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heavy jury duty

Pat Kenny will helm jury to decide Pádraig Pearse's fate

Tom Vaughan-Lawlor will star as the 1916 rebel leader in an experimental TV3 programme. / YouTube

A EXPERIMENTAL PROGRAMME from TV3 will see the role of 1916 Rising leader Pádraig Pearse assessed by a host of contemporary media personalities and commentators.

The programme, called the Trial of the Century, will break down into three installments: the first two which will star Tom Vaughan-Lawlor in the central role as the rebel leader, and the third which will feature a discussion by a 12-person ‘contemporary jury’ chaired by Pat Kenny.

Underpinning all of this is the concept that Pearse will be given the trial he never received.

How will this break down? 

In the first programme the British prosecution will present its case that the rebel leader acted at a time when home rule was imminent – and that his actions ultimately led to a large number of unnecessary deaths.

Pearse will hit back in the second installment, arguing that force was a legitimate measure to overthrow a tyrannical regime.

Things will really get interesting in the third programme when the panel get down the business of deciding the contentious issue of whether Pearse was right or wrong.

Panel discussion 

Joining Pat Kenny – who’s making his second outing on TV3 after his involvement in their election coverage – will be executive director of Amnesty International in Ireland Colm O’Gorman, Irish Times journalist Una Mullaly, singer Damien Dempsey and former GAA star Oisín McConville.

Trial of the Century - Ep 3 Jury (26) The panel set to decide Pearse's fate Paul Sharp / SHARPPIX Paul Sharp / SHARPPIX / SHARPPIX

Sitting beneath appropriately dramatic lighting in Dublin’s Lir Theatre, the programme will follow their deliberations in the lead up to a verdict.

The programmes will broadcast over three consecutives nights, starting on Saturday 30 April and running to Monday 2 May – the date on which Pearse was executed 100 years ago.

Read: Pat Kenny is coming back to your screens *

Also: Here’s the most important piece of advice Gay gave Pat about The Toy Show

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