RTÉ Nationwide presenters Mary Kennedy and Anne Cassin Image Name: RTÉ Nationwide presenters Mary Kennedy and Anne Cassin Copyright: RTÉ

Monday 11th September, 7.00pm, RTÉ One

Tonight, Nationwide visits the Champions Weekend at Leopardstown Racecourse where the best racehorses in Europe compete at the Dublin venue and the Curragh for €4.6 million in prize money.  This event showcases Ireland and an industry where the Irish excel.  Presenter Anne Cassin looks at the champion hats celebrating Irish millinery and she also looks at Goffs bloodstock who are celebrating 151 years and who had a boutique auction before racing.  She chats to young jockey Ronan Whelan who is making a name for himself and explains what a flagship weekend like this means to the industry.

Reporter Mary Fanning meets up with jockey Pat Smullen who is nine-times champion and Offaly Person of the Year Winner.  Mary Fanning visited him earlier in the season as his working day unfolded.

Dublin used to have three racecourses in the past, The Phoenix Park racecourse, Baldoyle and Leopardstown,  with the latter being the only surviving track.  Reporter Valerie Waters goes to Leopardstown to meet Pat Keogh who is in charge of the state owned venue and he tells her of how they must stay at the top of their game in this very competitive business.


Wednesday 13th September, 7.00pm on RTÉ One

On this evening’s Nationwide, the team is in the small town of Kenmare in County Kerry which might not be the country’s biggest tourist destination, but is certainly one of the most beautiful. Founded in 1670, it’s a planned town with two five-star hotels, The Park and the Sheen Falls Lodge and retains a charm and quaintness from decades long passed.

Patrick and Emma Puech took the long road to Kenmare, before they settled there last year and opened their French bakery and cafe, Maison Gourmet. For almost 20 years the couple lived with their family in Saint Girons, a small town of around 7,000 people in south-west France, running a bakery there in the middle of the Pyrenees.  But when their youngest son, Mael, moved to Ireland to take up a job as a trainee sommelier at the Park Hotel, they followed him, lock, stock and ovens, and relocated their bakery business to Kenmare.  RTÉ Southern Editor Paschal Sheehy visits the couple to find out more.

Paschal also takes a trip to  one of Kenmare town’s oldest establishments, the former Great Southern, now the Park Hotel, which is celebrating 120 years in business this year.   Run by Francis and John Brennan, the hotel has set high standards for itself and as hotel staff move on and set up their own businesses locally, the five-star Park Hotel has helped to create a five-star town.


Friday 15th September, 7.00pm on RTÉ One.

Tonight Nationwide visits Lisdoonvarna for the month long Matchmaking Festival where loves stories have been starting for decades.  The team meet the young couple who met at Lisdoonvarna in recent years and who married and now have two young children. We meet the new matchmaker in town and her rivals at the matchmaking app, Luvguru, based in Lahinch. We go along to a traditional tea dance with presenter Mary Kennedy taking to the floor and we see how people found love and took the spa waters 50 years ago when RTÉ visited Lisdoon back in 1967.