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Broadcaster Sean O'Rourke
two tribes

Sean O’Rourke to return to screens next week in new RTÉ political documentary series

The Civil War political series will be the veteran journalist’s first television project since Golfgate.

SEAN O’ROURKE WILL return to RTÉ screens for the first time since the Golfgate scandal next week.

The veteran broadcaster is set to present a TV and podcast series Two Tribes, which will explore taken by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael in the wake of the Civil War.

The series will track the diverging paths taken by the two parties in the post-Civil War landscape, their political dominance over the last 100 years and the relevance of this rivalry in Ireland’s 21st century political terrain.

It will broadcast as two, one-hour-long documentaries next Wednesday and Thursday at 9.35pm on RTÉ 1, with an accompanying ten-part podcast series containing extended interviews also pending release.

The series will feature interviews with many Irish journalists, historians and and political figures, including Taoiseach Micheál Martin , Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald.

Its release will come just days after Fianna Fáil leader Martin is due to hand over his position as head of government to his Fine Gael counterpart, Leo Varadkar.

The programme is part of a range of content centering around the Irish Civil War produced by the broadcasting service and will be O’Rourke’s first time hosting a series since his involvement in Golfgate.

The veteran journalist was a long-time RTÉ employee but retired in May 2020.

He was understood to be in talks to return to the station in the following months when it was revealed that he attended the controversial Oireachtas Golf Society dinner held at a hotel in Clifden, Co Galway in August 2020 amid strict Covid-19 restrictions.

Then-agriculture minister Dara Calleary, who was also at the dinner, resigned from his position in the aftermath and RTÉ subsequently confirmed that it would not be proceeding with future projects with O’Rourke.

O’Rourke was quoted in the RTÉ statement at the time and said it was the “right course” of action as he wanted to “call myself to account”.

Additional reporting from Rónán Duffy. 

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