Entertainment
188 voters

The Best TV Shows Set In Ireland

Updated September 9, 2021 565 votes 188 voters 13.1k views30 items

List RulesVote up the best scripted television shows that take place in either The Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland.

A combination of resources and how few new shows UK and European television puts out, comparativley, has limited the number of Irish television series. Luckily, more production companies are realizing that not only is the island of Ireland is a gorgeous place with a heavy history, but more and more BBC and ITV series are being set in Northern Ireland, alongside the shows from the Irish broadcaster RTÉ in the Republic of Ireland, expanding the range of stories told in the UK and Europe. If you've ever thought of visiting Ireland or are curious about how the countries are portrayed on-screen, this list of the best shows set in Ireland can be your tour guide.

Whether it be centered around Dublin or Belfast, or somewhere much smaller, like Derry, there is a vibrant charm to Irish dramas and comedies alike. Many historical period series are set in Ireland, like the twin series Rebellion and Resistance, set around the first quarter of the 20th century. But some period pieces are set much more recently, such as Derry Girls, which uses music to remind the viewers that The Troubles were as recent as the early 1990s. Not all Irish shows are heavy-handed, there are plenty of sitcoms and comedies like Father Ted.

Which shows about Ireland should be at the top of the list? Vote up the best TV shows set in Ireland, then vote down the shows that don't deserve to be set in such a great place and add any great Irish shows that are missing.

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  • 1
    Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Louisa Harland
    101
    21

    PremieredJanuary 4, 2018

    Derry Girls (Channel 4, 2018) is a British sitcom created by Lisa McGee. Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson), her cousin Orla (Louisa Harland), their friends Clare (Nicola Coughlan) and Michelle (Jamie-Lee...  more
  • 2
    Dermot Morgan, Ardal O'Hanlon
    62
    7

    PremieredApril 21, 1995

    Father Ted is a sitcom that was produced by independent production company Hat Trick Productions for British broadcaster Channel 4. Written jointly by Irish writers Arthur Mathews and Graham Linehan...  more

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  • 3
    Gillian Anderson, Jamie Dornan
    39
    8

    PremieredMay 13, 2013

    The Fall (BBC Two, 2013) is a British-Irish crime drama television series created by Allan Cubitt. Metropolitan Police Superintendent Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) sets out to capture a family man...  more

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  • 4
    Chris O'Dowd, David Rawle
    31
    10

    PremieredSeptember 14, 2012

    Moone Boy is an Irish sitcom created, co-written by and co-starring Chris O'Dowd for British broadcaster Sky. The series is co-written by Nick Vincent Murphy and is produced by Baby Cow Productions,...  more
  • 5
    Aidan Gillen, Charlie Murphy
    27
    5

    Premiered2010

    Love/Hate is an Irish crime drama series broadcast on RTÉ Television. The show premièred on 3 October 2010 at 21:30 on RTÉ One and on RTÉ Player. The show depicts fictional characters in Dublin's...  more
  • 6
    Susannah Doyle, Gary Whelan
    15
    4

    PremieredFebruary 11, 1996

    Ballykissangel is a BBC television drama created by Kieran Prendiville and set in Ireland, produced in-house by BBC Northern Ireland. The original story revolved around a young English Roman Catholic...  more
  • 7
    Ruth Bradley, Michelle Fairley
    17
    7

    Premiered2016

    Rebellion (RTÉ, 2016) is an Irish historical fiction television miniseries. The show dramatizes the events surrounding the 1916 Easter Rising....  more
  • 8
    Gabriel Byrne, Michael Gambon
    15
    6

    PremieredDecember 23, 2013

    Quirke is a British-Irish crime drama television series that was first broadcast on BBC One and RTÉ One in 2014. The three-part series is based on the Quirke novels by John Banville, writing under...  more
  • 9
    Brian Gleeson Aoife Duffin Simone Kirby Natasha O'Keeffe Gavin Drea
    12
    3

    PremieredJanuary 6, 2019

    Resistance (RTÉ One, 2019) is an Irish historical fiction television miniseries written by Colin Teevan. The five-part limited series dramatizes the events surrounding the Irish War of Independence...  more
  • 10
    Pat Shortt, Joe Rooney
    14
    8

    Premiered2003

    Killinaskully is an Irish television comedy which details the bizarre goings-on in a fictitious Irish village called Killinaskully located in the hills of Ireland. It was actually filmed on location...  more
  • 11
    Rory Connolly, Phillipa Dunne
    8
    3

    Premiered2014

    The Walshes (RTÉ, 2014) is an Irish comedy television series, based on work by the comedy group Diet of Worms. The show follows the Walshes, a tight-knit family living in the fictional West Dublin...  more
  • 12
    Peter Bowles, Bryan Murray
    6
    0

    Premiered1983

    The Irish R.M. refers to a series of books by the Anglo-Irish novelists Somerville and Ross, and the television comedy-drama series based on them. They are set in turn of the 20th century west of...  more
  • 13
    Dominique McElligott, Shelley Conn
    5
    0

    Premiered2008

    RAW is an Irish drama television series which was broadcast on RTÉ. The show focuses on the staff at a Dublin restaurant. The first season featured six episodes shown on RTÉ Two in September 2008 and...  more
  • 14
    Saoirse Ronan, Chris O'Dowd
    7
    3

    Premiered2003

    The Clinic is a multi award-winning Irish primetime television medical drama series produced by Parallel Film Productions for RTÉ. It debuted on RTÉ One in 2003 to positive reviews and proved to be...  more
  • 15
    Don Wycherley, Keith McErlean
    8
    4

    Premiered2001

    Bachelors Walk was a comedy-drama about three single men living in a house in Dublin’s Bachelors Walk. The series was shot in and around Dublin. The programme was first broadcast on RTÉ on 1 October...  more
  • 16
    Robert Sheehan, Zachary Garred
    8
    5

    Premiered2004

    Foreign Exchange is an Irish-Australian television programme broadcast by Southern Star from 5 November to 27 December 2004. It starred Lynn Styles as Hannah O'Flaherty, a feisty Irish girl, and...  more
  • 17
    Peter O'Toole, David Kelly
    8
    5

    PremieredMarch 16, 1980

    Strumpet City was a 1980 television miniseries produced by Irish broadcaster RTÉ, based on James Plunkett's 1969 novel Strumpet City. It was RTÉ's most ambitious and expensive production to date. The...  more
  • 18
    Luke Treadaway, Geraldine James
    5
    2

    Premiered2012

    Thirteen Steps Down (ITV, 2012) is an Irish television thriller miniseries based on the novel by Ruth Rendell. This two-part series follows Mix Cellini (Luke Treadaway), a lonely, maladjusted young...  more
  • 19
    Emma Stansfield, Adrian Dunbar
    6
    4

    Premiered2008

    Whistleblower is a two-part IFTA-winning fact-based RTÉ drama which focuses on the Michael Neary scandal that erupted in the 1990s. Neary is a retired Irish consultant obstetrician/gynaecologist who...  more
  • 20
    Ian Glen, Killian Scott
    3
    0

    PremieredAugust 2, 2016

    Jack Taylor (TV3, 2010) is an Irish mystery television drama created by Ken Bruen and based on the novels of Ken Bruen. Jack Taylor, a former officer with the Garda Síochána who becomes a private...  more

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  • 21
    Owen McDonnell, David Herlihy
    1
    0

    PremieredAugust 25, 2008

    Single-Handed is an Irish television drama series, first broadcast on RTÉ Television in 2007. Set and filmed in the west of Ireland, it focuses on the life of a member of the Garda Síochána, Sergeant...  more
  • 22
    Matthew Rhys, Ann Skelly
    1
    0

    PremieredNovember 28, 2018

    Death and Nightingales (Starz, 2018) is a British historical drama miniseries, based on the 1992 novel of the same name by Eugene McCabe. Set in the countryside of Ireland in 1883, the story follows...  more

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  • 23
    Charlie Cox, Clare Dunne
    1
    0

    PremieredSeptember 9, 2021

    Kin (AMC+, 2021) is an Irish crime drama miniseries created by Ciaran Donnelly and Peter McKenna. The series tells the story of a fictional Dublin family embroiled in gangland war and speaks to the...  more

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  • 24
    Brian Gleeson, Domhnall Gleeson
    3
    3

    PremieredApril 15, 2021

    Frank of Ireland (Amazon Video, 2021) is a British comedy series created by Brian Gleeson, Domhnall Gleeson, and Michael Moloney. The series follows Frank a 32-year-old catastrophe who has a tenuous...  more

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  • 25
    Matt Ryan, Owen McDonnell
    3
    5
    Wild Decembers is an Irish feature-length television drama series which broadcast on RTÉ One on 29 December 2010. Described as a "dark tale of love and land" by the Irish Independent, it is set in...  more