2016 IFTA Gala Television Awards

#ArTelifis: Nominees announced for 2016 IFTA Gala Television Awards

The Irish Film & Television Academy has announced the Nominees for the 2016 IFTA Gala Television Awards, which is sponsored by Gala Retail, and takes place at the Double Tree Hotel in Dublin on Friday, 7th October 2016.

The shortlist is made up of nominees in 23 strongly contested TV categories for the IFTA Gala Television Awards from entertainment, comedy, Soap and Performance to factual, current affairs and news across all of the Irish broadcasters RTÉ One, RTÉ Two, TV3, 3e, TG4, Sky, UTV and BBC Northern Ireland. The Nominations have been shortlisted by Members of the Irish Academy along with Irish and international Jury panels of industry experts.

Academy CEO, Aine Moriarty stated that:

This year’s line up shows superb talent across a wealth of vibrant programmes produced by Irish professionals who are consistently delivering high quality TV programmes and new ideas to audiences both in Ireland and internationally year on year.  The Academy is proud to showcase this great Irish-made television and acknowledge the hard work, creativity and spirit that goes into producing hundreds of hours of TV production each year.

From entertainment to reality and from comedy to poignant and informative documentaries along with insightful news and current affairs, the nominated programmes this year show that Irish audiences have had a diverse choice of top-notch Telly to watch.

In Entertainment, Baz Ashmawy is trying new ways to kill Nancy in 50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy which is shortlisted alongside the unique musical talent that is The Imelda May Show, Brendan O’Connor’s Cutting Edge has cut its way into the shortlist and TV3’s flagship evening programme The Seven O’Clock Show has earned its nod for its eclectic mix and style of entertainment.

IFTA’s Comedy Award is now in its second year and has a very funny bunch of Irish talents in the mix who have delivered the best of comedy this year and made the nation ‘laugh out loud’ on their sofas and they include the renowned Mrs Brown’s Boys nominated alongside the hilarious Bridget and Eamon,which is the Republic of Telly’s spin-off run-away success; also nominated in this category is, Apres Match Election ’82 (the Apres Match team are also nominated in Sports) and The Rubberbandits’ Guide to 1916 which see the grocery-shop bag heads give their riveting take on 1916.

Reality programmes have strong contenders keeping it real this year with Coco’s First Dates Ireland and VIP’s Operation Transformation who between them got the nation out dating, walking and eating healthy; Loosehorse’s Rugby’s Wheelchair Challenge follows four Irish rugby internationals travelling from Dublin to Limerick – in wheelchairs, and Motive Television’s Toughest Place to Be which follows Irish workers re-locating to some of the toughest work environments in the world.

Programmes commemorating the 1916 centenary are well represented, with The State Commemoration, 1916 The Irish Rebellion, Centenary, Children of the Revolution, Rubberbandits, and 1916 Challenge all nominated across various award categories.

In the Soap & Continuing Drama Award category RTE’s Fair City, which recently celebrated its 4000 episode is nominated alongside TG4’s Ros na Run which celebrated its 21st birthday this year bringing the Irish language soap to audiences for the past 21 years.  TV3’s new kid on the block Red Rock now in its second year, completes the trio of Irish Soap all vying for the accolade of Ireland’s Best TV Soap.  Each of the soaps have multiple contenders across all of the craft and performance categories also.

The stand-out Female Performance in a Soap or Comedy sees Aisling O’Neill deliver a stellar performance as her character Carol in Fair City and also Jane McGrath as rule abiding Garda Officer Sharon Cleere in TV3’s Red Rock alongside Andrea Irvine who plays the hard working Garda Sargent Angela Tyrell; and Sharon Horgan receives a nomination for her comedic performance in Catastrophe airing on Channel 4 and Jennifer Zamparelli as the chain-smoking and mischievous 80’s mammy in RTE’s comedy hit Bridget and Eamon.

Male Performance in a Soap or Comedy sees the hilariously funny Brendan O Carroll as everyone’s favourite mammy in Mrs. Brown’s Boys; Sean Mahon’s villainous performance as Garda Brian McGonigle in Red Rock alongside Patrick Ryan’s performance as the constantly trouble-entangled Garda Paudge Brennan, who are all nominated with Karl Shiels who delivers a poignant performance as Robbie Quinn in Ireland’s longest running soap Fair City. This category also sees The Hardy Bucks‘ Chris Tordoff receive his first nomination for his performance as Francis ‘The Viper’ Higgins in the mockumentary small-town comedy.

Among the very competitive categories is Documentary Series which sees Coco Television deliver its landmark series, 1916 The Irish Rebellion which was narrated by Liam Neeson, examines the Rising and subsequent events that led to an independent Irish State; Tile Films’ Bas na Saoirse explores Irish patriots who were banished to Australia as punishment for their crimes; Independent Pictures’ Crumlin and RTE’s The Joy are observational documentaries with unprecedented access following the daily lives at these Irish institutions.

In the Best Single Documentary category, which is presented in association with BAI, the nominees are Joe Duffy’s Children of the Revolution, a very moving and informative doc based on his best-selling book;  also nominated this year is David McWilliams’ Ireland’s Great Wealth Divide which graphically reveals to the nation just who owns the bulk of Ireland’s wealth; I Am Immigrant which explores what it means to be Irish, John Connor’s honest and heart-felt I Am Traveller, and The Story of Yes, marking the first anniversary of the same sex referendum.

In a year of terror attacks, Brexit, a General Election, Apple and NAMA, Irish news and current affairs broadcasting is excelling – the News category sees the best of News coverage in the running for and Award including BBC Newsline: Brexit SpecialRTE Six One News: Paris Terror AttacksNuacht TG4 Vóta 2016; TV3 News: Brexit along with UTV Ireland Live Brexit Special are in contention.

Current Affairs nominees include BBC NI’s Spotlight: Selling Northern IrelandClaire Byrne Live – Leaders Debate, along with Vincent Browne’s The People’s Debate; and RTE’s Investigates Standards in Public Office.

In the Factual category, broadcaster John Creedon explores the west coast in Creedon’s Wild Atlantic Way; VIP’s Daniell and Majella’s B&B Road Trip follows Daniel O’Donnell and his wife Majella on their road trip through Ireland; Ear to the Ground, now in it’s 16th season, explores rural, countryside and environmental issues, and The Guards takes a frontline look at policing in Dublin city centre.

The nominees in the Specialist Factual category newly introduced last year specifically for arts, religion, history, natural history and science, are A Fanatic Heart: Bob Geldof on WB Yeats, Bypassed, Crainn na hEireann, and Wild Cities – Galway.

Nominated in the Animation category this year is Boulder’s Danger Mouse, Wigglywoo’s The Day Henry Met, Sixteen South’s Lily’s Driftwood Bay, and Brown Bag Films series Peter Rabbit; the Irish animation industry is going through a golden age – currently employing over 1600 people, with Irish studios producing award-winning shows that are broadcast all over the world.

In the Children’s category, RTE’s 1916 Challenge is nominated alongside Tyrone’s My Life Champion of the World for CBBC, GMarsh’s Out and About, and Magamedia’s teen drama Eipic.

It wasn’t all World Cup this year, as Ireland’s love of sports is well reflected in this year’s Sport nominees which include Loosehorse’s All Day Ireland; along with Apres Match of the Day; Wildfire’s Hidden Ireland: Rugby and Concussion, and Strike Films Road to Rio.

The Live Event nominees this year predominantly focus on the centenary celebrations, with RTE’s coverage of the State Commemoration of the 1916 Rising nominated alongside Centenary; Tyrone’s Laochra 1916 GAA Commemoration and Independent’s Big Week on the Farm for RTE.

TG4 celebrates 20 years in October, and Irish Language programming is well represented especially across Irish drama Abu Media’s An Klondike, Magamedia’s Eipic, and Ros Na Run are all nominated alongside Gifted Empire’s Fleadh TV.

Documentaries chronicling Irish life are a theme in the Director Television category. Darragh Byrne’s My Homeless Family, Gerry Hogan’s Ireland’s Great Wealth Divide, Máire Kearney’s Life Before the Rising, and Gerry Nelson’s Wild Cities – Dublin.


Full list of Nominees:


  • Apres Match presents Election ’82                                                                
  • Bridget & Eamon                                                                   
  • Mrs Brown’s Boys                                                                  
  • The Rubberbandits’ Guide to 1916       

Current Affairs                                                                     

  • BBC NI Spotlight: Selling Northern Ireland                                                                
  • Claire Byrne Live – Leaders Debate                                                              
  • The People’s Debate                                                             
  • RTE Investigates Standards in Public Office           

Documentary Series                                                            

  • 1916 The Irish Rebellion                                                                    
  • Bas Na Saoirse                                                                      
  • Crumlin                                                                      
  • The Joy          

Documentary Single                                                            

  • Children of the Revolution                                                                 
  • I Am Immigrant                                                                      
  • I Am Traveller                                                            
  • Ireland’s Great Wealth Divide
  • The Story of Yes                       


  • 50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy                                                            
  • Brendan O’Connor’s Cutting Edge                                                                
  • The Imelda May Show                                                                      
  • The Seven O’Clock Show              


  • Creedon’s Wild Atlantic Way                                                             
  • Daniel and Majella’s B&B Road Trip                                                             
  • Ear to the Ground                                                                  
  • The Guards                

Live Event                                                                 

  • Big Week on the Farm                                                                       
  • Centenary                                                                  
  • Laochra 1916 GAA Commemoration                                                                       
  • The State Commemoration of the 1916 Rising   


  • BBC Newsline: Brexit Special
  • RTE Six One News – Paris Terror Attacks                                                               
  • TG4 Nuacht                                                               
  • TV3 News Special – Brexit                                                                
  • UTV Ireland Live News @ 5:30 – Brexit Special            

Reality & Constructed Factual                                                                   

  • First Dates Ireland                                                                  
  • Operation Transformation                                                                 
  • Rugby’s Wheelchair Challenge                                                                     
  • Toughest Place to Be              

Specialist Factual                                                                

  • A Fanatic Heart: Bob Geldof on WB Yeats                                                               
  • Bypassed                                                                   
  • Crainn na hEireann                                                                
  • Wild Cities – Galway        


  • All Ireland Day                                                                       
  • Apres Match of the Day                                                                    
  • Hidden Ireland: rugby and Concussion                                                                     
  • Road to Rio                  

Soap/Continuing Drama                                                                 

  • Fair City                                                                     
  • Red Rock                                                                   
  • Ros na Run      

Male Performance                                                               

  • Sean Mahon –  Red Rock
  • Brendan O Carroll – Mrs. Brown’s Boys   
  • Patrick Ryan – Red Rock   
  • Karl Shiels – Fair City        
  • Chris Tordoff – Hardy Bucks         

Female Performance                                                                       

  • Sharon Horgan – Catastrophe                                    
  • Andrea Irvine – Red Rock  
  • Jane McGrath – Red Rock   
  • Aisling O’Neill – Fair City
  • Jennifer Zamparelli – Bridget and Eamon            

Animation – Children’s & Young People’s                                                                       

  • Danger Mouse                                                                       
  • The Day Henry Met                                                               
  • Lily’s Driftwood Bay                                                               
  • Peter Rabbit: The Tale Of The Unexpected Discovery           

Children’s & Young People’s – Live Action                                                                      

  • 1916 Challenge                                                                      
  • Eipic                                                               
  • My Life Champion of the World                                                                    
  • Out and About                            

Irish Language                                                                     

  • An Klondike                                                                
  • Eipic                                                               
  • Fleadh TV                                                                  
  • Ros na Run    

Director Soap/Comedy

  • Jason Butler – Bridget and Eamon
  • Diarmuid Goggins – Red Rock
  • Lisa Mulcahy – Red Rock
  • Louise Ní Fhiannachta – Eipic

Writer – Soap /Comedy                                                                    

  • Jason Butler, Jennifer Zamparelli, Bernard O’Shea – Bridget and Eamon
  • Sharon Horgan – Catastrophe                                               
  • Brendan O’Carroll – Mrs Browns Boys 
  • Paul Walker – Red Rock 

Camera TV                                                                

  • Colm Hogan – 1916 The Irish Rebellion        
  • Paddy Jordan – Death of a Son – The Killing of Michael Dwyer     
  • Alistair Neely – Voices ’16       
  • Michael O’Donovan – These Walls Can Talk  

Director TV                                                               

  • Darragh Byrne – My Homeless Family
  • Gerry Hoban – Ireland’s Great Wealth Divide         
  • Máire Kearney – Life Before the Rising             
  • Gerry Nelson – Wild Cities Dublin              

Editing TV                                                                 

  • Jamie Fitzpatrick – Wild Cities – Galway      
  • Derek Holland – A Fanatic Heart: Geldof on Yeats       
  • Iseult Howlett – I Am Immigrant      
  • Una Ní Dhonghaile – Invisible Man         

Sound TV                                                                  

  • 1916 The Irish Rebellion                                                                    
  • Danger Mouse                                                                       
  • Deoch an Dorais                                                                    
  • Hup