Best of the Week's TV (Feb 15-21)

Quirke with Gabriel Byrne debuts on RTÉ One, while Moone Boy makes a welcome return to Sky 1.

Best of the Week's TV (Feb 15-21)


House of Cards  


All 13 episodes of season two have been available since yesterday and you haven’t watched it yet? Get bingeing people. The nasty Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) is one of the most enjoyable creations of recent years, while Robin Wright is superb as his ice-queen wife.

Ireland’s Fittest Family

RTÉ One, 6.30pm

The families go head to head in the final, for a prize of 15,000.

True Grit  

BBC Two, 9pm

Jeff Bridges stars in the Coen brothers’ fine remake of the classic western.


Hurling league action gets under way today, with Cork v Limerick (Setanta Ireland, throw-in 7pm) live from a floodlit Páirc Uí Rinn. Hopefully, it’s more lit than flood. Meanwhile, the All-Ireland club football semi-finals feature Castlebar Mitchels (Mayo) v Dr Crokes (Kerry) (TG4, throw-in 3pm) and St Vincent’s (Dublin) v Ballinderry (Derry) (TG4, throw-in 5pm). FA Cup action has Sunderland v Southampton (BT Sport, ko 12.45pm), and in rugby the RaboDirect PRO12 features Munster v Zebre (RTÉ Two, ko 6.45pm).



RTÉ One, 9.30pm

Gabriel Byrne plays a pathologist  in this major three-part series of adaptations of the Benjamin Black (John Banville) books. Set between 1950s Dublin and the east coast of the US, the first feature-length episode has Quirke visiting a Magdalene laundry, and looking into a Catholic baby-export scheme that dredges up all sorts of personal issues for him. Also stars Michael Gambon and   Aisling Franciosi, right.


There’s live coverage of Clare v Kilkenny (TG4, throw-in 2pm) in hurling, followed by a deferred broadcast of Galway v Dublin. FA Cup action features Everton v Swansea (UTV, ko 1.30pm) and Arsenal v Liverpool (BT Sport, ko 4pm).

Lads Mar Dads

TG4, 9.30pm

New series looking at the experience of fatherhood for Irish dads. First up is Mícheál Ó Draighneáin, from Ballincollig, Co Cork, who actually has some experience with children but now has to deal with a whole new level of lovely chaos as triplets enter his life. Along the way, all the fathers featured will get advice from the show’s team of doctors, a social worker and a psychologist.


There’s live coverage of Clare v Kilkenny (TG4, throw-in 2pm) in hurling, followed by a deferred broadcast of Galway v Dublin. FA Cup action features Everton v Swansea (UTV, ko 1.30pm) and Arsenal v Liverpool (BT Sport, ko 4pm).


Somebody To Love

RTÉ One, 9.35pm

Documentary that raises issues around relationships and sex for people with physical and intellectual disabilities. It includes contributions from people with Down syndrome, who are putting on a play challenging an Irish law governing the sex lives of the disabled, and a couple who both have cerebral palsy.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Hull City

BT Sport, ko 7.45pm

This fifth-round FA Cup clash could see a few Irish players, given that the Premier League side have Paul McShane, Robbie Brady, David Meyler and Shane Long, while their Championship opponents feature both Keith Andrews and Stephen Ward.

Moone Boy

Sky 1, 9pm

Chris O’Dowd returns for a second series as he continues his quest to place Boyle, Co Roscommon, at the centre of the known world. We pick up the action during the greatest days in the history of Ireland ever as the country goes bananas on the back of Italia ’90.

Cutie And The Boxer — Married And Still Fighting  

BBC Four, 10.30pm

This documentary in the Storyville strand follows New York-based boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife Noriko. Nominated for this year’s Oscars, we see the eightysomething couple as they prepare for an exhibition, and hear about the trials and tribulations of a 40-year marriage that has endured alcoholism and other turmoils.


Champions League

TV3, ko 7.45pm

The round of 16 has some fascinating ties on offer, none more so than the clash of Man City v Barcelona. Manuel Pellegrini’s men have been in patchy form recently in domestic

competitions, but now they have to show they can mix it with Europe’s elite.

Garraí Glas

TG4, 8pm

This time around, Síle Nic Conaonaigh is focusing on the healing power of plants, and begins the series with a visit to Dr Frieda Ní Chatháin in Mt Trenchard, County Limerick. She specialises in what she calls integrative medicine, which she says combines the best of traditional herbal medicine with the best of Western medicine.

How China Fooled The World  

BBC Two, 9pm

Imagine a country whose financial largesse is actually built on sand, and where self-serving elites have encouraged the provision of cheap credit from the banks to help paper over the cracks. Sound familiar? It’s not us this time around, and while we’ve taken the pain to protect Europe’s wellbeing, if the bubble bursts in China it will have major repercussions for the world economy. Robert Peston talks to some heavy hitters about how the recession in the West helped spark China’s extraordinary spending orgy.


Neven Maguire: Home Chef  

RTÉ One, 7.30pm

The presenter travels to the Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, Co Waterford, where he meets chef Martijn Kajuiter, the main man in the Michelin-starred restaurant. The Dutchman cooks up a surf and turf’ dish of Irish pork served with Norwegian king crab.

Operation Transformation

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

It’s the second-last week of the series, and the participants are putting all their efforts into looking good for the final catwalk show. Tonight, Deirdre O'Donovan, right, and the others are back at DCU for a  health appraisal.

Champions League  

Arsenal v Bayern Munich (RTÉ Two, ko 7.45pm) has Arsene Wenger’s men facing a tough test to stop the German champions from scoring an away goal in this first leg of the round of 16. Bayern are already 13 points clear in their domestic league, with Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic in fine form. Other games include  AC Milan v Atletico Madrid (Sky Sports 3, ko 7.45pm).


Ear To The Ground

RTÉ One, 7pm

In recent years, certain farmers have become more aware of rare native breeds of farm animal, and are working to ensure their survival. In tonight’s show, Ella McSweeney meets the world’s smallest cow, a dexter, and also visits Lough Bishop House in Derrynagarra, Co Westmeath, a facility trying to breed Kerry bog ponies, the old Irish goat and moiled cows.


The RaboDirect PRO12 features Cardiff v Leinster (RTÉ Two, ko 8.05pm), while the Europa League includes Dnipro v Tottenham (ITV4, ko 6pm) and the clash of Swansea v Napoli (3e/ITV, ko 8.05pm).

Pioneers And Aviators — A Century Of Irish Aviation  

RTÉ One, 10.25pm

First of a two-part documentary looking at those magnificent men and women in their flying machines. Part one includes the first non-stop transatlantic flight by Alcock and Brown, the era of flying boats in Foynes and the birth of Aer Lingus.


Tracks And Trails

RTÉ One, 7.30pm

Retired politician Liz McManus, 66, walks in the midlands of Co Laois, taking in a 16km route from Durrow Castle to the hill of Ballagh. She begins on a bog and hears about the lake that once covered the area, before moving on to river walks and forests.

Wales v France

RTÉ Two, ko 8pm

A rare Six Nations game on a Friday sees a Welsh side trying to restore some pride after the recent humiliation against Ireland. Given that the French are already looking like Ireland’s main rivals for the championship, many fans here will be hoping that Warren Gatland’s side succeed in their aim.

The Cure: Video Killed The Radio Star  

Sky Arts, 8.30pm

Singer Robert Smith and video director Tim Pope look back on some of the seminal new wave band’s classic videos. We hear about the claustrophobic feeling of filming inside a closet for ‘Close to Me’, the technical difficulties of the frozen set for ‘Pictures of You’ and the miming children in ‘Boys Don’t Cry’.

The Graham Norton Show  

BBC One, 11.05pm

Guests on tonight’s show include actor Dominic Cooper, currently starring as the James Bond creator in Fleming, and singer Lily Allen.

More in this section

CourtsFilm and TVPlace: IrelandPlace: Páirc Uí RinnPlace: USPlace: BallincolligPlace: Co CorkPlace: Co RoscommonPlace: ItaliaPlace: New YorkPlace: EuropePlace: Mt TrenchardPlace: County LimerickPerson: Gabriel ByrnePerson: Moone BoyPerson: Frank UnderwoodPerson: Kevin SpaceyPerson: Robin WrightPerson: Jeff BridgesPerson: Coen brothers’Person: QuirkePerson: Benjamin BlackPerson: John BanvillePerson: Michael GambonPerson: Aisling FranciosiPerson: Mícheál Ó DraighneáinPerson: Paul McShanePerson: Robbie BradyPerson: David MeylerPerson: Shane LongPerson: Keith AndrewsPerson: Stephen WardPerson: Chris O’DowdPerson: Ushio ShinoharaPerson: NorikoPerson: Manuel PellegriniPerson: DrEvent: FA CupEvent: OscarsOrganisation: RTÉ OneOrganisation: Sky 1Organisation: NetflixOrganisation: BBC TwoOrganisation: CorkOrganisation: LimerickOrganisation: Setanta IrelandOrganisation: All-IrelandOrganisation: Castlebar MitchelsOrganisation: MayoOrganisation: Dr CrokesOrganisation: KerryOrganisation: St Vincent’sOrganisation: DublinOrganisation: BallinderryOrganisation: DerryOrganisation: SunderlandOrganisation: SouthamptonOrganisation: BT SportOrganisation: MunsterOrganisation: ZebreOrganisation: RTÉ TwoOrganisation: CatholicOrganisation: ClareOrganisation: KilkennyOrganisation: GalwayOrganisation: EvertonOrganisation: SwanseaOrganisation: UTVOrganisation: ArsenalOrganisation: LiverpoolOrganisation: Brighton & Hove AlbionOrganisation: Hull CityOrganisation: Premier LeagueOrganisation: BBC FourOrganisation: TV3Organisation: Man CityOrganisation: Barcelona

Your digital cookbook

Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.


The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up