Pat Kenny receives Ifta award for lifetime achievement

Winning TV shows include ‘Daniel & Majella’s B&B Road Trip’ and ‘The Day Henry Met’

Pat Kenny was awarded a lifetime achievement award at the Irish Film and Television Academy's (IFTA) Gala television awards tonight, joining a pantheon of past recipients including Gay Byrne and Neil Jordan.

Productions broadcast by RTE, TV3, TG4, BBC Northern Ireland and UTV were all in contention during the annual awards ceremony for the best Irish TV programmes of the year.

Early winners among the 23 categories included Daniel & Majella's B&B Road Trip in the factual category, The Day Henry Met for animation and Bridget and Eamon for comedy.

Other categories ranged from soap to documentary and news programmes to sports.


Popular broadcasters present

Presented by Amanda Byram, the event in Dublin's DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel was attended by some of the country's most popular broadcasters and performers, including Miriam O'Callaghan, Bob Geldof, Brendan O'Carroll, Pat Shortt and Olivia O'Leary.

This is the second year the Academy has hosted a standalone ceremony devoted solely to television, following organisational and production difficulties with the previous format.

Film and drama achievements were recognised in a separate ceremony earlier this year. This year’s nominees featured many programmes devised specifically for the centenary commemorations of 1916, with RTE’s live coverage of the state ceremonies competing with its spectacular Centenary show from the Bord Gais Energy Theatre for the Best Live Event award.

Pat Kenny, who returned to primetime television this week with a new current affairs show on TV3, was presented with the Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Irish broadcasting over almost five decades. Previous recipients include Gay Byrne, Maureen O’Hara, Neil Jordan and, Niall Toibín.

TG4, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, was recognised for its contribution to Irish television and the Irish language with a special award for commissioning director Mícheál Ó Meallaigh.

Ifta winners

Male performance:

Brendan O’Carroll - Mrs Brown’s Boys

Reality and constructed factual:

First Dates Ireland - Coco Television

Documentary single:

I Am Immigrant - Motive Television

Female performance:

Sharon Horgan - Catastrophe


Brendan O’Connor’s Cutting Edge


Daniel & Majella’s B&B Road Trip

Current affairs:

RTÉ Investigates - Standards in Public Office - RTÉ

Children and young people’s:

My Life Champion of the world - Tyrone Productions


The Day Henry Met - Wiggleywoo Ltd


Bridget & Eamon

Irish language:

An Klondike - Abú Media

Writer - soap and comedy:

Sharon Horgan - Catastrophe

Editing - television:

Úna Ní Dhonghaile - An Innocent Man

Sound - television:

Deoch an Dorais - Dean Jones, Colm O’Rourke and John Brennan

Camera - television:

Michael O’Donovan - These Walls Can Talk

Director - soap and comedy:

Jason Butler - Bridget & Eamon

Director television:

Gerry Nelson - Wild Cities

Documentary series:

1916: The Irish Rebellion - COCO Television

Gala TV rising star winner:

Al Porter

Sports :

Hidden Impact: Rugby and Concussion - Wildfire Films


Ireland Live News @ 5:30 - Brexit Special - UTV

Specialist factual:

A Fanatic Heart: Bob Geldof on WB Yeats

Live event:

Centenary - RTÉ

Soap and continuing drama:

Red Rock

Hugh Linehan

Hugh Linehan

Hugh Linehan is an Irish Times writer and Duty Editor. He also presents the weekly Inside Politics podcast

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times