Maurice McCabe to reveal harrowing strain on family in new TV documentary
Nine of the best shows this week, including Whistleblower: The Maurice McCabe Story
Whistleblower: The Maurice McCabe Story: Katie Hannon and McCabe
Whistleblower: The Maurice McCabe Story
Monday/Tuesday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm
Last month, the Disclosures tribunal found that Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe had been subjected to a prolonged smear campaign designed to destroy his good name and professional reputation. It was the end of a nightmare for McCabe and his family, and in this two-part documentary, he and his wife Lorraine will tell their personal story to RTÉ reporter Katie Hannon. They reveal how the family held together through a harrowing time, during which McCabe was ostracised by his colleagues, and falsely accused of child abuse.
Claire Byrne Live Brexit Special
Monday, RTÉ One, 10.40pm
A special cross-Border Brexit debate, chaired by Stephen Nolan in Dublin and Claire Byrne in Belfast, as contributors discuss the issue in front of two studio audiences.
WWI’s Secret Shame: Shell Shock
Monday, BBC2, 9pm
In the aftermath of the first World War, soldiers who sacrificed so much were actually called cowards when they came home. Paralysed by fatigue, anxiety and extreme terrors, they were the victims of shell shock. In this one-off documentary, Dan Snow examines the devastating impact the Great War had on the mental health of millions of soldiers, discovering how shell shock has evolved into the cases of post-traumatic stress disorder that modern servicemen and women are affected by today. The historian asks military psychiatrists and experts why the authorities still struggle to help the psychiatric casualties of war.
Tuesday, RTÉ One, 10.40pm
Just in case you missed it when it came hot off the presses on BBC1 in September, here’s a new drama exploring the ups and downs of newspaper publishing in the age of fake news. With growing attacks on press freedom and increasing polarisation of left- and right-wing press, the time seems right for a drama that addresses this glaring information chasm. Press centres on two rival newspapers (a struggling left-leaning broadsheet and a thriving populist tabloid) who are also neighbours in the same square. Both publications have completely different approaches to getting the story and, as they battle to be first with the exclusives, there’s the inevitable clash of ideas and ideologies.
Growing Up Live
Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday, RTÉ One, 7pm
Want to watch someone going from birth to old age to death in just three days? An accelerated life is brought to you by Angela Scanlon, who hosts this three-part science series over three consecutive nights in front of a live audience at the Anatomy Museum. The idea is to explore how the human body and mind develops over its lifespan, with help from scientific siblings Deirdre and Ruairi Robertson, and a host of guest boffins, including Prof Luke O’Neill, Prof Emma Teeling and Prof Aoife McLysaght, plus celebrity guests including retiring Irish rugby international Peter Stringer. The series will look at how we develop language, how our brains develop, and why some people age better than others. (In my case, it’s my boyish good looks.)
Wednesday, RTÉ One, 11.10pm
Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in Ireland, with a growing number of people being diagnosed with this life-threatening condition. The health system is overwhelmed by the large number of diabetes patients, and families are having to manage this complex condition at home, often with scant support from health bodies. This short documentary by award-winning director Hugh Rodgers hears the stories of young people living with diabetes, and looks at the breakthroughs being made in diabetes research and in finding better ways to deliver insulin to patients.
Inside the Foreign Office
Thursday, BBC2, 9pm
The BBC gains access to Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Filming for this three-part documentary series took place during a crucial 12 months when the FCO played a pivotal role responding to global conflicts in Syria, Somalia, Ukraine and Libya, and fighting to maintain the UK’s international influence as it prepares to exit the EU. Tonight, as world leaders meet for a United Nations session in New York, the UK’s civil servants decide who will sit where at the prime minister’s session, while then foreign secretary Boris Johnson is briefed on what to say to his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
Bánú nó Slánú/Rural Decline
Thursday, TG4, 9.30pm
This documentary looks at the small town way of life that is dying a death in Ireland, as illustrated by a visit to once thriving towns in Kerry and Leitrim. Ballylongford in north Kerry has seen its mill, creamery and many businesses close over the last 30 years. In 2017, no new children started in the national school for the first time in living memory and its post office is now under threat. One of the last small farmers in the village, John O’Connor, who's in his 70s, sums things up: “I’m the last of the family. There are no small farmers anymore.” Kiltyclogher in north Leitrim made the headlines when it launched a media campaign to attract people to move to the village. Six families made the move, helping to save the local school – but one year on, how does the future look? Did the newcomers stay? And have they done enough?
Thinking Outside the Box – Schrodinger in Ireland
Friday, RTÉ One, 7.30pm
In February 1943, Nobel Prize-winning Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger gave three public lectures on What Is Life? at Trinity Collge. Schrödinger was then director of theoretical physics at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. As this documentary reveals, the lectures had a tremendous influence on the development of molecular biology after they were published in book form.
Additional reporting: PA