Donal Ryan adaptation ‘Foscadh’ and Dublin drama ‘Townsend’ awarded public funds

Virgin Media’s ‘Blood’ receives highest sum in BAI’s €6m Sound & Vision round

Townsend, an RTÉ One ten-part drama series set in Dublin, and Foscadh, TG4's feature-length adaptation of Donal Ryan's novel The Thing About December, are among the latest projects to receive funding from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI).

Virgin Media One's upcoming six-part drama Blood received the highest award in the newest round of the BAI's Sound & Vision scheme.

The family murder mystery, made by Company Pictures and Element Pictures, was given €475,000 or up to 15 per cent of its total production cost. Starring Adrian Dunbar, it is set to air on the channel previously known as TV3 next month.

Townsend received €250,000, a maximum of 1.8 per cent of the total budget for the drama, which has been co-created by Irish film and television director Ciaran Donnelly.


It is co-produced by Mr Donnelly’s company Grey Door Film Productions alongside UK company Headline Pictures and North American company Bron Studios.

Production company Magamedia Teo received €400,000, up to a third of the budget for Foscadh, the Irish-language adaptation of Ryan's novel, which is set in Tipperary in 2001. Foscadh means "shelter" in Irish.

Another TG4 commission, one-off drama Mo Ghrá Buan by Dublin-based Macalla Teoranta, was awarded €400,000 through the scheme, while Kavaleer Productions also received €400,000 for Alva and the Trolls, a children's media literacy animation series for RTÉ Jr.

The aim of the series is to help pre-school children navigate digital environments, the BAI said.

Kite Entertainment, the makers of Ireland's Got Talent, Who Do You Think You Are? and Gogglebox Ireland, received €350,000 for six-part factual series OAP B&B, which is destined for Virgin Media One.

Licence fee

A total of €5.971 million was awarded to 130 television and radio projects under this latest round of the scheme, which is funded through the portion of television licence fee receipts that is allocated to the BAI.

Some 103 radio projects were granted almost €742,000, with almost €5.25 million given to 27 television projects.

The scheme, which aims to “foster diverse and culturally relevant content for Irish audiences”, is traditionally oversubscribed. Some 227 applications for funding were made in this round, with total funds of €17.5 million sought.

BAI chief executive Michael O’Keeffe said documentary continued to be the most common category for both applications and funding recommendations, but that the scheme had now increased its support for drama and education proposals.

Irish language and bilingual programming will equate to 30.5 per cent of all funds issued in 2018, he added.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics