This May the newly launched RTÉ Player International is bringing the Irish around the world a wonderful selection of Irish viewing - from the tragedy of the Lusitania, to the highs and lows of the Eurovision, to wonderful gardens at Bloom, to some hearty chuckles with comedy too. There’s something for everyone.
With over 500 hours of free and paid for content covering everything from news and current affairs, comedy, entertainment, documentaries, drama, lifestyle, Irish language and kids programmes, the new app is jam packed with shows for you to enjoy.
Here are some highlights of this May’s lineup:
Lusitania 100th Anniversary Programme
This Nationwide special focuses on the British ocean liner the RMS Lusitania which sank 100 years ago off the Cork coast.
On May 7 1915 the Cunard liner Lusitania was en route from New York to Liverpool, having maintained her Atlantic passage service despite the outbreak of war.
The liner, with 1,959 people on board, was about 16 kilometers (10 miles) off the Old Head of Kinsale and travelling at 18 knots when she was struck by torpedo from a German submarine U20. Once damaged, the Lusitania quickly listed to one side, making it difficult to launch lifeboats.
The Lusitania sank in 91 miles (300 ft) of water. A flotilla of rescue boats were launched and 761 people were saved. The majority of the 1,198 passengers who lost their lives were never recovered.
The survivors were ferried to Queenstown and were accommodated in local hospitals, lodging houses and private homes.
Nearly three days after the sinking of the Lusitania 150 of her victims were buried in mass graves in the Old Church cemetery, one mile north of Queenstown. Eighty of them were never identified.
The sinking of the Lusitania was perhaps the largest loss of life in a maritime tragedy off Ireland’s shores.
Guest presenter, Bryan Dobson visits the sights associated with the liner. He meets the daughter of a survivor and hears about the impact the sinking had on the people of County Cork and of the world. Plus he goes through the archive to reveal old images of the funerals in Cobh.
Eurovision – a uniquely Irish perspective
Watch both Semi-Finals and the Grand Final live or on-demand on RTÉ Player International
19th May – Semi-Final 1
21st May – Semi Final 2
23rd May – Grand Final
Experience the glitz, sparkle and drama with a uniquely Irish perspective from Eurovision on our new RTÉ Player International App, live from the beautiful city of Vienna in Austria.
Check out our Eurovision collection where we have pulled together some of the greatest Eurovision moments from the past. We also have a clip from Ireland’s current Eurovision hopeful Molly Sterling, a self-taught musician from Nenegh, in County Tipperary. She and songwriter Greg French co-wrote 'Playing with Numbers' as part of her upcoming album. The song is about the risks people take every day in love and in life, and the experiences of taking the road less travelled. Molly will be the second performer in the second Semi-Final on the May 21.
Enjoy two great programmes that look at some great Eurovision winners of recent years. Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan’s 1994 Eurovision win was the third in a row for Ireland. Originally it was planned that Paul would perform the song on his own, but their on-stage chemistry performing the song together resulted in them performing together and winning with the iconic “Rock n’Roll Kids.”
“In Your Eyes” stormed to victory in 1993, in Millstreet, performed by, the then 25-year-old, Niamh Kavanagh. Ireland’s fifth winner also sang on the soundtrack album for Alan Parker’s “The Commitments”.
Live from the Phoenix Park, Bloom 2015 and the Super Garden Grand finale will stream live worldwide on May 28 2015. Now in its ninth year, Bloom is Ireland’s largest gardening event, and is taking place in the Phoenix Park in Dublin from May 28 to June 1.
Bloom will showcase the very best of Ireland’s landscape gardeners with over 30 exquisite show gardens and 120 Irish food producers. You don’t have to be here to enjoy it, join us virtually via RTÉ Player International for a live programme from the festival
We also bring you lots of other gardening programmes from How to Create a Garden to Dermot’s Secret Garden all on the app from May 1.
RTÉ Player International Laughs – featuring Republic of Telly & Killinaskully
Republic of Telly
Charlotte Crosby from Geordie Shore is the special guest star this week as “Jen of the Week”.
Charlotte helps Bernard and Kevin get on top of social media and gain followers on Instagram and Twitter. She teaches them tricks for selfies and shows them how to make your life more fabulous online. Charlotte also appears in the new programme “Don’t Tell the Widow” where Kevin and Bernard organize her husband’s funeral but they’re keeping a very big secret from her.
Available now worldwide!
Pat Shortt brings you the madcap villagers of Killinaskully – a place that has more village idiots per capita than anywhere else in Ireland. Shot on location in the villages of Kiloscully and Ballinahinch, a visit here will no doubt have you in stitches. With Dan Clancy, Timmy and Jimmy, Pa Connors, Sgt. O’Toole, Mrs Gilhooley and Dieter are all brought to life by the writing team of Pat Shortt, Mike Finn and Joe Rooney this is definitely not one to miss.RTÉ Player International is available to download from the app store for free, users can access 100 hours of free content, refreshed daily and the full content offering of 500 hours can be accessed and watched free of advertising for a monthly subscription of €8.99 ($8.99/ £6.99) through the Apple Store.