The Young Offenders (TV series)

The Young Offenders is an Irish coming-of-age television sitcom, developed by Peter Foott, for RTÉ2 and BBC Three. Based on the IFTA-winning 2016 film of the same name, the first series began broadcasting on 1 February 2018, to generally favourable reviews.[1] The show stars Alex Murphy and Chris Walley as the main characters, reprising their roles of Conor MacSweeney and Jock O'Keefe from the film, respectively, with supporting roles featured from Hilary Rose, Dominic MacHale, P. J. Gallagher, Jennifer Barry, Demi Isaac Oviawe and Shane Casey.[2] Prior to the successful six-episode first series coming to an end, the programme was recommissioned for a second series.[3]

The Young Offenders
Based onThe Young Offenders
by Peter Foott
Developed byPeter Foott
StarringAlex Murphy
Chris Walley
Hilary Rose
Dominic MacHale
P. J. Gallagher
Jennifer Barry
Demi Isaac Oviawe
Country of originRepublic of Ireland
Original language(s)English
No. of series2
No. of episodes13 (list of episodes)
Producer(s)Martina Niland
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)Vico Films
Original networkRTÉ2
BBC Three
Picture format1080i 16:9 (HDTV)
Audio formatStereo
Original release1 February 2018 (2018-02-01) 
External links

(Just after the release of the 3rd season many of the actors confirmed on social media that season 3 is happening)



The series follows the adventurous and criminalized lives of Cork-based teenagers Conor MacSweeney (Alex Murphy) and Jock O'Keefe (Chris Walley). Although criminals, the boys both have deep feelings about certain views, which Conor says at the end of each episode, giving viewers a message about day-to-day life and how it can make people happier.

Series 1 (2018)

The first series reviews the Conor and Jock's feud with their school principal, Barry Walsh (P. J. Gallagher), and their relationships with his daughters, Linda (Demi Isaac Oviawe) and Siobhan (Jennifer Barry), respectively. It also sees Conor try to overcome his fear of his first kiss with Linda, or as Jock calls "shifting", as well as seeing Conor's mother Mairéad (Hilary Rose) begin a relationship with Jock and Connor's enemy, Sergeant Tony Healy (Dominic MacHale), the local police officer. Jock's abusive home life with his alcoholic father (Michael Sands) is addressed further, which results in him moving in with the MacSweeney's.

Series 2 (2019)

Siobhan is now heavily pregnant with Jock and Conor attempting to make as many ways to earn money as possible. Conor and Linda are preparing to go to the next stage of their relationship by having sex. However, their plans are affected when Jock's old best friend Gavin, now Conor's arch-enemy, dares Linda to kiss him for five seconds. Principal Walsh tries to show that Jock is not a worthy father figure by giving him challenges.

Cast and characters

Main cast

Conor is the son of Mairéad MacSweeney (Hilary Rose) and the best friend and subsequent foster brother of Jock O'Keefe (Chris Walley). Conor's father was killed in an accident at work, where one of his co-workers accidentally dropped a hammer off a roof, hitting him in the face and leading to his death. Conor is the follower of Jock, and takes part in regular crime acts alongside him, and soon begins a relationship with Linda Walsh (Demi Isaac Oviawe), and Jocks dates her sister Siobhan (Jennifer Barry). Connor has a feud with local police officer Sergeant Healy (Dominic MacHale), who is eager to expose Jock for his many crimes, and soon begins a relationship with Mairead.
Jock is the best friend and subsequent foster brother of Conor MacSweeney (Alex Murphy). Jock is also known as 'fake Billy', as he purchased a mask from an online shop, who create masks from scratch over a photograph of a person, and commits many crimes, to which he brings Conor's involvement into – mainly stealing bikes and regular various thefts. Jock begins a relationship with Siobhan Walsh (Jennifer Barry), who is the sister of Conor's new girlfriend Linda (Demi Isaac Oviawe). It is established that Jock receives abuse from his alcoholic father, which leads to Mairéad defending him and taking him into her home. At the end of the first series, Jock discovers that Siobhan is pregnant with his child.
  • Hilary Rose as Mairéad MacSweeney:
Mairéad is the mother of Conor MacSweeney (Alex Murphy), and the widow of Conor's father. Mairéad gave birth to Conor at the age of 16, which Conor says is "old for their neighbourhood". Mairéad takes in Conor's best friend Jock O'Keefe (Chris Walley), and fosters him, after she discovers he is receiving abuse from his alcoholic father. She then begins a relationship with local police officer, Sergeant Tony Healy (Dominic MacHale), much to the dismay of Conor and Jock, as Healy is their main enemy, as it is his ambition to expose "fake Billy".
Healy is the local police officer and the long-term enemy of Jock O'Keefe (Chris Walley) and Conor MacSweeney (Alex Murphy). Healy has the major ambition to expose the identity of "fake Billy" (who is Jock in disguise throughout his crimes), and he has a "cat and mouse chase" with Jock. Healy later begins a relationship with Mairead MacSweeney (Hilary Rose), the mother of Conor, much to the dismay of Conor and Jock.
  • Jennifer Barry as Siobhan Walsh:
Siobhan is the daughter of Barry (P. J. Gallagher) and Orla Walsh (Orla Fitzgerald), the sister of Linda Walsh (Demi Isaac Oviawe) and the girlfriend of Jock O'Keefe (Chris Walley). Siobhan and Linda both receive regular bullying from other students at their school, due to their father's strictness as the principal. Siobhan begins a relationship with Jock, whilst his best friend Conor MacSweeney (Chris Walley) dates her sister Linda (Demi Isaac Oviawe). At the end of the first series, Siobhan discovers that she is pregnant with Jock's child at the age of 15.
Linda is the daughter of Barry (P. J. Gallagher) and Orla Walsh (Orla Fitzgerald), the sister of Siobhan Walsh (Jennifer Barry) and the girlfriend of Conor MacSweeney (Alex Murphy). It is clear that she is not biologically related to her family, as she is black whereas her family are all white, which results in Conor asking her about it to a confused response. She and Conor subsequently begin a relationship, but Conor is fearful of their first kiss, and they then decide to have the worst first kiss ever. Linda then helps Siobhan after she learns she is pregnant with Jock's child, and she instructs her to tell Jock.
Barry Walsh is the principal of St. Finan's Community School, where Conor MacSweeney (Alex Murphy) and Jock O'Keefe (Chris Walley) attend, as well as his two daughters Siobhan (Jennifer Barry) and Linda (Demi Isaac Oviawe). It is clear that all students hate Principal Walsh, which sees Siobhan and Linda receive regular bullying for their father's strictness. Principal Walsh feuds with both Conor and Jock for their relationships with his daughters.

Recurring cast

  • Shane Casey as Billy Murphy:
Billy is the local "nut-job", who carries around a knife and regularly mugs locals, including Conor MacSweeney (Alex Murphy). To get revenge on Billy for mugging Conor and stealing his phone, Conor's best friend Jock O'Keefe (Chris Walley) purchases a mask from an online shop which make masks if you send in a photograph. Jock wears the mask and steals a bicycle belonging to local police officer Sergeant Tony Healy (Dominic MacHale), and is jailed after when they go to his home to question him, they find him in possession of drug plants. When released, Billy follows Jock after he steals alcohol from a local store wearing the "fake Billy" mask, and the security guard who chases after Jock, and asks Billy if he saw fake Billy. Jock takes off the mask after hiding behind a bin and puts up his hood. He follows him onto the bus, and takes hostage of the bus after Healy sees him with a knife in his hand. However, Billy does not know that Jock is "fake Billy", but does ask him if he is him as he is wearing the same grey hoody that "fake Billy" was wearing, but Jock insists he is not "fake Billy".
  • Chris Kent as Conor's Dad:
Conor's dad is the deceased husband of Mairead MacSweeney (Hilary Rose) and the father of Conor (Alex Murphy). He got Mairead pregnant at the age of 16, which according to Conor was "old for their neighbourhood". When Conor asks Mairead why she fell for his father, she says that he worked every day while she was pregnant with her father making a "ugly" wooden cot for Conor. He died when at work, when one of his co-workers dropped a hammer off of a roof, hitting his face and killing him.
Orla is the wife of Principal Barry Walsh (P. J. Gallagher) and the mother of Siobhan (Jennifer Barry) and Linda Walsh (Demi Isaac Oviawe). She is happy about her daughters entering into relationships with Jock O'Keefe (Chris Walley) and Conor MacSweeney (Alex Murphy), respectively, unlike her husband, who is full of anger at Conor and Jock. She also confronts Barry after insulting Conor during their "friendly" wrestling match in the garden at their barbecue. She also is told by Siobhan and Linda of Siobhan's pregnancy with Jock, and agrees not to tell Barry as he would go angry with his daughter, until Siobhan is ready to tell him after telling Jock.
  • Cora Fenton as Jock's Mum:
Jock's mum died years ago when she drowned. The police never found her body, but found her car on the roadside of a lake. She has a memorial stone, which Jock (Chris Walley), his best friend Conor MacSweeney (Alex Murphy), Siobhan (Jennifer Barry) and Linda Walsh (Demi Isaac Oviawe) visited and sang "With or Without You" by her graveside.
  • Michael Sands as Jock's Dad:
Jock's dad is the widower of Jock's mum (Cora Fenton). He is an alcoholic and regularly abuses Jock (Chris Walley). Jock's best friend Conor MacSweeney's (Alex Murphy) mother Mairead (Hilary Rose) defends Jock from his father's abuse and takes him in, fostering him, and taking him away from his father's care.

Guest stars

Robert Sheehan is an Irish actor, who is filming for a new film in Cork, as it "has the most unusual people he has ever seen". He takes a certain disliking to both Conor and Jock, as they accidentally get themselves roles in his film, and take hours to film their only scene with Sheehan. Sheehan then decides to angrily protest with the Cork locals, who are campaigning against the council's decision to renovate the council houses, with them fearing that they will never return to their homes. Sheehan does this in order to gain popularity for his career and his new film.


The film, The Young Offenders, was released in 2016, which was generally well-reviewed, and won an Irish Film & Television Award. With the popularity of the film, on 9 May 2017, it was confirmed that a six-episode television programme, based on the film with the same name, had been ordered by RTÉ, to be broadcast in 2018.[4] Creator, Peter Foott commented, "It's incredibly exciting to be able to work with the BBC and with RTÉ to bring these characters back to the screen, they have been so supportive of the project and will be a wonderful home for it. The public response to the film, and specifically the characters themselves, was just so overwhelming that we really felt there were a lot more stories to tell".[4]

Much of the first series was filmed at various locations in Cork.[5] This series began broadcasting on 1 February 2018, through the online television service BBC Three, and was later broadcast on RTÉ2 in Ireland on 8 February 2018.[6][7] With a popular and high reception, the series was recommissioned for a second series, the projected release date was not disclosed.[3]

Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy was suggested by show producers to Peter Foott as an actor to try and sign on for the second series, and Murphy later told the media that he would be willing to appear in the show if "he was given a good part".[8] Filming for an unannounced Christmas special began in September 2018.[9] In October 2018, it was confirmed that former Love/Hate actor Robert Sheehan had joined the cast in an undisclosed role, after the news was confirmed by Walley during an interview; he portrayed himself in the Christmas special.[10] On 24 November 2018, it was confirmed that a one-off Christmas episode would be broadcast, featuring Sheehan, with the official news that he would only be making a guest appearance in that singular episode.[11] The episode became available for streaming via BBC iPlayer from 14 December onwards, whereas television screen broadcasting occurred on Christmas day.[12]

In October 2019, with lack of news over past months except cast member Shane Casey posting the front cover of an episode script on his Instagram account, it was reported that the second series would begin broadcasting in November.[13] Days later, the BBC confirmed that the second series would commence on 3 November.[14] It was later confirmed that all six episodes would be available to be streamed through the BBC iPlayer service from the second series' premiere date.[15]


Series 1 (2018)

in series
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Irish overnight viewership
11"Series 1, Episode 1"[16]Peter FoottPeter Foott1 February 2018 (2018-02-01)277,000[17]
Conor MacSweeney and Jock O'Keeffe are two 15-year-old students of St. Finan's Community School with a passion for criminal activity. When they steal lead from a building, the police begin looking for two teenagers who attend their school, a "tall, lanky, fast boy" and a "small, fat student, much slower than the other", and Sergeant Tony Healy comes to his closest attempt to arresting Jock, after a long time of trying to stop him from stealing the locals' bikes.
22"Series 1, Episode 2"[18]Peter FoottPeter Foott8 February 2018 (2018-02-08)N/A
After the previous episode's events, Connor and Jock continue their criminal ways, despite their closeness to arrest. Connor falls for their principal's daughter Linda and the couple begin to date each other. However, Jock is unlucky in love with her sister Siobhan, as she discovers that he is unfaithful in relationships, and notable for sleeping with a variety of local girls. A "friendly" wrestling match between Conor and Principal Walsh escalates, ending in Conor punching Walsh in the face.
33"Series 1, Episode 3"[19]Peter FoottPeter Foott15 February 2018 (2018-02-15)N/A
After his major fall-out with Linda, Conor convinces Linda and Siobhan to play truant from school with him and Jock. Connor says that the day will see them try and win them back over but if they fail they will never bother them again. It is the anniversary of Jock's mum's death,= and his grief for his mother affects his attitude towards Siobhan. The quartet then agree to visit Jock's mum's grave, and sing "With or Without You", her favourite song, by her graveside.
44"Series 1, Episode 4"[20]Peter FoottPeter Foott22 February 2018 (2018-02-22)N/A
When the ancient refrigerator of the MacSweeney household breaks down, Conor, Jock and Conor's mother Mairead set out on a road trip to the same place Conor's late father bought the old one from, in honour of his memory.
55"Series 1, Episode 5"[21]Peter FoottPeter Foott1 March 2018 (2018-03-01)N/A
Conor and Jock take up their work experience at Mairead's fish counter in the Cork English market. With money tight in the MacSweeney household, Jock and Conor devise a plan to steal the heavily-priced blue fin tuna from the storage at their new place of work, sell it on and give all the money to Mairead.
66"Series 1, Episode 6"[22]Peter FoottPeter Foott8 March 2018 (2018-03-08)366,000[23]
Siobhan prepares to tell Jock about her pregnancy, whereas the boys are looking forward to their day out with their girlfriends at the cinema. Conor, who has a fear of commitment, is reluctant to his first kiss with Linda, and Jock convinces him to make the special moment happen.
77"Christmas Special"[24]Peter FoottPeter Foott14 December 2018 (2018-12-14)[lower-alpha 1]601,400[25]
The residents of the estate of where Conor and Jock live are campaigning against the council's intentions of eviction, for the estate to be renovated, afraid that they might never get back into their homes. Meanwhile, Mairead, who has been ill for weeks now, is in hospital. Conor and Jock both show their concern, and intend to make her wish for a "white Christmas" come true.

Series 2 (2019)

in series
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Irish overnight viewership
81"Series 2, Episode 1"[26]Tom MarshallPeter Foott3 November 2019 (2019-11-03)N/A
Jock attempts to prove himself worthy of fatherhood to Principal Walsh by looking after an egg nicknamed "Jock Junior", after Walsh and Orla suggest that they adopt the baby to allow Jock and Siobhan their childhood back. Meanwhile, Conor and Linda prepare to have sex for the first time.
92"Series 2, Episode 2"[27]Tom MarshallPeter Foott3 November 2019 (2019-11-03)N/A
Conor is jealous when new pupil Gavin - who has childhood ties with Jock - arrives at school, and he is determined not to be ousted as best friend. Conor struggles to stand up to Gavin - but it's not easy as the newcomer's mother has just started teaching at the school. Meanwhile, a spate of thefts leads Principal Walsh to patrolling the school grounds to monitor any potential stealing.
103"Series 2, Episode 3"[28]Tom MarshallPeter Foott3 November 2019 (2019-11-03)N/A
After discovering that Conor's dad was the mystery person who painted the "blue dog on the rock", Conor, Jock, Siobhan and Linda decide to go to the rock and repaint it in honour of Conor's dad.
114"Series 2, Episode 4"[29]Tom MarshallPeter Foott3 November 2019 (2019-11-03)N/A
Conor and Jock propose a new business idea to Mairead – a fish and chip van.
125"Series 2, Episode 5"[30]Tom MarshallPeter Foott3 November 2019 (2019-11-03)N/A
Billy Murphy's life is put in danger when his former cellmate "Dinny the Teaspoon" is released from prison.
136"Series 2, Episode 6"[31]Tom MarshallPeter Foott3 November 2019 (2019-11-03)N/A
A weekend break for the MacSweeney and Walsh families does not go according to plan after Jock attacks a gang trying to steal land of Cork. Siobhan is preparing to give birth.


Aoife Kelly of the Irish Independent released a positive review of the programme after the broadcast of the first episode, commenting, "It takes the best of the movie and builds on it".[32] Bruce Dessau stated that the programme was a brilliant show to watch, and that he believed that it had a similar reputation of Channel 4 series Derry Girls, also set in the island of Ireland, with other journalists calling for a crossover to be produced of the two programmes for the future.[33] Some articles reported the show as "heart-warming", with the third episode of the first series, receiving generally favourable reviews from fans and critics alike.[34]

International broadcast

Region/Country Release title Broadcaster First broadcast date
Republic of Ireland The Young Offenders RTÉ Two 1 February 2018
United Kingdom BBC Three
1 February 2018 (online)
9 February 2018 (television)


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  2. "The Young Offenders (TV Series, 2018–) - Full Cast & Crew". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  3. Moore, Paul (8 February 2018). "OFFICIAL: Brilliant news because The Young Offenders will be getting a second season". Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  4. Clarke, Donald (9 May 2018). "The Young Offenders is to become a TV series". The Irish Times.
  6. "The Young Offenders, Series 1: Episode 1". BBC iPlayer. 1 February 2018.
  7. "New Irish Sitcom Tipped To Be EVEN BIGGER Than Derry Girls". Retrieved 2018-08-13.
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  13. We FINALLY have a release date for season 2 of The Young Offenders,, 20 October 2019, retrieved 27 October 2019
  14. BBC confirms The Young Offenders season 2 return date,, 25 October 2019, retrieved 27 October 2019
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  19. "The Young Offenders – Series 1, Episode 3". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  20. "The Young Offenders – Series 1, Episode 4". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  21. "The Young Offenders – Series 1, Episode 5". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  22. "The Young Offenders – Series 1, Episode 6". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  23. "Viewers blown away by The Young Offenders finale". RTÉ Official Website. 16 March 2018. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  24. "The Young Offenders – Christmas Special". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  25. "Most-watched TV programmes of 2018 revealed". Irish Times. 10 January 2019. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  26. "The Young Offenders – Series 2, Episode 1". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  27. "The Young Offenders – Series 2, Episode 2". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  28. "The Young Offenders – Series 2, Episode 3". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
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  31. "The Young Offenders – Series 2, Episode 6". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
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  34. "Last night's extremely heartwarming episode of The Young Offenders had viewers in tears". The Daily Edge. 23 February 2018. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  1. The Christmas special is available to be watched or download via BBC iPlayer from 14 December 2018, though broadcast on television on 25 December 2018
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