TV preview: Five things to watch on television this week

Letters of the Rising; the forgotten children of the Rising; and Trump’s chance of winning

'16 Letters Sunday, RTÉ One, 7pm
The tumultuous events in the GPO 100 years ago are well documented but within its walls was a treasure trove of other stories, all told through the letters that passed through the building during that fateful year. Ryan Tubridy sifts through the historic correspondence in '16 Letters, a major documentary that gives an insight into the lives, thoughts and pre-occupations of ordinary people living through a time of rebellion.

The letters tell many stories, not all of them concerned with the Rising. There are tales of Irish men fighting in the first World War, a love story told in many letters written over six months, letters from a Capuchin monk who witnessed the Rising and its aftermath up close and a letter from a condemned man to his wife. All these stories are retold using dramatic recreations, and through interviews with the letter writers’ descendants – and all have a powerful immediacy not found in contemporary news reports of the time.

Children of the Revolution
Sunday, RTÉ One, 9.30pm
Joe Duffy's award-winning, bestselling book The Children of the Rising told the forgotten stories of the 40 young people who were killed in the conflict. "They died as part of our history and I think they should be remembered," said Duffy. brings their stories to the screen, including two-year-old Seán Duffy who was shot in his pram, 13-year-old Lionel Sweny, who died trying to give water to a wounded British soldier, and 15-year-old Brigid McKane who was killed when rebels shot through the front door of her house.

I Am Immigrant
Tuesday, RTÉ Two, 9.30pm
Ireland has seen unprecedented social change over the past 15 years, as more immigrants become integrated in Irish life, and some wait in a limbo of direct provision. I Am Immigrant looks at what life in Ireland is like for the huge population of ethnic minorities and wonders if Ireland has really come to terms with the new, multicultural reality. Following on from last week's I Am Traveller, the documentary follows the lives of Ricardo, a member of the Roma community who dreams of becoming a garda, Elham, a young Muslim woman who has been assaulted for wearing a hijab and Nigerian-born Boni, who is torn between his parents' traditions and his new Irish identity.


President Trump: Can He Really Win?
Wednesday, Channel 4, 9pm

It's time to address the elephant in the room of American politics – the very real prospect of Donald Trump becoming the next US president. This doomsday scenario is posited in President Trump: Can He Really Win? Matt Frei looks at how the billionaire demagogue has risen to become the Republican front-runner in the November election, and confronts the awful vista of the Donald becoming leader of the free world. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Two Doors Down
Friday, BBC Two, 10pm

A one-off coFive medy about a disastrous Hogmanay celebration proved such a big hit with viewers, the BBC has commissioned an entire series. Two Doors Down stars Arabella Weir and and Alex Norton as Beth and Eric, a couple whose attempts to organise get-togethers with their neighbours ends in tears, recriminations and regret – all the ingredients for comedy gold. In the first episode, a freezer malfunction forces Beth to cook up the entire contents before it goes off and invite the neighbours round to eat it.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist