rural and urban traditions and indeed topography that no longer exist. Their international output was equally valuable as the team covered five continents in search of globally-significant subject matter.

The Radharc Trust is responsible for The Radharc Collection and deposited it with the IFI in 1998.

You can find out more at The Radharc Trust. 

Irish College Ranafast

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Father Joe Dunn introduces Ranafast, the Gaeltacht area in the Rosses region of Donegal, telling us: “We hear a lot about the vanishing Irish, the flight from the land, and the depopulation of the Gaeltacht. But the little village has not suffered any depopulation, particularly during the summer months when the famous Irish college is […]

The New Ritual – Radharc

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In this Radharc documentary, Father Joe Dunn looks at the changes being made to the sacramental rituals of the Roman Catholic Church in 1962. In the 1960s far-reaching alterations in liturgy, theology and ecumenism were promoted by the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and the laity was given a more central role in church governance. One […]

Men’s Sodality – Radharc

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In this documentary from 1962, Father Peter Lemass takes to the streets of Dublin to interview ordinary people about life in a large inner-city parish. Fr Lemass discovered that, when membership of the local Men’s Sodality religious group declined, a group of seven men took to the streets to re-engage lapsed members and enlist new […]