1 Culture Night
Expect September 23 to be the biggest and busiest Culture Night since the event was launched in Temple Bar in Dublin in 2006. In towns and villages across the country, art galleries, museums and other cultural venues will promote free, family-friendly events and often stay open till midnight.
2 The Speckled People, The Gate Theatre, Dublin
Hugo Hamilton has adapted his acclaimed memoir of growing up half-German in Ireland in the 1950s for the stage. Directed by Patrick Mason, the world premiere is on Tuesday, October 4, as part of the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival.
3 The Winter’s Tale, Cork Opera House
Corcadorca are famous for the site-based work they have produced in Cork and beyond over the past 20 years. Now they tackle William Shakespeare’s mystical romance The Winter’s Tale on the stage of Cork Opera House. From October 11-22.
4 Big Maggie, Town Hall Theatre, Galway
Druid Theatre Company revives John B Keane’s classic play about a widow asserting herself in the rural Ireland of the 1960s. Garry Hynes directs, with Aisling O’Sullivan in the lead. Big Maggie runs at the Town Hall Theatre in Galway from November 11-19 and the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin from November 21-26 before touring nationwide.
5 Cork Folk Festival
Among the headline acts at this year’s shindig are the trad supergroup T with the Maggies (featuring Tríona and Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh of Altan and Moya Brennan of Clannad), the Kilfenora Ceili, Band, Gemma Hayes, Lunasa and Paddy Keenan. September 30 — October 3.
6 The East Cork Early Music Festival
The programme this year includes Irish and international stars such as Emma Kirkby, the London Handel Players, Irish Baroque Orchestra Chamber Soloists and harpsichordist Malcolm Proud. Venues include Fota House and Cloyne Cathedral. October 5-9.
7 Wexford Festival Opera
This year’s programme includes three main stage operas — Ambroise Thomas’s opera comique La Cour de Celimene, Roman Statlowski’s Maria, and Gaetano Donizetti’s melodrama Gianni di Parigi — along with dozens of shorter works and talks. October 21-November 5.
8 Cork Jazz Festival
This year’s line-up includes the Bobby Watson All-Stars, the Jean-Luc Ponty Quartet, DJ Grandmaster Flash, below, and Another Honest John’s Chop-up, starring Damon Albarn of Blur and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. October 28-31.
9 Made in China Film Festival, Dublin
Running at the Swan Omniplex in Rathmines from September 19-25, the first Made in China Film Festival includes Feng Xiaogang’s award-winning feature, Assembly, set in 1948 at the height of the Chinese Civil War.
10 Cork Film Festival
The programme for this year’s festival, the 56th, has yet to be announced, but expect the usual hectic and eclectic mix of feature films, documentaries and Irish and international shorts. November 6-13.
11 Dublin Contemporary
The country’s newest festival of the visual arts has taken Terrible Beauty: Art, Crisis, Change and the Office of Non-Compliance as its theme. The event has had its detractors, but visitors will make up their own minds on the series of exhibitions, which run at Earlsfort Terrace and various venues around the capital. Until October 31.
12 Tulca, Galway
Tulca 2011 is curated by Megs Morley and takes as its theme After the Fall. One of the largest festivals of the visual arts in Ireland, it will feature open submission and invited exhibitions and runs at various venues around Galway from November 6-21.
13 ArtTrail, Cork
The theme for this year’s ArtTrail is National Interest. The event will include exhibitions of new work by Irish and international artists, as well as open studios and panel discussions. Among those featured are David Upton and Denise Kehoe, winners of the ArtTrail Graduate Award.
14 Charles Dickens: A Life, by Claire Tomalin, Viking, €34.00
Claire Tomalin, one of the great biographers and two-times winner of a Whitbread prize, picks over the bones of a political radical, father of 10 children, and author of some of literature’s most enduring stories.
15 IQ84, by Haruki Murakami, Harvill Secker, €21.99
This three-volume novel should get all the classes chattering, given Murakami’s homage to George Orwell’s 1984 (“nine” in Japanese is pronounced as “q”) sold a million copies in a month on publication in Japan.
16 Champ: The Autobiography, by Tony McCoy, Orion, €22.00
As ghostwriter, Donn McClean, the Sunday Times racing correspondent and tipster, pilots the account of horseracing’s greatest competitor.
17 How Ireland Went Bust, by Matt Cooper, Penguin, €16.99
The broadcaster and columnist follows up his bestselling Who Really Runs Ireland? with an analysis of where things went awry from that momentous September 2008 to the present day.
18 Vanishing Ireland: Recollections of Our Changing Times, by James Fennell and Turtle Bunbury, Hachette Ireland, €24.99
The latest volume in the hugely successful Vanishing Ireland series which harvests memories and stories of a bygone time, together with arresting profile pictures.
19 Bad Fellas, by Paul Williams, Penguin, €16.99
Ireland’s colourful crime correspondent tells some grisly tales, following on from his TV documentary series of the same name, about Ireland’s gangland from the 1970s up to contemporary times.
20 Boomerang, by Michael Lewis, Allen Lane, €23
Michael Lewis, author of the masterpiece Liar’s Poker, caused a stir with his incisive analysis of Ireland’s mismanaged economy in a Vanity Fair article last spring. The article is fleshed out as part of a thesis on bubbles across Europe.
21 The Litigators, by John Grisham, Hodder & Stoughton, €17.99
The latest page-turner from Grisham’s never-ending pot (he has already sold more than 25 million books) of legal thrillers.
22 The Drop by Michael Connelly, Orion, €21.99
Few crime writers tell their stories with as much verve as Connelly, who made his way in the world as a beat reporter covering cocaine wars and serial killers. The Drop is the fourteenth novel to feature Harry Bosch, a hard-bitten detective who has a problem with women and authority, but a counter-intuitive eye for the incongruous piece of detail that might lead to a “connection”.
23 Footprints in the Custard, by Joe Duffy, Transworld, €20.99
An eye-catching, light-hearted title for the memoirs of the maestro of misery, Joe Duffy, which charts his rise from working class childhood in Ballyfermot; student radicalism in the hallowed halls of Trinity College; work as a probation officer; and ultimately to his role today as the nation’s most-well known therapist.
24 The House of Silk, by Anthony Horowitz, Orion, €20.99
Anthony Horowitz, better known as a children’s author, has been commissioned to write a new Sherlock Holmes novel, 106 years since the last one appeared. Dr Watson narrates the details of the case in a breathless style, a year after the sleuth’s death, suggesting that, “it is no exaggeration to say it could tear apart the very fabric of society”.
25 Shadow Story, by Jennifer Johnston, Headline, €16.99
Hailed by Roddy Doyle as Ireland’s finest writer, there is no stopping Jennifer Johnston. Past the 80-year mark, she is still publishing novels, the latest of which deals with forbidden love in Ireland during the Second World War.
26 11.22.63, by Stephen King, Hodder & Stoughton, €21.99
The premise of Stephen King’s novel is simple. What if a teacher from Maine could change the course of history by stopping the assassination of JFK? The repercussions, though, are wide-ranging.
27 Brown Thomas Walk-In Wardrobe, Brown Thomas, Dublin; Sept-Dec; Free admission; Info: brownthomas.com
Step into Ireland’s biggest walk-in wardrobe at Brown Thomas as the department store reprises its series of fashion workshops for autumn/winter. Be guided through seasonal trends with top style experts with the latest must-buys and helpful ‘how to wear it’ tips.
28 Cork Fashion Week, Cork city; Sept 23-30; Price: varies; Info: corkfashionweek.com; 021 4217492
Cork Fashion Week dons its stilettos for yet another runway strut. This year sees stylish new venues such as Triskel Christchurch and Blue Haven, Kinsale. Fashion TV will also be covering the catwalk glamour and parties, giving Cork an international platform for its homegrown talent.
29 Spring Clean for Charity, Cork City Hall, Cork; Sept 24; Admission: €5; Info: springcleanforcharity.ie; 086 8221751
Join celebrities Roy Keane and Rachel Allen in raising funds for St Vincent de Paul Cork at Cork’s Spring Clean for Charity. Set up a stall or splurge on the many items up for grabs at Cork City Hall including two jackets belonging to music legend Rory Gallagher; and vintage clobber by Bill Blass and Jean Muir.
30 Tommy Hilfiger Launch, Arnotts, Dublin; Sept 24; Admission: free; Info: arnotts.ie; 01 8050400
Celebrate the launch of Tommy Hilfiger at Arnotts in Dublin, hosted by stylist and Off the Rails presenter Sonya Lennon. Enjoy fashion shows from the brand’s autumn collection, complimentary one-to-one styling sessions with Sonya, as well as hourly prize draws and a gift with all purchases on the day.
31 Kildare Village Fashion Fortnight, Kildare Village, Kildare; Oct 10-24;
Admission: free; Info: kildarevillage.com; 045 520501
Save even more during Kildare Village’s Fashion Fortnight with extra offers on over 60 designer outlet boutiques. Save twice with up to 60% off brands like Wolford, Reiss and Anya Hindmarch, plus an additional discount. Worth the splurge.
32 U Magazine Highstreet Style Awards 2011, Mansion House, Dublin; Oct 14; Admission: €15; Infoharmonia.ie; 01 2405300
Join U Magazine at the Highstreet Style Awards in association with Diet Coke. Support your favourite store by casting your vote online (ivenus.com/ustreet/). Winners will be announced on the night, which also features a catwalk show and spot prizes.
33 Belfast Fashion Week, Europa Fashion Week Centre, Belfast; Oct 13-16; Admission: from £15; Info: belfastfashionweek.com; +44 (0)28 90421066
Belfast Fashion Week is back for its 12th season in association with West Coast Cooler. Expect an exciting roster of runway shows, style events and parties taking place across the city with the hotly-anticipated Up-and-Coming Designers Night on October 15.
34 Xposé Live in the City Fashion Show, Grand Canal Theatre, Dublin; Oct 21-23; Admission: €15; Info: ticketmaster.ie; tv3.ie/xposelive
Glenda, Karen, Aisling and Lisa take over Dublin’s Grand Canal Theatre to host a series of fashion shows as part of the Xposé Live In The City Fashion Experience. Each ticket doubles as a fashion passport, giving you access to the show and some exclusive discounts on high-street brands throughout the city over the whole weekend.
35 Ennis Fashion Week, Ennis, Co Clare; Oct 24-29; Price: tbc; Info: ennisfashion.ie; 065 6842988
Celebrate fashion at the Boutique Capital of Ireland with a week of in-store promotions, fashion shows, cocktail evenings, style consultations and the hotly-tipped Ennis Style and Glamour Awards. Previous years saw over 1,500 visitors to the town and its 54 boutiques.
36 Re-Dress ‘Shoe Upcycling’ Class, Dublin; Nov 13; Admission: €50; Info: re-dress.ie; 01 6618375
Revamp last year’s threads with a course in shoe ‘upcycling’. Learn creative techniques in hand embellishment and experimental design at this half-day workshop from designers Deidre Harte and Rosie O’Reilly. Bring along two or three old pairs of shoes, some trimmings and your imagination for the best in ‘upcycling’.
37 The Dublin Vintage Fashion & Decor fair, Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire; Nov 13; Admission: €5; Info: vintage-ireland.eu; 087 2670607
The Vintage Fashion and Decor Fair drops anchor at the Royal Marine Hotel again for another feast of retro clothing and interiors. This year sees 50 dealers in 20th century design and decor offering lesser spotted goodies like powder compacts, sewing patterns and prints; plus all-day vintage entertainment.
38 Waterford Fashion Week, Waterford City; Nov 2-12; Price: tbc; Info: waterfordchamber.com; 051 844850
Waterford Fashion Week celebrates its third year with catwalk showcases of local fashion from independent boutiques and retailers and nightly events taking place around the city.
39 A caustic and very funny update of When Harry Met Sally, Friends With Benefits (16s) stars Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis as star-crossed best buddies who make a pact not to confuse sex with emotional involvement. Patricia Clarkson, Richard Jenkins and Woody Harrelson co-star; Will Gluck directs. Currently showing at cinemas.
40 One of the great Cold War thrillers, John Le Carré’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy features Gary Oldman as the quintessential ‘spook’ George Smiley, with Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Toby Jones and Ciaran Hinds providing strong support. Tomas Alfredson directs. From September 16.
41 There’s a strong word-of-mouth buzz building around Drive (18s), in which Ryan Gosling stars as a stuntman who discovers a contract has been taken out on his life when a heist goes wrong. Carey Mulligan co-stars; Nicolas Refn directs. September 23.
42 Another excellent cast features in The Debt (16s), a spy thriller which opens with a shocking secret being uncovered by Mossad, the Israeli secret service. Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington, Tom Wilkinson and Ciaran Hinds star; John Madden directs. September 30.
43 Playing a chef and a scientist, Ewan McGregor and Eva Green star in Perfect Sense (15A), an apocalyptic tale of what happens when an epidemic starts to deprive the earth’s human population of their five senses. David Mackenzie directs. October 7.
44 Still holding out for a hero? A remake of the 1984 teen classic, Footloose (15A) stars Kenny Wormald, below, as the rebel who shakes up a rural town with his passion for dance. Dennis Quaid and Julianne Hough co-star; Craig Brewer directs. October 14.
45 Adapted from Lionel Shriver’s bestselling novel, We Need To Talk About Kevin (16s) stars Tilda Swinton, John C Reilly and Ezra Miller in a thought-provoking, controversial tale directed by Lynne Ramsey. October 21.
46 Political thriller The Ides of March (15A) boasts a sterling cast, with Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood and Ryan Gosling joining co-star, writer and director, George Clooney. October 28.
47 The Help (12A) is another novel adaptation, this time from Kathryn Stockett’s best-seller about the experiences of black women in domestic service. Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Bryce Dallas Howard star; Tate Taylor directs. October 28.
48 Time has become the latest commodity in the sci-fi thriller In Time (16s), in which Justin Timberlake stars as a man trying to out-run his own destiny. Amanda Seyfried and Olivia Wilde co-star; Andrew Niccol directs. November 4.
49 Greek mythology provides the backdrop to Immortals (16s), as the hero Theseus battles the dastardly Titans in an old-fashioned (albeit CGI-enhanced) swords-and-sandals epic. Henry Cavill and Frieda Pinto star; Tarsem Singh directs. Nov 11.
50 The vampire romance, adapted from Stephanie Meyers’s phenomenal series of novels, continues in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 1 (15A), with Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson playing expectant parents Bella and Edward. Dakota Fanning and Taylor Lautner co-star; Bill Condon directs. November 18.
51 Adapted from Michael Lewis’s bestselling non-fiction title, Moneyball (12A) is the based-on-a-true-story tale of a baseball manager’s attempt to restore financial sanity to America’s favourite pastime. Brad Pitt, Robin Wright, Jonah Hill and Philip Seymour Hoffman star; Bennet Miller directs. November 25.
52 The Markets, Killarney
Killarney has finally gotten a market to match its restaurant scene. Newly opened on Market Lane, The Markets incorporates Manning’s Emporium of Ballylickey and The Wild Side Food Artisan amongst its selection of fresh produce and deli faves. themarkets.ie.
53 Bollinger Kinsale Gourmet Festival
Kinsale’s annual food festival kicks off on Friday, October 7th with a street cook-off and black-tie event compèred by Derek Davis. The Mad Hatters’ Taste of Kinsale, an escorted tour of the town’s Good Food Circle members, follows on Saturday. kinsalerestaurants.com.
54 From blogs to books
Two popular foodie bloggers are making the transition to print this autumn. Waterford ex-pat Niamh Shields of eatlikeagirl.com publishes ‘Comfort & Spice’ (Quadrille), and Lilly Higgins, sister of comedian Maeve, follows on October 21st with ‘Make, Bake, Love’ (Gill & Macmillan).
55 White Friar Grill, Dublin
The hobs are still hot at 16 Aungier Street. No sooner has Conrad Gallagher shut up his Salon des Savours, than Geoff Nordell steps in with the White Friar Grill — with a special grill section that includes a ½ pound burger from €15. Tel: 089 461-7429.
56 Come Dine with Me… in Ballycotton
Ballycotton’s Bayview Hotel hosts three ‘Come Dine with Me’ weekends this October. Prices start from €155pps and include two nights B&B, supper, cookery demos, lessons, a drinks reception and a tasting menu with wine. thebayviewhotel.com.
57 Dingle Food Festival
A taste trail covering 50+ outlets kicks off the fifth Dingle Food & Wine Festival (October 1-2). The festival also hosts Blás na hÉireann, the National Irish Food awards. Dinglefood.com.
58 Pop-Up Cookery Schools
You’ve heard of pop-up restaurants, shops and galleries… this season, My Chef At Home is bringing talented chefs to little-used kitchen showrooms in Kildare, Kilkenny and Carlow for what it says are Ireland’s first pop-up cookery schools. mychefathome.ie.
59 Bon App-etite
This autumn, Georgina Campbell launches her ‘Ireland for Food Lovers’ app for iPhone, Derry Clarke follows with ‘Appetiser’, and Kevin Dundon is cooking up ‘For the Love of Food’.
60 Foodie tomes for Fall
Another season, another tranche of celeb cookery books. Two eye-catching titles are ‘Catherine’s Family Kitchen’ by Catherine Fulvio (Gill & Macmillan) and Rachel Allen’s ‘Easy Meals’ (Collins), featuring 180 of the chef’s fastest and simplest family recipes.
61 Galway Oyster Festival
The Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival, now in its 57th year, takes place from September 23rd — 25th. Based in the Hotel Meyrick, events include the national oyster-opening championship and the Oyster Festival Parade. galwayoysterfest.com.
62 Fish for Your Dinner at Inchydoney
Throughout September, guests at Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa can join a fishing trip to catch mackerel, pollock or cod, which will be cooked by Chef Adam Medcalf. The package includes two nights B&B from €239pp. inchydoneyisland.com.
63 ‘Homemade by Clodagh’ at Arnotts
This month sees Clodagh McKenna unveil her ‘Homemade by Clodagh’ range at Arnotts in Dublin, including a self-service restaurant, food market and ‘Clodagh’s Kitchen’, a more intimate dining room space featuring a seasonal menu. Clodaghmckenna.com.
64 Savour Kilkenny Food festival
Kilkenny rivals Galway as Ireland’s favourite festival town, with the latest foodie fest coming in the shape of Savour Kilkenny over the October bank holiday (Oct 28-31). Savourkilkenny.com.
65 Rihanna, Saturday October 3, O2
Wearing knee-high boots and wielding a baseball bat, Rihanna was in a butt-kicking mood on her last visit to Dublin. Expect a rather mellower tone this time as the Barbadian princess tours her pop-tinged Loud album.
66 Lisa Hannigan, Passenger, released Friday October 7
Stepping outside Damien Rice’s shadow, Dunshaughlin native Hannigan received a Mercury nomination for her 2009 debut Sea Sew. She’s been busy working in a studio in Wales on the follow-up. We’ll finally hear the results next month.
67 Bon Iver, Grand Canal Theatre, Thursday October 20
Sing-along moments are at a premium on the second record from Justin ‘Bon Iver’ Vernon. The album is a strange, damaged document, more concerned with conjuring a mood than seducing the casual listener. For all that, tickets for his only Irish date sold out in a heartbeat.
68 Coldplay, Mylo Xyloto, released Friday October 21
Some wag on Twitter wondered whether Coldplay were now letting their kids choose their album titles. They’ve threatened that this may be their last record. Of course they said that about the last two as well.
69 Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Olympia, Sunday October 23
Little brother’s Beady Eye project turned out to be a damp squib. Will Noel’s post-Oasis incarnation fare any better? We’ll get our answer when the group kick off their first ever tour in Dublin.
70 Britney Spears O2, Monday October 24
You probably didn’t notice but Britney’s latest LP Femme Fatale, sold a gazillion copies, she’s stopped chopping her hair off and her personal life is no longer a car crash. It’s called a comeback, we think.
71 Another Honest Jon’s Chop-Up, Savoy Cork, Friday October 28
Damon Albarn and Red Hot Chili Pepper bassist Flea take their world music project to Cork as part of the city’s annual jazz festival. Sold out already.
72 Achtung Baby, 20th anniversary edition, released Friday October 28
This 20th anniversary re-issue will be bundled with a new documentary, From The Sky Down, which reveals the creative tensions swirling around the group as they went to Berlin to make what is generally agreed to be their finest record.
73 George Michael, O2, Thursday November 3
Out of prison and apparently on the straight and narrow, Michael reprises his best loved hits accompanied by an orchestra. Somehow we don’t think I Want Your Sex has made the setlist.
74 Red Hot Chili Peppers, O2, Friday November 4
New album I’m With You fails to advance their sound and you’ve got to wonder how they are dealing with the departure of genius guitarist John Frusciante. For all that, few live acts electrify a venue quite like the Chili Peppers. We’re looking forward to seeing Flea’s new fluorescent hair too.
75 Ed Sheeran, Vicar Street, Friday November 4
Guitar strumming redhead Sheeran looks about 12 years old and many of his fans actually are. Like Justin Bieber before him he has parlayed popularity on YouTube into a fast-track pop career. The similarity ends there. Incorporating acoustic balladry and hip-hop, Sheeran more closely resembles a young Damien Rice who’s just discovered Tinie Tempah.
76 The Saturdays O2, Monday December 19
Heirs apparent to Girls Aloud, Una Healy and chums bring their glamazon femme-pop to the O2 for their biggest Irish headline show yet.
77 Holidays with Aer Lingus
For the first time since 1992, Aer Lingus is offering package holidays. ClickandGo.com and the Travel Department are teaming up with the airline this autumn on aerlinguspackages.com.
78 Reykjavik, City of Literature
Iceland’s capital has become only the fifth UNESCO City of Literature, joining Dublin, Edinburgh, Melbourne and Iowa City on the prestigious list. See visitreykjavik.is.
79 Up in the air
Ryanair ceases its Cork to Dublin route from October 30, in part blaming improved driving times on the M8. If you fancy swapping the capital for sunnier climes, however, Aer Lingus launches a weekly winter flight from Cork to Gran Canaria on the same day.
80 Cruise from Dublin
For an ocean vacation, cruises sure can involve a lot of flying. Lee Travel has an alternative in the shape of Ocean Countess, however, which sails from Dublin on October 2nd and 13th for the Iberian Peninsula and the Canary Islands. Prices from €599pp. Leetravel.ie.
81 Oktoberfest, Munich
Time to grab the beer goggles. And the lederhosen. And the currywursts. The 200-year-old knees-up that is Munich’s annual Oktoberfest runs until October 3. Oktoberfest.de.
82 Beit Residence, Russborough House
This November, the Irish Landmark Trust opens the Beit Residence at Russborough House in Co Wicklow. The restored four-bed residence, where Sir Alfred and Lady Beit lived the final years of their lives, will sleep eight. Irishlandmark.com.
83 Eurosurf 2011, Donegal
The wait is over for the European Surfing Championships in Bundoran (Sept 23-Oct 2). Thirteen teams compete, and the action also includes a host of guerrilla gigs and surf films. Eurosurfbundoran.com
84 The 787 Dreamliner
The world’s newest commercial airplane is set for an autumn take-off, with a delivery date of September 25 for Japan’s All Nippon Airways. Expect the first scheduled flights of Boeing’s fuel-efficient 787 Dreamliner towards the end of October. Newairplane.com/787
85 Mr Walsh goes to America
Joe Walsh Tours is celebrating its 50th year in business in 2011, and this month, it’s launching a new line of escorted US tours. Destinations include the colonial south and the American patriot trail from Boston to Washington via Montreal, Toronto and Niagara Falls. Joewalshtours.ie
86 The Northern Lights
With NASA reportedly tipping the most intense Northern Lights display since 1958 this winter, the time could be ripe for a trip to Iceland, or a coastal cruise on Norway’s Hurtigruten ships.
87 Best Kept Ireland
Luxury hotel collection Best Loved Hotels is to launch a website, bestkept-ireland.ie, this autumn. Visitors can search member hotels by location, facilities and suitability for honeymoons or weddings.
88 Freedom of the seas
Stena Line’s service from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead has ceased for the winter, leaving Irish Ferries with the only fast ferry route on the Irish Sea. Irish Ferries is also running a pre-Christmas mini-cruise to France for wine geese, from €89pp. Irishferries.com.
89 Downton Abbey, UTV, Sunday
One of the few British drama series that actually lived up to the hype last year, it returns for a second series as the first world war rumbles in the background. Among the new faces is Irish actress Maria Doyle Kennedy. See p32.
90 The Big Interview With Mike Murphy, RTÉ One, tbc (date to be confirmed)
He once rivalled Gay Byrne as the most high-profile broadcaster in Ireland, so it’ll be interesting to see if Mike Murphy can rediscover his touch in this six part series of big name interviews.
91 Shirley, BBC Two, late September
It’s incredible that Ethiopian-Irish actress Ruth Negga has nearly reached the age of 30 without becoming an international star. Hopefully, playing singer Shirley Bassey will help send her on her way.
92 The Killing II BBC Four, tbc
While the American remake of crime drama Forbrydelsen has been surprisingly good, hardcore fans will quiver with anticipation at the 10-part second series of the Danish original. It’s two years later and Sarah Lund is on the trail of the murderer of an ex-soldier. But has the woolly jumper survived?
93 The Walking Dead, FX, October
More gruesome zombie action as Grimes and his group of survivors return for another 13 episodes traipsing around avoiding the unwelcome attentions of the undead. They leave the big city and go rural again.
94 Mastermind, TV3, tbc
There’s a dearth of decent quiz shows on the networks at the moment, so this Irish version of an old favourite is a welcome addition to the schedules. Even if former politician Nora Owen is our answer to Magnus Magnusson.
95 Boardwalk Empire, Sky Atlantic, October
A massive hype probably oversold the inaugural series of this HBO show, but approaching the second season with lower expectations will probably help us appreciate it for the solid period drama it is.
96 Misfits, E4, October
Robert Sheehan had the best lines in this show, so it’ll be interesting to see whether they can keep up the fun without him in this third series. Much will be down to the performance of his replacement, Joe Gilgun (Woody in This Is England).
97 Tallafornia (pictured left), TV3, tbc
We don’t really have a place name that rhymes with Jersey (anyone for Dursey Shore?), so instead we’re treated to a fly-on-the-wall reality show filmed when four boys and four girls from the west Dublin suburb spend four weeks living and partying together. Remains to be seen whether it should have been called Tallafornication.
98 Love/Hate RTÉ One, November
Despite the miscasting of top Irish actors Aidan Gillen and Robert Sheehan, another six episodes of the Dublin gangland tale should be one of the better Irish drama offerings this year.
99 Republic of Ireland v Armenia RTÉ Two, October 11
Presuming that Giovanni Trapattoni’s side beat Andorra on October 7, a victory in this final qualifying fixture will guarantee at least a play-off place for the 2012 European Championships. A win may also be enough to clinch a new contract for the Italian manager, which would give Irish fans the mixed blessing of another two years of his inflexible approach. The biggest game since Paris.
100 The Apprentice, TV3, October
Last year’s candidates were the least impressive group so far, so hopefully the fourth series can turn up some more engaging characters. You’d imagine the dismal employment outlook will give Bill Cullen & Co a bigger choice than ever of people hoping to win the coveted well-paid job.