By Sarah Donoghue

Virgin Media is one of the biggest telecommunications companies across the UK and Ireland. They produce everything from music to wine to TV shows, nowadays you can’t move for products made by Virgin Media. This year they are even a sponsor of the 2024 student media awards, the SMEDIAs. Virgin has been transformative for the Irish TV and film industry. From film buffs to casual viewers, Virgin Media’s TV content is being enjoyed all across Ireland and has been for many years. I’m here to wrap up the best Irish TV shows ever broadcasted by Virgin Media. In no particular order: 

Grá ar an Trá: 

Grá ar an Trá is an Irish language dating show for Gaeilgeoirí and Bearleoirí alike. It began in 2023 receiving massive audience acclaim. The audiences were tuning in for every episode hoping their favourite contestants would find love and their favourite couples wouldn’t break up. It has been touted as the Irish Love Island.  

The show is presented by Gráinne Seoige, Síomha Ní Ruairc, and James Kavanagh and was produced and broadcast by Virgin Media. The show contained 12 young single people, 6 men and, 6 women. They were paired up in couples, the kicker is – one spoke Irish and one didn’t. They were put through their paces to teach and learn Irish, all the while falling in love. At the end, one lucky couple wins €10,000.  

All in all, this show is a triumph of Irish culture and the television industry. 


Redemption is a 2022 crime drama produced by a collaboration of Virgin Media and ITV. The show was created by Sean Cook and all six episodes were directed by John Hayes. The show was praised for its acting and overall storytelling, especially by the Times and the Evening Standard. It won Best Drama at the Royal Television Society Republic of Ireland Awards.  

The show follows English detective, Colette Cunningham, played by Paula Malcomson, as she relocates to Dublin after the body of a young woman was found.  

Like most crime dramas the less I say about the plot, the better. The only thing I can say is just watch it, it’s worth it.  

Jack Taylor: 

Jack Taylor is another Irish mystery drama that aired on Virgin Media, TV3 at the time. The show starred Iain Glen as the titular character Jack Taylor and was based on the work of Ken Bruen. The plot is gripping and a marvel of Irish talent. It was – of course – created by Irish writer Ken Bruen and directed by Stuart Orme.  

As you may have guessed, the show follows a man called Jack Taylor. Taylor used to be a Garda, however, he was fired from An Garda Síochanna and has taken up a career as a private investigator. He gets the nickname “the finder,” by taking on cases the Gardaí refuse to investigate. Though it seems like a cliche rogue cop story, as it is just set in Galway, it is gripping and never what you’re expecting.  

Iain Glen plays a classic gruff detective perfectly, he even said he wanted to pay homage to the 1970s film Chinatown.

The show was a roaring success and ran for 3 seasons from 2010 to 2016. It follows the same style as the BBC’s Sherlock with each episode being around 90 minutes long and encompassing a whole mystery. 

This is another relic of Irish Virgin Media TV. 


Oh yes, last but certainly not least, we have Tallafornia – possibly the greatest thing ever aired on Irish TV. The reality show was Ireland’s answer to Jersey Shore and Geordie Shore, but of course, set in the Los Angeles of Ireland, Tallaght. The show debuted in 2012 and lasted for 2 seasons with one spin-off. It was your classic reality TV show that films young people as they get drunk, date each other, and ultimately fight and roar at each other. 

The first season of the show follows seven young people (aged between 19 and 28) from Tallaght and the surrounding areas, living together in a big fancy house in a village near Tallaght called Rathcoole. Everything they did was filmed, dramatised, edited and aired on Virgin Media One (back when it was called TV3).  

Season 2 took Tallafornia on tour. The housemates, along with a few new characters, are flown to Santa Ponza in Mallorca. The Tallafornians stay in a villa and get up to their normal antics, but in the sun this time. The season unfolded very similar to the first season. Unfortunately, the show would not be renewed after this season. However, it did garner a spin-off called Tallafornia: After Party, where the cast and celebrity guests discuss episodes that just aired.  

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