It was described by Ivan Yates on Newstalk this evening as the most important documentary in decades and the Irish public seem to share that view about Whistleblower – The Maurice McCabe Story.

The first part of the RTÉ One documentary series which sees Maurice and Lorraine McCabe tell their personal story for the first time was watched last night by an average audience of 509,000, with a 40% share.

The Katie Hannon written and presented programme had a strong share among young audiences – 26% among 15 to 44 year olds – and has continued to perform well throughout the day on the RTÉ Player.

Through candid interviews and archive material the programme archive gives an exclusive insight into how the McCabes lives were turned upside down and inside out after Sergeant McCabe became the country’s most prominent Garda whistleblower. 

Last night and tonight we are given details of the events that saw McCabe become isolated and ostracised within the police force for simply doing what he saw as the right thing.

The two-part documentary series continues tonight on RTÉ One at 9.35pm and features Maurice’s father Michael’s own crusade against the pollution of Lough Sheelin in the 1980s. It also documents Maurice and Lorraine McCabe’s experience of travelling to Dublin to attend sittings of the Disclosures Tribunal and some of the seismic political events that happened in that period.

Television is mainly for entertainment but the power it has to create a national narrative remains beyond compare.