10 BEST Irish TV shows of all time, RANKED (2024)

Wondering what the best Irish TV shows are? Then worry no more, we have the ultimate list of top Irish TV series.

Now Ireland may be a small country, but that’s not to say we don’t know how to churn out quality TV broadcasting. With some of the most splendid, unspoilt backdrops for filming, top US TV series such as Game of Thrones have been shot on the Emerald Isle, with shows such as Penny Dreadful and Vikings, following suit.

In terms of Irish shows through-and-through; here are the top ten!

Ireland Before You Die’s top facts about Irish TV shows

  • Love/Hate is an Irish crime drama series around the fictional lives of Dublin’s most notorious criminals. It is a gritty portrayal of Ireland’s underworld and has received critical acclaim.
  • Derry Girls has become one of the most popular Irish TV shows ever made. A coming-of-age sitcom, it follows the lives of four teenage girls and their male English cousin as they traverse the Troubles in the 1990s.
  • Father Ted is perhaps Ireland’s most iconic show. It is focused on three Irish priests and their housekeeper on Craggy Island, boasting satirical humour, eccentric characters and often satire of the Catholic Church.
  • Bosco is a beloved Irish children’s TV character. The small, red-haired puppet captured Irish hearts during 1980s and 1990s and also had an educational focus for its audience.
  • Fair City first aired back in 1989, and is set in the fictional Dublin suburb of Carrigstown. It addresses social issues and is thought to be a reflection of contemporary Ireland.

10. Bosco – the clown around town

Bosco is a fan-favourite clown that graced our television when we were kids.

No list of Irish TV programmes would be complete without a shout out to the one-and-only Bosco. Neither a girl nor a boy, Bosco is merely an “it” who loves to have fun and make new friends.

Bosco has been dominating the airwaves for over three decades, touring with puppet companies, and doing special ad hoc appearances, so it looks like it’s not going anywhere any time soon!

READ MORE: Find out from IB4UD the top to TV shows all Irish 90s kids will remember

9. Ireland’s Got Talent – full of humour, heart, and insane talents

Ireland's Got Talent is full of humour, heart and insane talents.

This global platform now has its own Irish division. Having launched in February 2018, this show is an opportunity for people across all performing talent’s to get a moment in the limelight.

They may be great, often they are terrible, and generally they’re amusing; yep, this is some of the finest Irish TV broadcasting.

8. Fair City – set in the capital and loved my many

Fair City is made in Dublin and true to the spirit of the city.

How could you write a list on top Irish TV shows without including the one and only, Fair City? Loved by some, loathed by many, yet it still seems to hold a dear place in all of our hearts.

The Dublin-based soap opera is shot on-set in the capital and has been running since September 1989, having picked up a few awards along the way. It’s been a long road for this drama, and there’s no end in sight.

7. Podge and Rodge – another of the best Irish TV shows

Podge and Rodge is a great show you need to watch.

This adult nighttime TV puppet show was introduced in 1990. The two characters are Pádraig Judas O’Leprosy and Rodraig Spartacus O’Leprosy (aka Podge and Rodge). They are rude, they are comical, they are Irish through-and-through. The Podge and Rodge Show relaunched in 2018 and remains as funny as ever. It’s one of the great Irish comedy shows.

6. Red Rock – a gripping crime-drama

Looking a gripping crime drama, check out red Rock, one of the best Irish TV shows.

Red Rock is an Irish TV drama which follows the narrative of Ireland’s police force. It is set in the fictional seaside town of Red Rock near Dublin and has been ongoing since its launch in 2015.

The series follows the lives of two feuding families and their relationship with the Garda (Ireland’s police force).

5. Mrs Brown’s Boys – one of the funniest shows on TV

Mrs Brown's Boys is hilarious and another of the best Irish TV shows.

Another of the top Irish comedy shows is Mrs Brown’s Boys. This comical Irish-British TV sitcom is almost embedded in Irish roots. The narrative is led by Irish funny-man, Brendan O’Carroll, as he plays his drag persona Agnes Brown, with friends and family consisting of the rest of the cast.

Think Mrs Doubtfire, but funnier. Truly one of the best Irish TV series.

RELATED: Father Ted vs Mrs Brown’s Boys: The best Irish sitcom?

4. The Fall – perfect for fans of dark stories

The Fall is perfect for fans of dark stories and one of the best Irish TV shows.

Filmed and set in Belfast, Northern Ireland, The Fall is one of the Emerald Isle’s most note-worthy TV dramas. Gillian Anderson plays Detective Stella Gibson (formerly Agent Scully, The X-Files) alongside Jamie Dornan as serial killer Paul Spector (remembered for his role as Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades series).

3. Love/Hate – one of the best best Irish TV shows

Love/Hate is unique and another of the best Irish TV shows.

This Dublin-set and Dublin-filmed TV drama follows the lives and feuds of families leading the capital city’s criminal underworld. Dominating airwaves between 2010-2014, this became one of Ireland’s most accomplished dramas and featured actors such as Aidan Gillen (also, Game of Thrones) and Ruth Negga (also, Misfits).

Although there was word on the street that the TV series would make a comeback, in 2017 actor John Connors quashed any rumours that that would be the case.

2. The Late Late Toy Show – a staple of Christmas time

The Late Late Toy Show is a Christmas staple and one of the best Irish TV shows.

Now it may only come once a year, but The Late Late Toy Show has got to be one of the most significant feats of broadcasting across the Emerald Isle. This is an annual, children’s edition of the late-night talk show, hosted (currently) by Ryan Tubridy.

It has been running since 1975 and continues to be one of the highlights of the Christmas season, for all ages.

1. Father Ted – the king of TV comedy

Father Ted is truly one of the best Irish TV shows.

Looking great Irish comedy shows? What list of Irish TV series could be complete without Father Ted? This Irish-British TV sitcom ran for three years between 1995-1998 and has become one of the most ever-lasting shows in Irish broadcasting history.

Set on the fictional Craggy Island, this TV series follows the comical lives of Father Ted Crilly (Dermot Morgan), fellow priests Father Dougal McGuire (Ardal O’Hanlon), Father Jack Hackett (Frank Kelly), and their housekeeper, Mrs Doyle (Pauline McLynn).

The show ceased production after the third series, and Dermot Morgan passed away, unexpectedly, the day after.

MORE IB4UD ARTICLES ABOUT FATHER TED

FATHER TED’S HOUSE: address & how to get there

Top 10 best Father Ted characters, ranked

Father Ted Road Trip: A 3 day itinerary all fans will love

10 filming locations every Father Ted fan MUST VISIT

Special mention

Time has moved on since this list was put together, but we have a new show on the block which must be added to this list … DERRY GIRLS!

Derry Girls has undoubtedly become one of the best Irish TV shows ever made. Spread across three seasons, it is set during the Troubles and follows the trials and tribulations of five friends in Derry. See below for some of our articles on the show.

Top 10 Derry Girls filming locations you can visit

Find Your Dream Hotel in Ireland

On the hunt for the ultimate hotel for your Irish adventure? Explore a curated selection ranging from the charming heritage of boutique accommodations in Dublin's vibrant heart to the tranquil luxury of rural retreats and the captivating coastal vistas. Start your search below to find the perfect stay with our trusted hotel partner.



5 fun facts you didn’t know about the Derry Girls cast

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Top 5 Derry Girls characters, ranked

Your questions answered about the best Irish TV shows of all time

Read our article on the best Irish TV shows of all time but still have some questions? Then you are in the right place! Below, we have put together the most frequently asked questions on this topic.

What is the number one show in Ireland?

The Late Late Toy Show is the number one show in Ireland. In January 2023, RTÉ revealed it had 1.5 million viewers, the most in Ireland.

What Irish TV series is set in Dublin?

There are many. However, both Kin and Love/Hate focus on gangland violence in the Irish capital.

What was the name of the Irish soap opera?

The best Irish-language soap opera was called Ros na Rún, TG4’s longest-running TV series.

What is the number one TV show of all time?

It is hard to make a definitive choice, but some of the best are regarded as The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and The Wire.

Find Your Dream Hotel in Ireland

On the hunt for the ultimate hotel for your Irish adventure? Explore a curated selection ranging from the charming heritage of boutique accommodations in Dublin's vibrant heart to the tranquil luxury of rural retreats and the captivating coastal vistas. Start your search below to find the perfect stay with our trusted hotel partner.



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