People Like You

Seán P. Feeny

Dónall Mac Ruairí explores everyday lives on new RnaG series

Gaoth Dobhair taxi man Charlie Mac Pháidín who is featured in today's episode.

Gaoth Dobhair taxi man Charlie Mac Pháidín who is featured in today’s episode.

AN EXCITING new weekly radio documentary series produced by a well-known Rann na Feirste broadcaster kicks off this afternoon.

Over the last five months Dónall Mac Ruairí has spent time with 14 people from many different walks of life for his new series of half-hour documentaries, An Lá seo Romham. In this new series produced for RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, which begins tomorrow, June 3, at 1.30pm Dónall learns what it’s like to spend a day in these people’s working lives.

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While the concept of broadcasters and journalists spending ‘a day in the life’ with someone isn’t new, Dónall brings his own fresh stamp to in An Lá seo Romham.
The broadcaster follows people in ‘everyday’ professions, jobs where the public might not see importance of what they do or realise the benefits of their services.
Programme 1 of the new summer radio series features the very popular West Donegal taxi service provider, ‘Charlie Mac’ Mac Pháidín from Gaoth Dobhair.

In what will be no doubt be a very entertaining, and enlightening, programme, Dónall joins the taxi driver for his day’s work on St Patrick’s Day.
“We’d be lost without them (taxi drivers) and we tend to forget that sometimes, never mind the difficult job they have to do day in, day out. We forget that they probably bring close to two or three hundred people home safely any given night.
“I wanted to find out why Charlie does this difficult job and what he loves about it, while we also get to meet a lot of characters along the way,” said Dónall.

The broadcaster finds out about the difficulties a taxi driver faces and how Charlie Mac expertly deals with them. He also experiences the entertaining side of Charlie’s job as he is entertained with live seán-nós, and even Italian opera singing on his journeys. Dónall said: “The sounds in the programme are a great reflection of the atmosphere and buzz on the day, as they are in all the programmes.”

Lorcan O'Toole, Golden Eagle Trust.

Lorcan O’Toole, Golden Eagle Trust.

Dónall meets many interesting characters during this series and goes on many adventures give gave him hours and hours of great material to work with while editing. From being taken out on an training flight with the Irish Aircorps, which turned into a real search mission, to spending the night in lorry sleeping cabin with long haul driver Liam Mac Aodha in the middle of Castlebar, there is a lot of excitement in the series.

He said: “I also spent a day with Lorcan O’Toole from the Golden Eagle Trust at Glenveagh National Park. While his role is well-documented in the media, we never really see the amount of work he puts in on a daily basis.

Also featured is Monaghan native and former teacher, Reverend David McDonnell. Dónall meets the fluent Irish speaker as he settles into his parish in Dunfanaghy.
We also get to hear a completely different side to another very well-known Donegal man during An Lá seo Romham – former Donegal player and two-time All-Star Kevin Cassidy. Dónall said: “Kevin, of course, is a household name in all of Ireland, but in this programme we get to hear another side to him in his role as a teacher at the Little Angels School for children with special needs in his working environment and what he loves about his job.”

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Kevin Cassidy. Photo: Declan Doherty

Kevin Cassidy. Photo: Declan Doherty

Dónall, who has now been working with RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta for eight years, said he is very grateful to the people who participated in the series.
“I really appreciate that they let us into their, sometimes very personal, daily lives and allowed us to document their jobs, even in situations when they might have been under pressure.”

An Lá seo Romham will be broadcast every Tuesday at 1.30pm on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta for the next 14 weeks and will be rebroadcast on Sunday mornings 10.30 am. You can listen back online anytime on www.rte.ie/rnag

You can hear Dónall Mac Ruairí’s music programme Binneas Béil featuring trad, folk and world music, weekdays from 2 to 4pm on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.

Dónall, also a talented musician to boot (2nd from right), pictured with his family band Clann Mhic Ruairí (l-r): - Seán, Megan, Tony agus Aodh.

Dónall, also a talented musician to boot (2nd from right), pictured with his family band Clann Mhic Ruairí (l-r): – Seán, Megan, Tony agus Aodh.

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