Louis Lentin, the former Head of RTÉ Television Drama and television producer has died aged 80.
Louis Lentin joined RTÉ in 1961 at the request of Hilton Edwards and during his time at RTÉ worked across news, music, documentary and television drama. His music programmes included opera and symphony concerts and his documentaries included ‘Isles of Aran’ (1963).
Over time he moved on to television drama, which became a life-long passion winning the Jacobs’ ‘Irish Critics’ Award in 1973 for his contribution to television drama. Among the key productions he is remembered for is Insurection, the eight-days re-enactment of the Easter Rising made in 1966. Louis Lentin was responsible for the production of many original television dramas including Uncle Vanya (1970), King of Friday’s Men (1967) and King of the Castle (1977) and was ultimately appointed Head of Television Drama in RTÉ in 1978.
In 1989 he left RTÉ and established an independent production company which produced several noteworthy productions for RTÉ including 'Dear Daughter', the story of Christine Buckley and of child abuse in the industrial school Goldenbridge, This was the first television exposure of the abuse of hundreds of children in industrial schools and it ultimately led to the Ryan and Murphy reports, the redress board and the Taoiseach's apology to victims of clerical child abuse.
Noel Curran, Director General of RTÉ, said: “Louis Lentin made a major contribution to the output and evolution of RTÉ over the many years he worked here. He was with us on the very first broadcast evening of 31 December 1961. He was passionate about the impact and medium of television and he left a truly impressive legacy of work.”
He is survived by his wife Ronit, and his children Alana and Miki.