An international award-winning story, told through shocking first-person testimony; the stories of those close to the Breatnach’s; archive footage of the time and, of course, through music. It won a top award at the New York Festivals Radio Awards 2020


You can listen to the documentary here or download to listen to later!

The Whistleblower

In March 1976, the Dublin to Cork mail train was robbed near Sallins in County Kildare. Two hundred thousand pounds was taken, never to be recovered. Within days, a group of men had been arrested. After signing ‘confessions,’ three were sent to jail for between 9 and 12 years.

It was a crime they had not committed.

The men claimed they had been abused and beaten in custody and signed their confessions merely to stop their ill treatment. They felt confident that the confessions would never stand up in court. However, after an original trial, which was halted partly because the judge was consistently falling asleep during evidence, the men were indeed sentenced purely on the strength of their ‘admissions.’

Following a campaign by Amnesty International, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and others, the convictions were quashed four years later. But the die had been cast and the effects were far reaching and devastating.

One of the men was Osgur Breatnach. Osgur’s brother Cormac was a teenager at the time of the robbery. His own life changed utterly as a result of the Sallins train robbery. Trying to cope with the injustice of his brother’s jailing, his mother’s heartbreak and the constant attention of the authorities Cormac developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). How he dealt with it was to disappear, not into alcohol or drugs, but music. Cormac became one of the foremost Irish traditional musicians of his generation.

Over forty years after the Sallins train robbery Cormac Breatnach has written and recorded an album in a final attempt to heal through music.

More information on the The Whistle Blower album, can be found HERE

Duration: 38.00

First broadcast: 05.07.19

Parental rating: 16


Produced by Tua Films, Frank Delaney & Donal O’Herlihy


Over 2 Million listeners.



AWARD :Silver




BRAND :Documentary on One



Frank Delaney – Narrator/Producer

Donal O’Herlihy – Producer

Liam O’Brien – Sound Supervision

Whistleblower awards

Frank Delaney

Frank is a film and television director/producer. Over the last twenty years he has made television for RTÉ, TG4, BBC, Channel 4, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, CNN, PBS and MTV. Frank also composes and produces music both for film, radio and TV. He has a special interest in telling stories of people who overcame all odds to achieve their goal, stories of people who face and dig deep to overcome adversity. The stories of these people are inspirational and remind me of what we are all capable of. ‘High Heels and Horses’ is his first Documentary On One production.

Donal O’Herlihy

Donal loves stories, telling them or being told them. He doesn’t care what they’re about, it’s all in the telling. Cyclists, spy catchers, mysterious plaques and huskies have occupied his mind of late.

He’s worked at RTE for 20 years as a researcher, reporter, presenter and producer. Before joining the Documentary on One he was Deputy Editor of RTE’s Investigations Unit and worked on Living on the List and the investigation into the charity Console amongst others.

Donal has won a number of international awards including a gold medal at the New York Festivals for Finding Private Branch.

Donal lives in Dublin with his beloved twelve-year-old daughter. He has a doctorate in Psychology from UCD and is a keen gardener.

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