DDU: District Detective Unit

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DDU: District Detective Unit
GenreCrime drama
Created byJim Lusby
Directed byA.J. Quinn
Martyn Friend
Alan Grint
StarringSean McGinley
Andrea Irvine
Dermot Martin
Owen Roe
Conor McDermottroe
Ingrid Craigie
Bosco Hogan
Mary O'Driscoll
Gerard McSorley
Jim Norton
Theme music composerJohn Moloney
Country of originIreland
Original language(s)English
No. of series2
No. of episodes5 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)Paul Cusack
Producer(s)Martin O'Malley
Production location(s)Waterford, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland
CinematographyCedric Culliton
Running time60 minutes
Original networkRTÉ One
Picture format16:9 576i
Audio formatStereo
Original release1998 (1998) –
21 November 1999 (1999-11-21)

DDU: District Detective Unit is an Irish crime drama series, first aired on RTÉ One in 1998, under the title of Making the Cut. The series focuses on a serial crime unit based in Waterford, Ireland, headed by Sergeant Carl McCadden (Sean McGinley), who tackle the murky underworld of crime in Dublin. The series explores the heartbreaking and tragic impact of crime on Irish society and explores the personal impact on the detectives at the centre of the story, whose lives are permanently changing as they are exposed to the harsh underbelly of the Celtic Tiger.[1]

Making the Cut, a single 120-minute pilot, aired in 1998,[2] based on the novel of the same name by writer Jim Lusby.[3] Following strong viewing figures and critical acclaim, a four part follow-up, entitled DDU: District Detective Unit, was commissioned for broadcast in 1999.[4] DDU comprises two two-part stories, "Unforgiven" and "The Gates of Eden". "Unforgiven" explores the desperate realities of prostitution and the devastating effect of child abuse focusing on the effects of retribution by the victim. "The Gates of Eden" deals with the ever-increasing problem of immigration and what happens when a Romanian family forced to leave their homeland, become embroiled in somebody else’s criminal plans.[5]

Despite being heralded as one of the finest original crime dramas to originate from Ireland,[6] DDU was not recommissioned. Notably, the series has never been released on DVD.


  • Sean McGinley as Garda Det. Carl McCadden
  • Andrea Irvine as Garda Det. Moya O'Donnell
  • Dermot Martin as Garda Det. Brendan Cronin
  • Owen Roe as Garda Det. Paul Hyland
  • Conor McDermottroe as Garda Det. Frank Duffy
  • Gerard McSorley as Garda Det. Mick Casey
  • Jim Norton as Garda Det. Tom Regan
  • Ingrid Craigie as Dr. Kate Dempsey
  • Bosco Hogan as Garda Chief Inspector Cody
  • Mary O'Driscoll as Brenda Boyle


Pilot (1998)[edit]

Episode Title Directed by Written by Viewers
Original airdate
1"Making the Cut"John BrownMartyn FriendTBA1998 (1998)
On a Saturday night in October during a dock strike, a wino looking for a place to sleep breaks into a cargo container full of peat moss. But there’s already someone else in residence, wrapped in a bin-bag, head protruding from a tear in one end, a rough X carved on his face. Unshaven, unorthodox and unpopular with his superiors, Detective Inspector Carl McCadden must figure out exactly what Billy Power, keeper of greyhounds, and Jack-the-Lad about Waterford - was involved in, and why he had to die. But straight answers about Power, or anything else for that matter, are hard to come by…

Series (1999)[edit]

Episode Title Written by Directed by Viewers
Original airdate
1"Unforgiven: Part 1"Alan GrintMichael RussellTBA31 October 1999 (1999-10-31)
2"Unforgiven: Part 2"Alan GrintMichael RussellTBA7 November 1999 (1999-11-07)
3"The Gates of Eden: Part 1"A.J. QuinnMichael RussellTBA14 November 1999 (1999-11-14)
4"The Gates of Eden: Part 2"A.J. QuinnMichael RussellTBA21 November 1999 (1999-11-21)