*New series* Irish Noir

John Kelly 2009 Image Name: John Kelly 2009

Irish Noir – a major new series on RTE Radio 1 exploring the past, present and future of Irish crime writing.

Presented by John Kelly, Irish Noir is the story of Irish Crime fiction. From its gothic origins, through the fast paced storylines provided by Celtic Tiger excess – and right up to the bleak fictional landscape inspired by Austerity Ireland

In the last 15 years, Irish crime writing has experienced a renaissance in popularity comparable to the Scandinavian and Scottish crime writing scenes. But before that, Irish crime was a niche style written by few. Irish Noir is a major new four-part which will explore why it took so long for this popular genre to get a comfortable footing in this country. To what extent did politics and history play a part? And did the enormous success of Irish literary giants like Joyce and Beckett cloud the ambitions of writers who might have naturally had more hard-boiled aspirations…? In other words, did we turn our literary noses up at crime fiction?

This will be a must-listen series for all bookworms, featuring contributions from the biggest names in our country’s crime writing scene – John Connolly, John Banville, Tana French, Declan Burke, Declan Hughes, Arlene Hunt, Alex Barclay, and Stuart Neville to name but a few…

Irish Noir was made in conjunction with the BAI’s Sound and Vision fund. It starts on RTE Radio 1 at 7pm on Saturday September 14th.

Part 1 –
This sets up the series, with a look into the peculiar gothic origins of the crime genre in Ireland. We look at the earliest crime texts from our first authors to write crime stories, including Sheridan Le Fanu, LT Meade and Oscar Wilde. But we’ll also be delving into the real world surrounding these writers, a place where forensic detection was in its infancy, and a country in conflict where strongly held beliefs in superstition and fairy magic lead to bloody murder.

John Kelly is joined by Ian Campbell Ross, former professor of literature at Trinity College Dublin; Angela Bourke, author and Emeritus professor of Irish Studies at University College Dublin and Ian Gargan, medical doctor and criminal psychologist.


RTÉ Radio 1, Saturday September 14, 7pm