English | Irish | French
scun scan

Rapairí (6x26min) broadcast in Autumn 2009 on TG4

Rapairí Video:

"Rapairi should be available to watch online, and will, at some point, almost certainly be repeated. It is well worth watching out for."
John Gibney, History Ireland magazine January 2010
Many a schoolboy, has been wowed by the tales of the English Highwayman, Dick Turpin. However his tales are nothing compared with those of our own Rapparees, Torys and Highwaymen. By drawing on Ireland’s vast outlaw folklore this series depicts the lives of 6 of the most famous Irish highwaymen that lived between 1600 and 1850. Each story also sheds new light on Irish people's attitude to the law, and lawbreakers.

The first programme in this series tells the story of one of the first tories, Dudley Costello, who lost his lands in Mayo in the middle of the 17th century, and examines the circumstances which can force a law-abiding citizen to defy the law.
The second programme tells the story of Eamonn an Chnoic or Ned of the Hill from Tipperary and shows how his myth has been a source of inspiration for countless generations of Irish men to challenge the law in the name of justice.
By examining historical documents associated with the Armagh Tory, Redmond O’Hanlon, the third programme shows how outlaw folklore and history can be in complete variance.
The fourth programme, tells the story of an early 18th century outlaw by the name of Charles Dempsey or as he was better known in his home county Laois Cahir na gCapall. This programme also shows that honour among thieves is a rare commodity and that there is no such thing as a victimless crime.
Highwayman James Freney from Kilkenny who at the end of the 18th century wrote an account of his own life is the subject of the fifth programme. This programme shows how Irish folklore tends to glamourise law-breakers, instead perceiving them as heroes.
The final programme tells the story of the Meath highwayman, Michael Collier, who lived at the beginning of the 19th century. This programme shows how the outlaws were not alone in taking the law into their own hands.

View Rapairí Gallery