Ros na Rún
|Ros na Rún|
|Directed by||Déirdre Ní Fhlatharta, Tommy Ó Fatharta, Cóilín Ó Scolaí|
|Country of origin||Ireland|
|Original language(s)||Irish(English subtitles)|
|No. of seasons||20|
|No. of episodes||1,000 (as of 31 December 2009)|
|Producer(s)||Cóilín Ó Scolaí|
|Location(s)||Spiddal, County Galway|
|Running time||25 minutes approx.|
|Production company(s)||Tyrone Productions
|Picture format||16:9 (SDTV)|
|Original release||3 November 1996 – present
( 19 years, 270 days)
|Related shows||Na Rúin|
Ros na Rún is a long-running Irish soap opera produced for the Irish language television channel, TG4. It was originally broadcast on RTÉ One in the early 1990s before the existence of TG4. It now broadcasts for 35 weeks of the year, airing 2 episodes each week from September to May. The programme is set in a fictional village called Ros Na Rún, located outside Galway, and near Spiddal, and centres on the domestic and professional lives of its residents. It is modelled on an average village in the West of Ireland but with its own distinct personality – diverse population that share secrets, romances, friendships etc. While the core community has remained the same, the look and feel of Ros Na Rún has changed and evolved over the years to incorporate the changing face of rural Ireland. It has established a place not only in the hearts and minds of the Irish speaking public, but also the wider Irish audience. It is renowned throughout Ireland for its explicit, unsimulated sexual content and depictions of extreme violence and hard drug use.
Ros na Rún has been praised for its tackling of realistic and socially challenging storylines, which got it dubbed ‘The Wild West‘. It has dealt with many different storylines, including domestic violence, infidelity, theft, arson, abortion, homosexuality, adoption, murder, rape, drugs, teen pregnancy and paedophilia. Every Summer, while Ros na Rún takes a four-month break, TG4 airs re-runs of previous Ros na Rún episodes: series three is scheduled to start on TG4 weekdays at 2pm from 23 July. The show began its sixteenth season in September 2011, and finished in May 2012. Ros na Rún's seventeenth season began Tuesday, 2 September. Ros na Rún airs in Ireland and the United States and formerly in Scotland.
Ros na Rún was originally transmitted on RTÉ One and later transferred to the Irish-language station TG4, when it opened in October 1996. Ros na Rún first aired on the night of 3 November 1996. The episode filmed scenes in Galway, Dublin and London. The title plays on the double meaning of the Irish word rún, which has a basic meaning of 'secret' but also has a long history as a term of endearment, similar to "honey", "sweetheart", or "darling". Ros can mean either "a wood or wooded headland" or "a headland or promontory", so the title can mean either "Wood/Headland of the Secrets" or "Wood/Headland of the Sweethearts".
Ros na Rún is also shown on WYBE public television in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States and was shown on UK terrestrial Freeview Scottish Gaelic channel TeleG with Scottish Gaelic subtitling until the channel closed in 2011.
One of the show's greatest strengths is that while it has a frank approach to tough subject matters, it also features a strong comedic element. Ros na Rún celebrates the lighter side of village life with scenes of domestic squabbles, practical jokes and competitive one-upmanship between siblings, friends and lovers providing plenty of comic relief. The show balances humour with a sensitive approach to serious themes, making it a hit with viewers.
Jack Padraic dies without leaving a will. His relatives become locked in a battle to take control of his house, his nephew Jack Hayes from London arrives first followed by his niece Rita O'Connor and her family (her husband Paddy and their children Eimear and Jason). Rita returns to Ros na Rún from Dublin. Londoner Jack is first generation Irish from an Irish speaking background. On the death of their close uncle they both decide to move into the house once promised to them each. Rita and her family are forced to move into the local B&B, she is ready for a fight to push Jack back to London. In an effort to embrace Jack, Rita sets up camp across the road. Jack left his partner Tom in London, while the O'Connor's returned their keys to the corporation. Tom joins Jack later in the series. The O'Connor's find it difficult settling with Jason running home to Dublin. A search soon begins around Ros Na Rún.
The Chocolate Factory (Mil Ri) is under pressure and unable to sell their products. Mr. (Chris) Barrett has all but disappeared leaving the factory manager (Sean) under the impressions that the company is about to close. Chris's plan does not work out stop the closer of the factory. Micheál leaves his job in the factory to return to fishing with Mil Rí receptionist Síle wants to join him on the sea, however he gives the job to Seamus. Mil Rí is soon to close.
Liam Ó Conghaile sets his sights on becoming an Actor as film production increase in Ireland. Only to be left cleaning the set. Liam's Grandmother Sarah looks for a job in Tigh Thaidhg (the local pub), robbing her daughter's (Máire) fresh brown bread to impress her new employer. Freddy Victor is a new English film producer in the area, who local radio report Caitriona is looking to interview. Liam's father (Peadar) wishes to return home from an illegal state in New York without a job. Sarah intercepts the calls from her son-in-law and does not let him speak with Máire.
Colin O'Cathain returns from Leeds to his brother Seamus. Colin plays the role of an old Irish ex-pat who realises that he isn't "very happy" in England, while his brother Seamus plays the part of an older retired bachelor in rural Ireland.
In its 17th year, Ros na Rún's storylines continue with local wrangling, gossip, love-stories that blossom and some that fade as well as all the wit and banter that is the daily stuff of social activity in shops, clubs and cafés throughout the country. This season's dramatic storylines continue with themes of love, lust, family troubles, murder, lies, secrets and affairs
This season will feature rape, murder and family reunions as well as new love between old friends, sexy newcomers and affairs of the heart are among a host of real life issues. A previously unknown twin sister whom arrives out of the blue to cause havoc and a stalker who returns to haunt a man on the eve of his wedding. Publican Tadhg and his son try to cover up a murder and Tina does her best to get Dara back from Caitríona. Ros na Rún continually raises the bar for innovative and realistic storylines.
Series Producer Déirdre Ní Fhlatharta believes "This is the most exciting series yet. There is such a great diversity of storylines and a real development of the characters. There is an amazing team working on the series, and their dedication to the show reflects this. This season will be a mixture of character driven stories."
Characters and settings
'Ros na Rún' retains many of the characters from the show's inception. The inhabitants of the village are usually best known by their first names.
- Tadhg Ó Direáin, divorced from first wife Angela and remarried, is the owner of the public house "Tigh Thaidhg" (meaning "the house of Tadhg"), where the locals flock for 'ceol agus craic' (and some sarcastic comments from Tadhg). Since Angela and Tadhg have divorced, he is now married to his wife Frances. They live in Tigh Thaidhg with their first daughter Áine.
- Mícheál Seoige, recently released from prison for the assisted suicide of his second wife, Póilín, is a fisherman and owner of the local farm shop. His first wife, Berni, still lives in the village however, and runs the local cafe "Cúl Chaint" (literal translation: "to talk behind" although it is taken more to mean "gossip"). Berni was in a relationship with Catholic Priest David. They revealed their affair to the public, and in the season finale, David proposed to Berni.They have since split. David left the priesthood and obtained a doctorate in Philosophy. Berni's niece Lee has broken away from her aunt and left college in the process. She now lives in Tigh Thaidhg with Tadhg and Frances, much to Berni's chagrin.
- The Garda Sergeant Úna has been revealed to be the birth mother of local teenager Mo Gilmartin. The problem is that Mo's father is Úna's brother-in-law, Fergal. Úna has professed her rekindled love for Fergal, but has been rejected by him and also her boyfriend John-Joe Daly in the process. Úna has since left Ros na Rún despite John Joe wanting her to give them another chance.
- Jim O'Dowd was drug lord from Dublin who was carrying out his business from the local takeaway, Rico's (now Gaudi's). Tadhg and barman Conall Daly were aware of O'Dowd's shenanigans, and stood idly by while O'Dowd blackmailed Daniel McLoughlin for O'Dowd's murder of the sumptious Anne Marie. In the 2006/2007 season finale, Daniel left Ros na Rún for good, leaving O'Dowd able to pin the crime on him when the police discover the body. O'Dowd was caught by the police but managed to escape and was seen in the Czech Republic. Having been cleared of the murder of Anne Marie, Daniel has since returned to the show in 2009. It also saw the return of Ríona De Búrca who was in hiding in Provence with their daughter Sophie to escape her estranged husband. In the 2009 Christmas episode, having learned of Ríona's return, O'Dowd conspired with his first wife Tina (who was a trusted friend of Roise De Búrca) to kidnap his daughter Sophie and live in London with her. After Sophie is kidnapped from the De Búrca family home, using Tina's house key, Ríona agrees to meet Jim at an unfinished housing development that night. She does not disclose the location to her family and is threatened not to involve police. A heated encounter sees Jim hit Ríona and leave her for dead and proceeding to take Sophie and elope the scene with Tina. Roise learns of where Riona is and when O'Dowd is about to leave, Roise hits O'Dowd with metal rod and he is knocked to the ground. While Ríona and Róise make their getaway and head to the police, Jim, seriously injured threatens to kill both of them before getting his throat cut by Tina. After, their brother, Donnacha De Búrca proceeds to the scene and thinks the girls have killed him. The De Búrca family are still prime suspects of the murder, but Tina's mask is beginning to slip and Daniel will go to the poice unless she sleeps with him.
- Máire and Peadar Ó Conghaile run the local B&B which features heavily in the programme. Peadar's nephew Caomhán and his brother Éamonn (played by Mick Lally) have recently come to the village, but Peadar does not believe that they are related to him at all and is insulted by their presence. He proceeds to sack Caomhán from working in the shop and Máire's mother Sarah gets involved, threatening that the law may be brought into it. Since then, Sarah has gone to Florida and Caomhán discovered his talent as a chef, working in Gaudi, a Spanish themed restaurant, (formerly Rico's) he is angered by Daniel's lack of standard and proceeds to work for Berni in Cúl Chaint. He is in a relationship with Mo, who continues to work in Gaudi. Meanwhile, Máire and Peadar are looking for a new shop manager, due to Peadar being diagnosed with Prostate Cancer.
- Berni Ní Neachtain owns and runs the local cafe. She is strict but also genourous and loves her son Evan deeply. Evan on the other hand has no time for his mother and devotes all his time to fighting with her. As he gets older he begins to develop a relationship with the dectives daughter, Niamh Ó Shea, much to Berni's dismay.
The Irish language
All conversations and scenes in the soap take place in the Irish language. Most of the actors/actresses in the show are native Irish speakers. The dialect used in the show is mostly Connacht Irish, although there are characters from County Donegal (where Ulster Irish is spoken) played by Gavin Ó Fearraigh and Niall Mac Eamharcaigh. Munster Irish is spoken by An tAthair David (Father David). The series producer is Cóilín Ó Scolaí.
On 13 September 2011 TG4 launched a new 10 part online series titled, Na Rúin (The Secrets). The mini-series took on the theme of mystery, when 16-year-old Ciara goes missing from The Teaghlach (a halfway house for troubled teenagers in Ros Na Rún) all hell breaks loose. Soon would be rap star Lorcán finds himself in the frame for her murder, despite his protests of his innocence. The viewer had to read Rachel's, her roommate, and Lorcán's blogs as well as watch video diaries detailing the thoughts of each character about the disappearance to solve the mystery. Many of the regular cast members of Ros Na Rún appeared in the internet mini-series.
Viewing figures and critics
Ros na Rún is TG4's flagship Irish Language drama. Programmes on the station such as Glór Tíre, an Jig Rig and Cogar constantly outperform Ros na Rún. The AGB Nielsen rating for TG4's top 10 programmes from September to December 2011 show that the drama regularly fails to make the top ten programmes on the station, on average the show gets 30,000 viewers across all episodes including the repeat omnibus edition.
It is difficult to assess the critical response to Ros na Rún as the drama is rarely reviewed in the national media in Ireland, and it proves difficult to find reviews of the drama, a similar situation to many soap operas in many countries.
In a short piece on British actor's Stephen Fry's cameo appearance in Ros na Rún, Michael O'Doherty in The Evening Hearld gave a glimpse of the his antipathy towards the drama. Commenting on Fry's appearance, O'Doherty stated, "His part was a brief one, but garnered more column inches for the soap than any other episode".
- It is the only soap in the world which is produced in the Irish language (English subtitles)
- The show is filmed in Spiddal, western County Galway, near the city of Galway.
- The show runs on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 20:30 on TG4, with an Ollchlár (Omnibus) at 22:30 on Sunday nights.
- Ros na Rún is the single largest independent production commissioned in the history of Irish broadcasting.
- In 2008, legendary soap actor Mick Lally, best known for his role as Miley Byrne in Glenroe, joined the cast as self made millionaire, Éamon de Faoite.
- Ros na Rún celebrated its 1000th episode on 31 December 2009.
- On 3 March 2011, Stephen Fry featured in Ros na Rún in a cameo role. Fry plays an English tourist who ends up in Tigh Thaidhg. Some of his lines include ‘níl ocras orm’ and ‘slán go foill’.
In 2005, John Finn, Kathryn Morris and Jeremy Ratchford from Cold Case appeared in a satirical promo for both Cold Case and Ros na Rún for TG4. The commercial won a Gold Medal in the "Best Drama Promos" category of the 2007 Sharks International Advertising Awards Festival of Ireland (Sharks Awards). The promotion features both John Finn and Kathryn Morris in character interrogating a murder suspect from TG4 soap Ros na Rún played by Peadar Cox who refuses to speak in English, both detectives then begin talking in Irish much to the surprise of Jeremy Ratchford's character, the promo tied in with a murder investigation in Ros na Rún. TG4 also ran a similar promo for Nip/Tuck, where Seamus is seen cycling through the country side supporting a brand new pair of breasts.
- Pobol y Cwm
- Na Rúin
- Rownd a Rownd
- Linda Bhreathnach
- Sorcha Ní Chéide
- Áine Ní Dhroighneáin
- List of soap operas with LGBT characters
- Taylor, Charlie and Boland, Rosita. "Stephen Fry to cameo in TG4 soap". The Irish Times. 17 November 2010.
- http://www.tg4.ie/leir/luch.asp Archived 26 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
-  "Ros na Rún celebrates 1,000th show". RTÉ.
- "Corporate – Awards". TG4. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
- "Cold Case meets Ros Na Rún". YouTube/TG4. Retrieved 2 June 2010.