It was a really interesting programme anchored by Gay Byrne: Last Orders. If you grew up in Ireland in the 60s and the 70s, it must have been a trip down memory lane. But even for me, one of the ‘original’ immigrants, the story of Ann Lovett who died beside a grotto in Granary giving birth and the death of her baby are events I remember. The documentary highlighted and explained so many aspects of Irish society and its close relationship with the catholic church which people need to remember or learn about in order to understand the Ireland of today.
The idea that central functions of the State are left with charities is one of these aspects of Irish really that doesn’t sound so strange anymore if you look at who was running the schools and hospitals during the formative stages of today’s Ireland.
There are many people who like Gay Byrne and many who don’t. No matter what you think about him, the few short clips from the original Late Late Show moderated by him served as a reminder that you can have a highly successful chat show that really discusses issues at the heart of society in quite an open and often controversial way – rather than celebrating book and film launches, and organising quizzes where you as the audience pay €1.50 per call/text to finance the €10k prize in the weekly ‘quizz’ where you have to know if these year’s Olympic Games take part in Berlin, Rio, or Mumbai.
Gay did a great programme, well worth watching. Well worth learning from.