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Mary McAleese's Modern Family Airs on RTÉ – Wednesday, August 22nd
14 Aug 2018 : Nathan Griffin
Ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to Ireland later this month for the World Meeting of Families, the new RTE series follows former President Mary McAleese as she travels the country, charting the seismic changes that have occurred in the Irish family and in our relationship with the Catholic Church since the last historic papal visit, 39 years ago.

The new series airs on RTÉ next Wednesday, August 22nd at 9:35pm.

In 1979, the vast majority of Irish families – at least for the sake of appearances – took their cues from the Catholic Church: heterosexual couples raised their children within the framework of life-long marriages and there was very little tolerance or support for anyone who strayed outside that norm. There was no contraception and no divorce. Homosexual relationships and abortion were secret and illegal. Feminism was just an f word; religious and cultural diversity were almost invisible; nobody spoke of child abuse; and sex and childbirth outside wedlock were sources of secret shame, treated with the entire stigma that right-thinking people felt they deserved. Ireland was full of institutions, designed to keep such misfits and their “illegitimate” children out of sight.

So, how much has changed? In today’s Ireland, Mary McAleese encounters a hugely diverse spectrum of families, from whose experiences, supportiveness, compassion, love and tolerance she believes the Catholic Church could learn a lot. But are there also still lessons and values that 21st century Irish families could learn from the Catholic Church?

The series is presented and narrated by Mary McAleese. It is produced, directed and filmed by Birthe Tonseth. Other key credits on the production include: Roger Childs; Series Editor, Liz Walshe; Camera, Rhenda Sheedy; Researcher, Margaret Curran; Make-Up, Liz Walshe; Editor, Alice O’Sullivan; Programme Department Assistant, Fionn Warren; Driver, Oleg Jitov; Grade, Patrick J Doyle Jr; Post Production Sound.

The series was commissioned by RTÉ and made in-house by RTÉ Religious.

Mary McAleese’s Modern Family will air on RTÉ next Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018.




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