October 25, 2006

In Search of The Pope's Children

Posted in Media · 19 comments ·

View Online:
All 3 episodes of The Pope’s Children are now available to view online:
Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3

All the episodes are in two parts. Please note that over slow Internet connections, the film clips may take some time to download.
Due to bandwidth constraints, content is available to site members only (it is free to join) and clips are not of a very high quality.

The WonderBra effect on Irish Life
Coming to RTE in November

If you have questions or comments on episode two, please go here.

Based on his Number 1 best selling book ‘The Popes Children’ David McWilliams authors a three-part series examining the economic and social landscape of Ireland in 2006.

David introduces us to ‘The Popes Children’ a new Irish generation; they are young, sassy and successful. We meet DIY Declan, Low GI Jane, Breakfast Roll Man, Yummy Mummy and the HiCos – the elete whose distance from deckland and the new middle class is measured by their cool sophistication and their ability to feel equally at home on the Boulevard Saint-Michel and on Hill 16.

The first programme in the series explores our current state as the hedonists of Europe. We are boozing, eating, shagging, shopping, spending, playing hard and working even harder. Ireland is richer now than any of us would have thought possible ten years ago. We have more money in our pockets than almost anybody else in Europe this year alone we will spend 75 billion on consumption which equates to about €20,000 for every man, woman and child.

David explains how we have been pushed together and lifted up in a sort of ‘Wonderbra economics’ effect, which has allowed us to display our rather impressive material cleavage. The economic success of Ireland as split the classes into two tribes. These are the HiCos and the Decklanders.

The first episode of “In Search of the Pope’s Children” will be broadcast on RTE1 at 9.30pm on Monday, November 6th 2006.

  1. john brougha

    Just wondering will the series be repeated on TV, we forgot about it,

    Best Regards


  2. webmaster

    Hi John

    I will find out for you and post up details if it is. We are also looking into making it available online also if RTE are agreeable to this, but no word back yet on that.


  3. George Lambert

    Hey David,
    As a 50 something, I remember all the bad ol times, I parented alone from 1988 and because I chose to stay at home, I found myself outside the ‘system’ there was no social welfare payment for a man parenting alone.. They finally awarded me Deserted Wife’s Allowance, Im now safely returned to male stardom..
    I really enjoyed the first programme, excellent summarisation, tho I would agree that something needs to be said about social exclusion, perhaps it is addressed in a future programme..
    On Q&A you and Alison were refreshing and gave the show a great upload,
    Will buy the book tomorrow…


    George Lambert Cork

  4. stephen brennan

    you should buy it

  5. Dáire Fagan

    Is there any chance you guys can make the series viewable online like so many of RTE’s programmes are? If RTE aren’t going to do this for you could you make it available on this web page? Just I personally don’t own a television and watch all my news & current affairs programmes from http://www.rte.ie/news/TVindex.html

  6. OilKing

    Really enjoyed episode one. Like many have posted previously, if possible please make these episodes available online as I work abroad and I will miss the next two episodes.

  7. Richie Collins

    Hi David,

    I was in hospital and missed the show.

    I am still in.

    Would it be possible to get a copy of the first episode as I wanted to see it as I have read the great reviews.

    Also, a family member featured in the show who has since passed on so it would be a nice keep sake.

    I will forward whatever payment is necessary.



  8. JP

    Hi David,

    Just seen your new website now for the first time.

    Would like to request you do all you can to get permission to view your “Pope’s Children” series on-line.

    I just emigrated from Dublin to Melbourne in the last two years and will return within the next 3 three years.

    While doing the opposite of most ex pats who are jetting in Ireland to set up home I have travelled the opposite way mainly because of the economic benefits we have been experiencing and the way the world has opened up to us all.

    I know there are many more like me out there across the Globe who log on to your site to keep up to date with the economic and social happenings in the ‘oul sod and to enjoy your own irreverant writing style but we cannot watch RTE.

    Please do see what you can do for an OnLine Popes Children.



    P.S Variable Interst Rates in OZ just went up another .25%….. Many people now paying up to 8.5%… Inflation seems to be taking a grip everywhere in the developed countries.

  9. David Kerr


    Excellent book, very insightful economic viewpoint and nicely categorised (if a little condescending at times). Was keenly awaiting the TV series, glad to say it did not disappoint.

    Keep it up slugger.


  10. David Mc Williams

    Hi All, thanks for all the comments. The DVD of the entire series will be available on Dec 8th. I’ll keep you posted. Kind Regards, David

  11. RH

    I don’t pay my TV licence to buy rte programmes on DVD

  12. Mike

    Excellent work. I particularly enjoyed how you highlighted the culture of enterprise in the younger generation. I always cringe whenever I hear certain people criticise the supposed “decadence” and “apathy” of the youth. It’s ironic considering that young people support the vast majority of these critics. Cheers!

  13. Three days till the dvd, will be queing outside HMV, see you there

  14. ursula devine

    my son alan is very interested in your workings. he is an economics graduate from DIT and applauds your work with great dignity. I was wondering would you be able to sign a copy of the DVD for him and also his economics book as this would really make his Christmas. He feels that your dealing of the topic of MAcroeconomics is concise clear and very accurate. He would delve at the opportunity to have a one on one with you.. Is this possible?

    Many thanks David. I wish you and yours a very happy christmas.

    Thank you,

    Ursula Devine.-South Dublin

  15. Jordan Ryan


    I was the fella in the mini convertable who you classed as the cosmo’s of society… Nice one son!


  16. MB

    I haven’t seen the series as I live outside of Ireland but am hoping to buy the book soon as friends have recommended it to me. The best thing about Ireland at the moment and your analysis of the situation there, David, is that there is so much focus on the younger generation in their 20s and 30s. I live in the UK and discussions around the economy here are entirely dominated by the older generation due to demographics. It is great to see an economist in his 30s (I think??) supporting the economic cause of the younger working-age, family-rearing people who keep every economy afloat and are currently suffering from the combination effect of chronic asset price inflation and job insecurity in the world economy at the moment. No government wants to take action to change anything as ironically these issues are increasing the wealth of asset-owning people who dominate the electorate in most developed Western countries. It is a breath of fresh air to read an economist who looks at the other side of the coin.
    One thing though: what’s with the tacky wonderbra gimmick that appears when you load up this page?? Is it really necessary to use tactics from The Sun to attract people to this site? It’s cheap and it’s sexist so it’s totally out of sync with the tone of the site as a whole. Aren’t there any wittier visual gags?

  17. Beirne

    Saw this episode repeated last night, was unaware of it until then.

    Very interesting documentary, informative, well made/produced, great editing, yadda yadda.

    What I’m really interested in is the choice of music. Where would I find a list of songs in this soundtrack (one song in particular I’m looking for, but don’t remember the name and can’t recall how it goes)?


  18. cynthia lea

    just finished your second book sent to me by my son.;ust as entertaining as your first but scarier!!!!I am for the first time in my life,at the age of 50 something one of the dispora,having moved to The Cayman Islands in 2006 to work.I still own a house in Dublin and am hoping that when i do retire it will be worth more than a packet of Tayto and a breakfast roll!!!!
    While i agree with the idea of reinventing the culture of old(i too spent 3 summers in the gaeltacht in Annagry in Donegal which i recall fondly) and which on my return visit some 40 years later had barely changed ,save for the fact that the pastai had mobile phones glued to their ears.Who will we use as Bean an Ti?Hopefully we have not become soo European,Americanised,and cosmopolitan as to have nothing different about us that will appeal to the son`s and daughter`s of the dispora that we hope to attract back home.I strongly suspect that they have become ,yet again,more Irish than the Irish themselves,and they will think they are in the wrong country!!!!
    Again,thanks for the great 2nd read——fun when you are basking in the sun on the beautiful seven mile beach.Glad to see that being a red head has`nt stunted you in any way.Keep up the good work.

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