Murder investigation of gay man Charles Self explored in new TG4 documentary

The new documentary on TG4 will feature LGBTQ+ activists who were interrogated as part of the Charles Self murder investigation.

Black and white photograph of Charles Self. He is wearing an open blazer with a polo shirt underneath. He is looking downwards to the right and smiling. He is bald with a beard and glasses.
Image: @AdyHurley

A brand new episode of the Midas Productions documentary for TG4, Misneach, will explore the 1982 murder of Charles Self in Dublin and the impact of the resulting investigation on the LGBTQ+ community.

Deriving its name from the Irish word for courage, the award-winning Misneach series tells the stories of people and communities who were faced with substantial challenges. 

Previous instalments of the show have included the story of Tom Clonan, a former captain in the Defence Forces who interviewed 60 female soldiers, 59 of whom reported a catalogue of discrimination, bullying, sexual harassment and assault; Louise Bayliss, who in 2011, spoke out on behalf of psychiatric patients; and the stories of members of the Traveller community who are breaking boundaries in 3rd level education in Ireland.

Now in its third season, the 2023 instalment of Misneach will highlight three new stories of courage and bravery.

Among these stories is that of May and Séamus McGee, the couple who, in 1973, brought the Irish government to court seeking the right to obtain contraception under the right to privacy in marital affairs. The season will also give a personal insight into the life of Redemptorist priest Tony Flannery, who was suspended from public ministry by the Vatican in 2012 for expressing his support for women’s ordination, optional clerical celibacy, same-sex relationships and his liberal views on homosexuality.


Tonight, Wednesday, October 11, a brand new episode of the TG4 series features a story specific to the LGBTQ+ community: the horrific murder of gay man Charles Self and the resulting investigation. 

On the night of January 20, 1982, Scottish set designer Charles Self was brutally murdered in his Dublin home in a case that sent shock waves through the LGBTQ+ community. 

Homosexual acts were illegal at that time in Ireland, and so, to compound matters, the Gardaí used methods during the investigation that led to further agitation and distress.

The RTÉ employee’s murder was harrowing on many levels: a brutal crime in a well-to-do Dublin suburb and a frenzied attack in the privacy of a man’s home.

But it was the Gardaí’s response that stoked further upset to the LGBTQ+ community. During the investigation, detectives ‘rounded up’ approximately 1,500 gay men, many of whom to this day feel aggrieved and humiliated, some of whom are still looking for answers. 

Misneach: Ceid Bhróid features several men who were summoned to interview, including LGBTQ+ rights activist Cathal Kerrigan, who is seeking access to his Garda file. The one-hour documentary follows his attempts to bring some kind of conclusion to an unpleasant and prejudiced period of Ireland’s past. 


Misneach: Ceist Bhróid, featuring the Charles Self murder, will air on Wednesday, October 11, at 9:30pm on TG4. All previous episodes are available to stream on the TG4 player.

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