There have been a few great Irish TV dramas over the years, 'Normal People' being a recent example, and 'Love/Hate' being a go-to citation. But when it comes to sitcoms, we've tonnes to brag about.
But there's much to explore when it comes to Irish-led and Irish-produced comedies on the telly too.
We decided to look at both series produced in Ireland and those made in the UK where an Irish lead or Irish leads feature predominantly. (Because let's be honest, there are plenty of examples of the latter that make for great television)
We've also included where you can watch or re-watch them to save you the trouble.
Without further ado, here are our top Irish-led sitcoms picks.
'Catastrophe' - Watch on Amazon Prime or All 4 (Channel 4 player)
'Catastrophe' is penned by its two stars Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney, who are good friends in real life. It’s one of the best scripts we’ve seen for a comedy series in a long time. The show sees an Irish woman and American man meet in London and hook up for a week, after which Sharon (the characters are named after the actors) become pregnant. What follows is drama, pain, laughter and, well, catastrophe as they try to navigate a relationship together.
The show is the absolute perfect running length and once you start watching, you won’t be able to stop. Ir's filled with genuine human emotion, as well as some very funny jokes and one liners.
'Derry Girls' - Watch season 1 on Netflix or seasons 1 and 2 on All 4
'Derry Girls' has proven a huge hit. It’s a clever commentary on growing pains as well as the epoch and country ('90s Northern Ireland) in which it’s set.
It’s packed full of characters that will make their way into your heart in an instant. If you liked Nicola Coughlan's performance as Penelope Featherington in 'Bridgerton', you'll love her in this show. Another character to watch out for is Sister Michael, played by Siobhan McSweeney, who is nothing short of iconic.
During the Troubles, Clare, Erin, Erin's cousin Orla, their friend Michelle, and Michelle's English cousin James, navigate their teen years at a Catholic girls' secondary school. Season 3 begins filming this year so fingers crossed we won’t be waiting too long for new episodes!
'The Young Offenders' - Watch on NOW or Sky
The show follows two best friends from Cork - Jock and Conor (Chris Walley and Alex Murphy) - as they get into all kinds of trouble. Hilary Rose and PJ Gallagher are brilliant additions as the mammy Mairéad and short-fused Principal Barry Walsh. As for Chris and Alex, they simply are Jock and Conor, they truly live those rascal characters.
What is perhaps the most impressive thing about the show is that it has you laughing out loud one minute, and reaching for the tissues for a sob the next.
'Can't Cope Won't Cope' - Watch season 2 on Netflix or seasons 1 and 2 on RTÉ Player
There’s something surreal about watching 'Can’t Cope Won’t Cope' now as its lead characters of Aisling and Danielle, played by Séana Kerslake and Danika McGuigan (who sadly passed away in 2019), go out for their raucous nights on the town. Such scenes seem like they're from a dream.
The two friends try to make their way in the world as they figure out what it means to be a twenty something year old, what they want to do with their careers, who they love, and generally what they really want from life in order to be happy. It taps into a lot of true to life moments and feels authentic in its analysis of two deeply flawed humans.
'This Way Up' - Watch on All 4
This Way Up is another of our Irish-led sitcoms picks that hails from Channel 4. The show sees Aisling Bea play a young woman who has recently checked out of a mental institution. She is now trying to pull her life back together, including getting a job teaching English. 'Catastrophe' star Sharon Horgan plays her older sister who is wary that her sister could relapse.
Like other shows we’ve discussed already, it’s both funny and full of heart. But really what pulls it all together are Bea and Horgan’s performances. They’re just fantastic in the show and absolutely adorable, as well as hilarious. Watch out for Tobias Menzies in it as well. He’d go on to play Prince Phillip opposite Olivia Colman in 'The Crown'.
'Hardy Bucks' - Watch on Netflix or seasons 1, 2 and 4 on RTÉ Player
This gas comedy, with a style that is irreverent and bold, is great for a laugh and always fun for a revisit. Following four lads from Mayo in their pursuit of a good time, 'Hardy Bucks' was originally a webisodes series. It made its way to TV serialisation with four seasons commissioned in 2010, 2011, 2015 and 2018.
The show also inspired a hit movie in 2013 which follows the Hardy Bucks as they travel to Poland to support Ireland during UEFA Euro 2012.
'The IT Crowd' - Watch on Netflix, Sky or All 4
One show we can always go back to again and again is 'The IT Crowd'. There are few shows led by three leads which work as brilliantly.
Chris O’Dowd (who also stars in the fantastic Irish series 'Moone Boy') plays Irish IT technician Roy who loathes his job and avoids work by any means possible. The Irish actor is brilliantly balanced by the quirky and shy Moss (Richard Ayoade) and try-hard Jen (Katherine Parkinson). So many iconic sitcom moments in this show - if you haven't seen it yet, get to it.
'Black Books' - Watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sky or All 4
Yes, there are a whole heap of platforms on which you can watch 'Black Books'. So if you haven't seen it yet, you know what to do.
'Black Books' is definitely one of the most underrated TV shows out there. Running for three series from 2000 until 2004, the Channel 4 show starred our own Dylan Moran as the constantly angry/drunk/pessimistic lead character Bernard that we can all somewhat relate to. Add in Tamsin Greig as the forever job-searching and unlucky-in-love Fran and Bill Bailey as the optimistic and naive Manny, and you have a recipe for great comedy.
'Father Ted' - Watch on All 4
Yes, obvioiusly, we had to give 'Father Ted' a shout-out, because never mind Irish sitcoms. It is, frankly, one of the greatest sitcoms ever.
The series wrapped over 20 years ago. But thanks to re-runs on TV and on demand platforms like All 4, it is readily available and gets revisited frequently. The comical adventures of Father Ted, Dougal, and Father Jack alongside Mrs. Doyle in their Craggy island home still hold up splendidly. Moreover, there are numerous quotes from the show that people still use on a regular basis.