Tolka Row

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Tolka Row
Genre Drama serial
Created by Maura Laverty
Written byVarious
Country of origin Ireland
Original languageEnglish
No. of series5
Production locations Studio 1, Television Centre, Donnybrook, Dublin 4
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time25–40 minutes
Original network Telefís Éireann
Original release3 January 1964 (1964-01-03) 
31 May 1968 (1968-05-31)

Tolka Row was an Irish drama serial set in a fictional housing estate on the northside of Dublin. [1] Based on Maura Laverty's play of the same name, Tolka Row was first broadcast on 3 January 1964 and aired weekly for five series until it ended on 31 May 1968. [2]


As Telefís Éireann's first venture into soap operas, Tolka Row quickly became a staple of the new television station's schedule and set the pace for all future home-produced serials. Its popularity also resulted in the station developing a second soap opera, The Riordans , in 1965.

Tolka Row is similar in format to the long-running British soap Coronation Street , from which it borrows its main premise (the everyday life of a number of neighbours). The show was centred on the Nolans, a typical working-class Dublin family, and their neighbours, the Feeneys. All episodes were filmed in studio at Telefís Éireann's Television Centre in Donnybrook, Dublin.



Broadcast format

During its entire four-year run Tolka Row remained at the centre of Telefís Éireann's prime time schedule. The pilot episode was broadcast at 19:20 on Friday, 3 January 1964. The first two series aired once a week on Fridays at that time. The third series moved to Sunday evenings where it usually aired at 19:45. The last two series returned to Friday evenings with a broadcast time of 20:00. Every episode was pre-recorded in black and white before the broadcast date.


For all five series, the complete set of Tolka Row (house interiors and exteriors) was erected inside Studio 1 of Telefís Éireann's Television Centre in Dublin. Sets were constructed and removed on an ad hoc basis. There are a number of reasons for the use of an indoor studio; the main one being that the infancy of production techniques at the time did not allow easy recording and editing of sequences filmed in different locations. In spite of this some scenes were filmed on location in such places as Dublin Airport.

Missing episodes

Only the final episode, broadcast on 31 May 1968, remains in RTÉ's archives. All other episodes of the series were wiped after broadcast so the videotapes could be reused to make other programmes, and all episodes remain lost.

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  1. "TV50: The 1960s". TV50 . RTÉ. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  2. Quinlan, Ailin (18 June 2011). "The Mammy of Irish cookery". Irish Independent. Dublin. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  3. Andy Irvine and Dónal Lunny (Interview) (20 December 2014). The Business, with Richard Curran (Podcast). Dublin: RTÉ Radio 1. Retrieved on 1 June 2015.