About Adrian

Adrian grew up in Skibbereen, a small town in West Cork in the south west of Ireland. After finishing school, he packed his bags at 18 and headed off to experience the world, working at a variety of jobs ranging from a wood machinist in Boston, to managing cocktail bars in London, to working in a coal mine in Australia. At 23 he returned to Ireland to study TV Production in Ballyfermot College in Dublin, this was followed by an opportunity to work on his first feature film War of The Buttons, produced by David Puttnam. What followed was a seven year stint in feature films and TV drama, working as location manager and then as production manager. In 1998 he stepped into the world of producing and directing documentaries and has remained there ever since.

He’s married to an extraordinary woman, who somehow puts up with him, and has two amusing teenagers who keep him on his toes. And has a Wired Fox Terrier called Jarvis. Mid life crisis? He started to play Cricket. And he loves it!!

In Development 2022 (Curious Dog Films)

TITLEOUTLINEDEVELOPED WITH SUPPORT FROMROLE
WHIDDYFeature documentary on the Whiddy oil disaster in 1979 where 50 people lost their lives.Screen Ireland/RTÉProducer/Director
SOMETHING IN THE RIVERThis 2 x 1 hour documentary tells the remarkable story of how the River Ilen in Skibbereen, and the people around it, created a culture of boats and regattas which resulted in the formation of rural rowing club that has become the biggest little rowing club in the world, with a sprinkling of gold and silver Olympic medals.RTÉProducer
BORN THAT WAYFeature documentary about American born Patrick Lydon, visionary social pioneer, trailblazing champion of ability. We view the world through his lens as he battles with Motor Neuron Disease.Screen IrelandProducer

Credits include:

One Hour and Feature Documentaries

YEARTITLEROLEINFO
2022CLODAGHProducerOne hour arts documentary for RTÉ/BAI, celebrates the work of Clodagh one of Irelands greatest living female designers.
2021THE KILLING of FATHER NIALL MOLLOYDirectorProduced by Flawless Films for RTÉ, this 2 x 1 hr doc looks at the shocking unsolved killing of a much loved priest in rural Ireland in 1985.
2020/21OUR TOWNProducer/DirectorThis 3 x 1 hour series for RTÉ, filmed over 18 months, follows the hopes and dreams, the challenges and joys of a diverse bunch of young people in the seaside town of Bray, County Wicklow.
2019WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT ROSSProducer/DirectorOne hour arts documentary for RTÉ attempts to get inside the complex mind of workaholic wordsmith Paul Howard, the creator of Ross O’Carroll-Kelly.
2018LEAVING AGAINProducer/DirectorIn this honest, raw one-hour documentary, 27 year-old RTE Radio presenter Stephen Byrne has decided to re-sit his Leaving Cert Exam.
2018MY BROKEN BRAINCo-DirectorProduced by Indie Pics for RTÉ. This one hour doc follows individuals and their families while living with neurological conditions like; Epilepsy, Motor Neurone Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease.
2017ANTHONY FOLEY - MUNSTERMANProducerThis one-hour documentary for RTÉ tells the story of the sudden death of Munster rugby head coach Anthony ‘Axel’ Foley.
2017PORTRAIT OF A GALLERYProducer/DirectorFilmed over three years, this 80min observational documentary funded by RTÉ/BAI, secured unique access inside the walls of the National Gallery of Ireland during a vast refurbishment project.
2016PULL LIKE A DOGProducer/DirectorThis one-hour documentary for RTÉ follows the colourful Paul & Gary O’Donovan as they return to Ireland in the aftermath of their Olympic rowing success
2015A DIFFERENT CLASSProducerThis 2 x 1 hour doc for RTÉ spends time inside Ireland first Educate Together Secondary school in the diverse community of Hansfield in West Dublin.
2015HIDDEN IMPACT : RUGBY and CONCUSSIONProducer/DirectorThis absorbing one-hour documentary for RTÉ looks at the troubling issue of concussion in the sport of rugby.
2015OCD and MEProducer/DirectorOne-hour documentary for RTÉ giving an insight into what it’s like to live with this extreme anxiety related condition.
2014ROUGH RIDERDirectorFeature Documentary on controversial journalist and former cyclist Paul Kimmage as he returns to the Tour de France to explore its doping culture. Funded by Screen Ireland/RTÉ.
2013SOMEBODY TO LOVEExec ProducerSexuality is an integral part of life and a basic human need. Yet for people with a disability, it is often disregarded. This one-hour documentary for RTÉ spends time with couples and individuals.
2012INSIDE THE DEPARTMENTDirectorFilmed over six months, with unprecedented access, we witness the highs and lows of a Government Minister under pressure as he attempts to bring in reforms in education.1 x 52min for RTÉ.
2012JOHN LONERGAN’S SCHOOL PRINCIPLESProducerFormer Governor of Mountjoy Prison John Lonergan brings us on a journey around Ireland exploring why so many of our young people fall out of education. 1 x 52 min for RTÉ.
2011WHOSE ART IS IT ANYWAYDirectorThis arts documentary explores public art. Fronted by man of the people Joe Duffy, we travel around Ireland meeting curators, artists and the public who love and hate these works of art. 1 x 52min for RTÉ.
2011SMALL FAR AWAY - THE WORLD OF FATHER TEDProducer/DirectorThis documentary follows Father Ted creators Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews along with cast and crew return to the world of Craggy Island. 1 x 48min’s. A Hat-Trick Production for Channel 4.
2010LIVING COLOURProducerFeature documentary set in a collective studio in a small Irish town Living Colour explores the world of an inspirational group of artists while focusing on their abilities over their special needs. Funded by Screen Ireland/RTÉ.
2010GILBERT O’SULLIVAN - OUT ON HIS OWNProducer/DirectorWith unique access, this Arts documentary spends time with controversial music legend Gilbert O’Sullivan as he performs while driven to achieve the chart success he once had. 1 x 52min for RTÉ. Acquired by BBC Four.
2010LIFE AFTER DELLProducer/DirectorThis one-hour documentary spends a year with four families whose lives were turned upside down when the Dell manufacturing plant closed in Limerick. 1 x 52min for RTÉ.
2009CROKE PARK LIVESProducer/DirectorAll-Ireland Gaelic Football Final in front of 82,000 spectators. This film spends time with people who work behind the scenes at the biggest event in the Irish sporting calendar. 1 x 52 min’s for RTE/BAI.
2008THE RIORDANS - TEA, TABOO’S AND TRACTORSProducerThirty years after Ireland legendary TV soap came to an end this documentary journeys back to the world of The Riordans to rediscover this cutting-edge drama. 1 x 52mins for RTE.
2008STONE PASTURESExec ProducerFeature documentary, Stone Pastures tells the story of a nomadic family living on the Himalayan plateau of Chantang, Ladakh. 1 x 80min. Funded by Screen Ireland, Channel 4, YLE, Finnish Film Foundation.
2007RED MIST - ROY KEANE AND THE FOOTBALL CIVIL WARProducerSaipan 2002. Red Mist is a light-hearted, affectionate snapshot of an extraordinary moment in the life of a nation traumatised by a row between two big men in shorts on the other side of the world. 1 x 58min funded by IFB/Setanta/BAI.
2007GRAHAM LINEHAN - FUNNY BUSINESSDirectorA unique arts documentary on comedy writer/director Graham Linehan as he works oh his latest sitcom IT Crowd for Channel 4. 1 x 52min for RTE.
2006A MISSING GENERATION - AIDS IN AFRICAProducer/DirectorThis doc visits Kenya and Malawi where communities are destroyed by the AIDS epidemic. A generation is wiped out - the missing generation - but within the bleakness there is hope. 1 x 52min for RTE.
2005FAIRY WIFE - THE BURNING OF BRIDGET CLEARYDirectorThis film explores the events surrounding the burning to death of Bridget Cleary in Tipperary in 1895 and the massive impact it had on the country at the time. 1 x 52min for IFB/RTE/History Channel.
2005BEATENDirectorThousands of women face the reality of domestic violence every day. In Beaten, women speak out for the first time. Produced by Liberty Films for RTÉ.
2004SCHOOL No 1 - A MISSION TO BESLANProducer/DirectorIn September 2004, 340 people lost their lives in a school in the small Russian town of Beslan. It was a terrorist attack. Forty days later we travel to this devastated community. 1 x 52min for RTE.
2004AN TOBARProducer/Co-DirectorIn An Tobar we visit some extraordinary Holy Wells around Ireland recording a living tradition that predates the arrival of Christianity on this island. 1 x 52 for TG4/IFB.
2004WHEN PIGS CARRY STICKS - MUCA LE MAIDIProducerThis special film explores the age old story of weather and mans relationship with it. 1 x 52 for TG4/IFB/YLE.
2003CRASHDirectorFilmed over six months, this often shocking documentary shines a light on the tragic human effects of car accidents on Irish roads. A Mint Production for RTÉ.
2002LIVING THE REVOLUTIONProducer/DirectorWe join Sinn Fein’s controversial candidate Martin Ferris and party leader Gerry Adams on the run up to the Irish general election in 2002. 1 x 48min for IFB/TV3.
2001DEAD SILENCEProducer/DirectorIn 2001 BSE (Mad Cow Disease) was making headlines all over Europe. Two Irish families allow cameras in after the dreaded BSE arrived on their farms.
2000BLOWING THE WHISTLEProducer/DirectorThis film looks at the trials and tribulation of two top Gaelic Football referees and their wives as they proceed through the All-Ireland championship season.
1999TO RUSSIA WITH LOVEProducerTells the story of how Irish housewife Debbie Deegan bids to help two Russian orphans .

Half-Hour Documentaries

YEARTITLEROLEINFO
2019TWO LUKESProducer/DirectorThis documentary film tells a unique, and colourful story celebrating cherished Dublin music icon Luke Kelly and the creation of two very different pieces of public art to celebrate the 35th anniversary of his death. 1 x 25’ for RTÉ.
2016MAKING IRELAND CLICKProducer/DirectorA campaigning four-part series, guided by Ireland’s Digital Champion and film producer David Puttnam, as we explore the need for every citizen to be digitally literate. 4 x 25’ for RTE.
2007/8CONSUMING PASSIONSExec ProducerEveryone has one great passion in their life, some are just a little bit different. 16x 25’ for RTE
2006PIGEON HEADSProducer/DirectorThis is a revealing, affectionate and colourful look at very different people whose lives are dominated by racing pigeons. 1 x 24’ for RTE.
2005A GOOD INNINGSProducer/DirectorWelcome to the multi cultural male dominated world of one of Ireland’s oldest junior cricket clubs who have been batting it out in Dublin’s Phoenix Park since 1863. 1 x 25’ for RTE.
2005SING AND YOU WINProducerA warm and inspiring story about the effect one man and singing have had on this small Burren community in the West of Ireland. 1 x 25’ for RTE.
2004COMMUNION KIDSProducer/DirectorThis film spends time with Adam and Lorna, two very different 8 year olds from Fatima Mansions in Dublin’s south inner city as they prepare for what Adam calls “the day they receive Jesus” – their holy communion day. 1 x 25’ for RTE.
2003WALKING THE DOGProducer/DirectorThis film spends time with three very different characters and their dogs who live on the edge of Dublin’s Phoenix Park, the largest walled urban park in Europe. 1 x 25’ for RTE.

Awards and Nominations

AWARDSYEARTITLE
RTS TELEVISION AWARD Best Factual Series. Flawless Films/RTÉ.2022THE KILLING OF FATHER NIALL MOLLOY
IFTA WINNER (Sport)2016HIDDEN IMPACT - RUGBY AND CONCUSSION
IFTA WINNER (TV Editing - Mick Mahon)2015ROUGH RIDER
IFTA WINNER (TV Editing - Brenda Morrissey)2013INSIDE THE DEPARTMENT
RADHARC AWARD WINNER2102JOHN LONERGAN - SCHOOL PRINCIPLES
RADHARC AWARD WINNER2008A MISSING GENERATION - AIDS IN AFRICA
BEST EUROPEAN DOCUMENTARY GRAND PRIX CIRCOM WINNER2002DEAD SILENCE
ESB IRISH NATIONAL MEDIA AWARD WINNER (Best Feature)2001DEAD SILENCE
ESB IRISH NATIONAL MEDIA AWARD WINNER (Best Sport)2000BLOWING THE WHISTLE
NEW YORK FILM FLEADH (Winner, Best Feature)2003LIVING THE REVOLUTION
NOMINATIONS
CELTIC MEDIA FESTIVAL (Sport)2018ANTHONY FOLEY - MUNSTERMAN
IFTA Nomination (Specialist Factual)2018PORTRAIT OF A GALLERY
IFTA Nomination (Sport)2018PULL LIKE A DOG
IFTA Nomination (Sport)2018ANTHONY FOLEY - MUNSTERMAN
IFTA Nomination (Editing - Brenda Morrissey)2015OCD and ME
IFTA Nomination (Camera - Eleanor Bowman)2015OCD and ME
PRIX EUROPA Nomination (Documentary)2011LIFE AFTER DELL
IFTA Nomination (Documentary)2011SMALL FAR AWAY - THE WORLD OF FATHER TED
IFTA Nomination (Sport)2008RED MIST - Roy Keane and The Football Civil War
IFTA Nomination (Documentary)2003LIVING THE REVOLUTION
CELTIC MEDIA FESTIVAL (Documentary)2003CRASH
CELTIC MEDIA FESTIVAL (Documentary)2002DEAD SILENCE
IFTA Nomination (Current Affairs)2003CRASH

Some Reviews

THE KILLING OF FATHER NIALL MOLLOY

Adrian McCarthy’s elegantly made two-parter worked exceptionally well on distinct levels: both as true crime documentaries and vivid social histories. The jaw dropping strangeness of late 20th Ireland has rarely been more evocatively encapsulated.

Liam FaySunday Times
THE KILLING OF FATHER NIALL MOLLOY

The forensic precision and commendable lack of sensationalism make it a riveting true-crime documentary. This superb two-parter breaks the chains of the genre to become something more.

Pat Stacey The Herald
OUR TOWN

Our Town is a beautiful portrait of young people in all of their strength, vulnerability and wisdom. The documentary doesn’t just dwell on the negative. It paints a rich picture of all of their lives. McCarthy and his team have highlighted each participant’s individuality while, at the same time, providing a compelling portrait of a town and a community.

Patrick FreyneIrish Times
OUR TOWN

A wonderfully fresh and vivid corrective to the nonsense that’s so often talked about young people. Their stories are a forceful often joyous rebuttal of every shopworn cliché being peddled about young people.

Pat Stacey The Herald
OUR TOWN

An organic and coherent piece of documentary making. Our Town felt wholly authentic and faithful and heartfelt. However outwardly confident and self-reliant they might seem, it showed how painfully vulnerable young people are.

Eilish O’Hanlon Sunday Independent
PORTRAIT OF A GALLERY

Excellent documentary. A brilliant piece of art criticism. A study in contrasts and juxtapositions, light and shade, it knows the value of an image, how to draw the eye to things you would not see otherwise. In this documentary, the National Gallery gets a depiction worthy of its renovation.

Peter CrawleyIrish Times
ANTHONY FOLEY - MUNSTERMAN

This is a programme that does a proud man proud. A moving and uplifting documentary … poignant tribute.

Nick GreensdaleSunday Times
ANTHONY FOLEY - MUNSTERMAN

As with anything coming out of the Wildfire Films stable, this is a quality production, beautifully shot and with a rhythm to it that will draw in as many casual viewers as it will rugby fans.

Brendan FanningIrish Independent
HIDDEN IMPACT - RUGBY and CONCUSSION

Superb documentary on concussion, should be looked up by every rugby parent. It was an outstanding piece of work and I could not recommend it more highly to anyone concerned with this matter.

Sunday Independent
HIDDEN IMPACT - RUGBY and CONCUSSION

Hidden Impact was a hard hitting, methodical and well structured assault on a vexed subject.

Sunday Times
HIDDEN IMPACT - RUGBY and CONCUSSION

Adrian McCarthy’s excellently researched, clearly presented and deeply persuasive documentary, was almost campaigning in its conviction. Not a stone was left unturned. It makes for deeply unsettling yet essential viewing.

Irish Times
OCD and ME

The participants do a service to the understanding of the condition and director Adrian McCarthy offers a respectful treatment of their fears and anxieties.

Bernice HarrisonIrish Times
OCD and ME

OCD and Me, was an intriguing insight into a condition that many of us share to some degree.

John BolandIrish Independent
OCD and ME

An incredibly powerful documentary.

Brendan O’ConnorThe Saturday Night Show
LIVING THE REVOLUTION

McCarthy’s undoubted skills as an observational film-maker emerged with this visually impressive and inventively constructed documentary.

Sunday TimesLiam Fay
ROUGH RIDER

Fantastic. Supremely compelling.

Balls.ie
ROUGH RIDER

Superb film, a sad story of unrequited love. Remarkable.

Sunday Independent
ROUGH RIDER

Excellently paced, well crafted and beautifully filmed.

Irish Times
INSIDE THE DEPARTMENT

Inside The Department provided a welcome and stylish insight into ministerial life … fascinating stuff this was for sure … this fly on the wall documentary made for riveting television.

Sunday Independent
A MISSING GENERATION - AIDS IN AFRICA

A powerful documentary…which howled for our attention. With documentaries like this telling us how it is, none of us can claim we weren’t told what was happening.

Irish Times.
SMALL FAR AWAY - THE WORLD OF FATHER TED

An excellent documentary.

Sunday Business Post
SMALL FAR AWAY - THE WORLD OF FATHER TED

It establishes Father Ted as a unique show – big hearted, yet sneakily subversive, traditional yet surreal, unworldly yet brilliantly pop culture-savvy. Watching O’Hanlon, Kelly and Norton is great fun, yet the film has a melancholy edge too, with the absence of Dermot Morgan clearly still keenly felt by all involved. Lovely stuff. ****

TIME OUT (London)
LIFE AFTER DELL

A hard-hitting, moving and ultimately inspiring documentary.

Evening Herald
GILBERT O'SULLIVAN - OUT ON HIS OWN

This was an excellent film.

Irish Times
GILBERT O'SULLIVAN - OUT ON HIS OWN

This terrific Arts Lives film was an absorbing portrait of a self-absorbed man who can be prickly and difficult.

Evening Herald
COMMUNION KIDS

A thoroughly enchanting film from the always pitch-perfect director Adrian McCarthy and Wildfire Films.

Irish Times
RED MIST

It’s a brilliant film … Zippy, evocative, poignant and often very, very funny … A must see. Beg, borrow or steal a copy.

Evening Herald
GRAHAM LINEHAN - FUNNY BUSINESS

A fascinating Arts Lives documentary about one of the most talented and influential comedy writers around .The programme was a comedy writing masterclass … as assured an hour of television as you’re likely to see all year.

A cracking profile of Linehan, although no surprise given that it was the work of Adrian McCarthy of Wildfire Films. If you want an observational documentary, he’s about as good as they come.

Irish Times
BLOWING THE WHISTLE

You could smell the blood, sweat and tears in this highly crafted and often very funny portrait of men under pressure. Great stuff.

Irish Times
CRASH

The documentary, directed by Adrian McCarthy is far more effective than the most shocking safety ads, this is real, there are no actors. It should be shown to every one of us before we are issued with our licence and every time we put the keys in the door of our car. The film struck a detached, almost nonchalant tone which eloquently underscored the point that for all their grisly horror, fatal car crashes are daily occurrences.

Irish Times
CRASH

The most shocking ever television expose of the cost of Ireland’s road carnage should be made compulsory viewing as it would save lives … a harrowing account.

Irish Independent
CRASH

Young men maimed, little boys killed, grieving parents, bewildered and shamed siblings, CRASH was virtually unbearable. A superb documentary.

Sunday Tribune
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