By using the contemporary grammar of a pulsating election results programme, these historic events will leap from the dry page into an imaginative and innovative screen format
Broadcast 100 years on from the 1918 election, Election 18 will be hubbed by the well known political journalist and TV presenter David McCullagh, supported by Co-presenter journalist Sinead
As results from the election unfold across the hour, David will conduct an orchestra that consists of;
* Political analysts and psephologists reacting to and interpreting emerging storylines in the studio
* Detailed “historical mock-documentary” vignettes which provide context and texture to the
personalities and issues shaping the election.
* Reporters linking “by satellite” from constituency count centres around the country
*Meanwhile, characters and key players in the plot come alive a century later with the creation of
additional digital content that allows interested viewers to dig deeper into long reads on the anniversary
of the count.
In the studio, all the modern devices of data analytics will be deployed. We will see impressive realtime crunching of the numbers represented in shiny infographics and we will colour code the new
electoral map of Ireland, as stories emerge one by one from the constituencies.
As the programme develops and more raw data from the ballot boxes is revealed, it will become evident that a seismic shift in the political landscape has been triggered at the polling stations. Just
as they would in a modern general election, a rotating panel of historians and political scientists will rake over a feast of fascinating storylines.
2) HISTORICAL MOCK-DOCUMENTARY
At intervals throughout the broadcast, David McCullagh will link to pre-recorded VT inserts (historical mock-documentary), which will provide context and texture to the personalities and issues shaping the
With an authoritative voice over provided by fictional journalists, these vignettes will merge authentic archive B-roll with scripted segments in a unique historical mock-documentary style.
Echoing a modern current affairs television grammar, a series of extras and actors in period costume will deliver talking-head sound bytes in interviews that will be filmed to blend seamlessly with the library newsreel from the time. Each contributor will add a building block to the particular story we are gradually constructing.
For instance, we will hear the story of the election of a young New York-born maths teacher in Clare; Eamon De Valera. We will learn of the return of famous barrister Edward Carson in Belfast, moving north to appeal to “his own people” as opposed to his old seat at Trinity College. And we will witness the catastrophic defeat of the Home Rule leader John Dillon in Mayo: beaten bizarrely by Eamon De Valera who
had run in three constituencies in the same election.
3) LIVE LINKS TO COUNT CENTRES
Finally, we will “link live” by satellite to count centres in 1918 to allow viewers to viscerally feel the excitement of the new political landscape emerging, just as citizens would have experienced the thrill of a democratic revolution in 1918.
ELECTION 18 tells the story of how Irish democracy came of age.
The programme will be directed by Ruan Magan, who was involved in three of the big creative successes of the Easter Rising centenary; the IFTA winning documentary 1916- The Irish Rebellion, TG4’s Wrecking The Rising and the GAA’s own live commemoration Laochra. He has also directed blue-chip international history docs on Waterloo’s Warriors, Pearl Harbour
and Death or Canada.
ELECTION ‘18 A Loosehorse Production for RTÉ
Presented by David McCullagh
Funding from the BAI Sound & Vision Fund