Ian O'Reilly

Following in the wake of children's classic Swallows And Amazons, this comedy gem sails the action 60 years on, to a small-town backwater in Ireland, where young Martin (David Rawle) and his best flesh-and-blood buddy Padraic (Ian O'Reilly) are lashing together a tatty raft for some aquatic Halloween adventures. Of course imaginary best friends Sean Murphy (Chris O'Dowd) and Crunchie Haystacks (Johnny Vegas) jump aboard and when they see land ahoy, things really get rollicking...

Carol Carter, Metro, 3rd March 2014

Going back a few years to 1990 was the second series of Sky One's Moone Boy which catapulted us right into the time that Ireland was gripped by World Cup fever. Both Martin Moone (David Rawle) and his imaginary friend Sean (Chris O'Dowd) are obsessed with the tournament and want to stay in and watch every minute of the match. Even Martin's mother (Deirdre O'Kane) is gripped with the action and only his father (Peter McDonald) remains unconvinced by the joy of the beautiful game. So the Moones remain dejected when they are forced to go on holiday by Mr Moone. Martin is so frustrated that he aims to hitch all the way back to Boyle, but ends up being taken in by a Romanian family. The only problem is that Martin has to watch the clash between Romania and Ireland at the house of said family meaning he finds it hard to show any joy when his team wins the match.

The first series of Moone Boy was a glorious treat that Sky One gave to us back in 2012 and I was worried that this second run couldn't live up to it. Thankfully, I was wrong and by the time we saw Mrs Moone screaming at her TV, I knew we were back in safe territory. Incredibly funny, Moone Boy also rings true primarily when it deals with the dynamics of the Moone family and the characteristics of Martin's three sisters. O'Dowd employs the period setting to maximum effect as he focuses on an event that we all remember and then creates as many comic scenarios as he possibly can. Young David Rawle is perfect as Martin, combining the wide-eyed innocence of a young lad with superb comic delivery. O'Dowd himself is better used as a writer than star with Sean's presence becoming seemingly unnecessary in every episode. Alongside Rawle, it is some of the other younger cast members who really shine namely Aoife Duffin as Martin's sister Trisha and Ian O'Reilly as his extremely enthusiastic friend Padriac. Ultimately Moone Boy is a joy to watch as it's a comedy that's actually funny and one that presents realistic characters in an identifiable situation.

The Custard TV, 26th February 2014