Tipp Film Maker’s Award Winning Documentary Atlantic To be Aired On RTÉ Television


Award winning ‘Atlantic’ documentary on RTÉ1 8th December at 10:15pm

Right now, the second largest super trawler in the world is fishing off the Irish coast. [1] It’s called MFV Margiris and it drags a net bigger than a football field and can process over 250 tonnes of fish a day. Conversationists and fishermen say huge damage is being done to our fish stocks and sea life including dolphins. [3] They say Michael Creed, the Minister responsible for the Marine and Fisheries is trying to sidestep his responsibilities by blaming EU Fisheries policy. [4] Campaign groups such as Uplift are calling for permanent inspectors on board super trawlers in Irish waters. [5]

These issues and more are explored in an acclaimed new documentary by award winning Tipperary film maker Risteard Ó Domhnaill in his new film ‘Atlantic’ which is set to be shown on RTÉ 1 television on Thursday December 8th at 10.15pm. Narrated by Emmy award winner Brendan Gleeson,Atlantic follows the fortunes of three small fishing communities – in Ireland, Norway and Newfoundland as they struggle to maintain their way of life in the face of mounting economic and ecological challenges.


Cahir man Risteard Ó Domhnaill and actor Brendan Gleeson who is the narrator of Atlantic

Cahir man Risteard Ó Domhnaill and actor Brendan Gleeson who is the narrator of Atlantic


As the oil majors drive deeper into their fragile seas, and the world’s largest fishing companies push fish stocks to the brink, coastal communities and the resources they rely on are fast approaching a point of no return. This has huge implications for Irish fishing communities and the national exchequer and is even more relevant with news of Brexit and the UK leaving the Common Fisheries Area and with Providence Resources planning a large Irish drilling program in 2017.

Filmed in some of the most remote and breathtaking locations in the North Atlantic, and at close quarters with some of the sea’s most captivating characters, Atlantic brings to the fore three very intimate stories from the global resource debate. It explores how modern day communities must learn from the past, in order to secure a brighter future.


“My last documentary, The Pipe, told the story of a small coastal community in Mayo as they faced down one of the world’s most powerful oil companies, which was forcing a high-pressure raw gas pipeline through their farms and fishing grounds. The story raised more questions for me than it answered, leading me to look at the politics of our oil and gas prospects off the Irish coast. What has since unfolded is an incredible story of resource mismanagement, and the capture of our offshore riches — oil, gas and fishing — whilst our gaze is elsewhere. Unfortunately, what I found when I looked across the Atlantic is that Ireland’s tale is not unique. However, in both Norway and Newfoundland, the lessons learned by similarly affected communities can help us to chart a different course, before our most renewable resources are damaged beyond recognition, or sold to the highest bidders.” says Ó Domhnaill.

Since it’s release earlier this year Ó Domhnaill has toured the crowd funded documentary around the country, hosting screenings in more than 100 communities. The film has also attracted critical praise, winning the prestigious 2016 Screen Directors’ Guild Finders Series, and Best Irish Documentary at the Audi Dublin Film Festival and numerous other awards. The film is also being been selected by the Irish Film Institute for their secondary schools programme and will be offered to every school in the country. A viewing recently took place in Leinster House and in the European Parliament. More information or to request a screening visit www.theatlanticstream.com.


Tipperary film maker Risteard Ó Domhnaill in his new film ‘Atlantic’ which is set to be shown on RTÉ 1 television

Related news and links:


Providence Resources are planning a large drilling program in 2017:



World’s largest supertrawlers returning to Irish waters:



Europes largest fishing ground to be lost to the common fisheries policy due to Brexit:



[1] http://coastmonkey.ie/news/super-trawler-ireland-bound/

[2] http://www.thejournal.ie/call-for-ban-super-trawler-2848202-Jul2016/

[3] http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/monster-supertrawler-currently-operating-in-irish-waters-364474.html

[4] https://www.kildarestreet.com/wrans/?id=2016-11-22a.1228&s=super+trawler#g1229.q
[5] http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/observers-may-be-put-on-big-fish-processing-vessels-to-combat-overfishing-371501.html and


[6] http://www.greenpeace.org/australia/en/what-we-do/oceans/No-Super-Trawlers/


[7] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-24/super-trawlers-to-be-banned-from-australian-waters-permanently/5987854



★★★★ The Irish Times | ★★★★★ Sunday Business Post | ★★★★ Irish Independent

★★★★ Entertainment.ie |★★★★ RTÉ | ★★★★★ Sunday Independent

Atlantic is an engrossing piece of truth-seeking, visually stunning and crafted with clarity and insight. It was an honour to be involved.” Brendan Gleeson



Risteard Ó Domhnaill, Winner of 2016 Screen Directors’ Guild Finders Series for Atlantic


Best Irish Documentary – Audi Dublin International Film Festival 2016

Best Environmental Documentary – Chagrin Documentary Film Festival 2016

Grand Jury Prize for Most Outstanding Film – Wexford Documentary Film Festival 2016

Audience Award – British & Irish Film Series Festival, Luxembourg, 2016

Ocean Awareness Award, Marine Institute of Ireland, 2016


Selected for BLUE Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Summit, Florida USA, 2016

Selected for Irish Film Institute Schools Programme 2016-2017





“It made my blood boil.”Sunday Business Post


“absolute must-see” – Film Ireland


“Entertaining, informative and essential.” – Irish Times


“a wake-up call as chilling as a bucket of ice-cold seawater over the head” – Irish Examiner


“epic in scope, damning in its conclusions” – Irish Times


“…Ó Domhnaill is a critical and influential documentary maker, exposing the reality of our resource mismanagement with his first major project The Pipe and he astonishes again with Atlantic.” – Hot Press


“vital… this is important stuff”Sunday Independent






Just off the west coast of Ireland, fisherman Jerry Early has seen the heart ripped out of his small island community after a ban on drift netting for wild salmon was put in place. As he fights to regain his fishing rights, he’s up against a government which takes its orders from the European Union.


“It’s a criminal offence to be a small fisherman in this country…” Jerry Early


As foreign super-trawlers operate with impunity just offshore, Jerry feels like a criminal on his own boat. The circumstances could be dire if he defies the new order of the ocean, but as the unofficial “mayor” of a dying island, Jerry feels he must stand up to these powerful interests before it’s too late.





“They are invading the Arctic. It’s a race against the North Pole for the last of the oil.” Bjørnar Nicolaisen


In Norway, fishermen and their resource have historically been aggressively protected by national authorities. But as oil fields dwindle and the country now looks to add to its reserves, Arctic cod fisherman Bjørnar Nicolaisen is campaigning against seismic testing by the oil explorers criss-crossing his fishing grounds. On the outer edges of Norway’s five-star economy, seismic blasting is threatening to blow Bjørnar’s livelihood out of the water.



Across the ocean in Newfoundland, where an oil boom has hit, fisherman Charlie Kane will likely be the last of his generation to work full time at sea, after a cod fishing ban in the 1990s brought a world-renowned industry to a halt overnight.


“God almighty…nothing is as bad as seeing your community dying.” Charlie Kane


Yet Charlie is thankful his sons can now make a good living on the oil rigs, and won’t need to toil in small boats on Newfoundland’s perilous Grand Banks. But now, as oil prices plummet, their village is once again taking on water, as the the quick money of the black gold rush begins to run dry.


Sadly Charlie passed away during the making of Atlantic. The film is dedicated to his memory.


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