25 May 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
Irish Films on the Small Screen this Christmas
22 Dec 2016 : Katie McNeice
A collection of classic and new Irish film and films featuring Irish talent is scheduled to air over the upcoming holiday period, with a great mix of comedy, documentary and drama lined up from 90s classics to 2016 releases.

Plan your Christmas viewing with our handy list below or click on our TV tab above to see today’s highlights.

Wednesday, December 21st

Strange Occurrences in a Small Irish Village, 21:35 RTÉ One

The Irish feature documentary is an examination of the phenomenon of the Knock Shrine. In August 1879, fifteen people in the small village of Knock, County Mayo, claimed to witness an apparition of the Virgin Mary.  After two official inquiries, the village was declared a Marian Shrine. Today, Knock’s 2,000 residents welcome over one million pilgrims annually.

Directed by Aoife Kelleher (One Million Dubliners) and produced by Underground Films.

Thursday, December 22nd

Who is Dervla Murphy? 23:20 RTÉ One

This extended edition feature documentary, released fifty years after her first book ‘Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle’, features previously unseen footage on the Travel Writer and new contributions from actor/presenter Michael Palin.

Directed and produced by Garret Daly and Martina McGlynn.

Christmas Eve

Albert Nobbs, 01:05 TV3

Albert Nobbs struggles to survive in late 19th-century Ireland, where women aren't encouraged to be independent. Posing as a man so she can work as a butler in Dublin's most elegant hotel, Albert meets a handsome painter and looks to escape the lie she has been living.

Filmed in Ireland and featuring Irish talents Antonia Campbell-Hughes (The Other Side of Sleep) and Maria Doyle Kennedy (Orphan Black).

Christmas Day

The Flag, 23:00 RTÉ One

Harry Hambridge played by Pat Shortt (Smalltown) attempts to reprise the Irish flag raised over the GPO by his grandfather during the 1916 rising. The only issue, as the hapless Hambridge discovers, is that it now hangs upside-down in an English army barracks.

Directed by Declan Recks (The Truth Commissioner) and produced by Treasure Entertainment.

St. Stephens’ Day

The Love Punch, 17:30 Channel 5

Irish talent Pierce Brosnan stars alongside Emma Thompson (High Road) in Joel Hopkins’ comedy which sees a divorced couple scheme to recover the retirement money that was stolen from them.

The Commitments, 21:00 TV3

The classic 1991 musical feature from Alan Parker chronicles the rise and fall of an Irish band. Starring Maria Doyle Kennedy (Orphan Black), Glen Hansard (Once) and Colm Meaney (Halal Daddy).

Calvary, 21:15 RTÉ One

After he is threatened during a confession, a good-natured priest must battle the dark forces closing in around him. Directed by John Michael McDonagh and starring Brendan Gleeson (The Guard).

Tuesday, December 27th

Ella Enchanted, 12:35 UTV Ireland

Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables) and Hugh Dancy (Grey’s Anatomy) lead the cast in this children’s fantasy film from Tommy O’Haver shot in Co. Wicklow in 2004.        

The Snapper, 9.30pm TV3

Stephen Frears’ brilliant TV movie (1993), adapted from one of Roddy Doyle’s Barrytown’’ trilogy. Colm Meaney and Tina Kellegher star in this comedy about a Dublin family whose eldest daughter becomes pregnant, but won’t say who the dad is.

Wednesday December 28th

The Queen of Ireland, 22:15 RTÉ 2

Conor Horgan’s brilliant documentary following drag queen Panti Bliss: part glamorous aunt, part Jessica Rabbit, she's a wittily incisive performer with charisma to burn who is widely regarded as one of the best drag queens in the world.

The Butcher Boy, 23:20 TV3

Neil Jordan adapts Pat McCabe’s surreal tale of a young boy growing up in rural Ireland in the early 1960s.  Eamon Owens gives a standout debut performance, supported by Stephen Rea, Fiona Shaw and Aisling O’Sullivan.

Thursday December 29th

Jimmy’s Hall, 22:15 TG4

Ken Loach’s powerful drama about Jimmy Gralton, who had been written out of Irish history, explores the tension between church and community in 1930s Ireland. Superb cast including Barry Ward, Simone Kirby and Aisling Franciosi. It features cinematography from Robbie Ryan’s and costume design from Eimear Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh.

Older than Ireland, 10.35pm RTE One

Directed by Alex Fegan (The Irish Pub) this landmark documentary tells the story of a hundred years of a life as seen through the eyes of thirty Irish men and women aged 100 or over.

Friday 30th December

Evelyn, 21:00 TV3

Pierce Brosnan’s first film under his Irish production company DreamTime, made in Ireland and released in 2002, which explores the true story of a father who is separated from his two children when the authorities decide they would better placed in an orphanage.

Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie 9.30pm RTE One

Brendan O’Carroll’s big screen feature length Mrs Brown, where she fights to property developers who want to close her market stall. 

Director Colm Quinn discusses documentary Ransom 79
Oscar-nominated Todd Field discusses directing at IFTA Masterclass
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