Wild Decembers (TV series)

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Wild Decembers
GenrePeriod drama
Created byEdna O'Brien
Country of originIreland
Original languageEnglish
Running time2 hours
Original networkRTÉ One
Picture format16:9 widescreen
Audio formatStereo, Dolby Digital 5.1

Wild Decembers is an Irish feature-length television drama series which broadcast on RTÉ One on 29 December 2010.[1] Described as a "dark tale of love and land" by the Irish Independent, it is set in contemporary County Clare and is based on the novel of the same name by the Irish writer Edna O'Brien.[2]

It stars the London-based Galway star of the popular RTÉ drama Single-Handed, Owen McDonnell, Matt Ryan (Collision, The Tudors) and Lara Belmont (The War Zone, Henry VIII).[3] It is directed by Anthony Byrne[4] and is produced by the English-based Clare Alan.


The project was originally planned as a feature film but failed in its attempts to secure funding from the Irish Film Board and was scaled back, with RTÉ opting to take over the project. Filmed on set in Roundwood, County Wicklow, its strong cast of actors including veteran Seán McGinley, Hugh O'Connor, Jane Brennan, Pauline Cadell.

Edna O'Brien makes a cameo appearance as an extra in a church, her first return to such a building after having her work The Country Girls subject to religious condemnation by the Catholic authorities. She was the subject of book burning rites and was threatened with excommunication in the 1960s.[5] Clare Alan said:

It was certainly strange to see Edna amongst a gaggle of women extras in a church.

Her parents were said to have become ashamed of her for invoking the controversy and, despite O'Brien dedicating the book to her mother, she seemed the most upset. After her mother's death, O'Brien discovered a hidden copy of The Country Girls in an outhouse near her family home; the book had been thoroughly censored by her mother, and with both the dedication and any supposedly offensive words scribbled through.

It had finished production by July 2009.[4]


  1. ^ "New Irish TV dramas coming to RTÉ". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. RTÉ. 12 July 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  2. ^ Zacharek, Stephanie (18 April 2000). "Wild Decembers". Salon. Archived from the original on 6 July 2009.
  3. ^ "Production starts on Wild Decembers". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. RTÉ. 24 November 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2008.
  4. ^ a b "Two Nominations for "Single Handed 3" Drama". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. RTÉ. 16 July 2009. Retrieved 10 August 2009.
  5. ^ "Why we'll all be taking dramatic licence in '09". Irish Independent. 15 December 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2008.