A documentary I edited on the colourful history of the Ras Tailteann cycling race is to broadcast tonight on TG4 at 9:30. You may have heard the lads on Off The Ball discuss it on last nights show where they gave it an enthuastic thumbs up. the film was produced by David Burke of Dot television and directed by Men At Lunch director Sean O’Cualain.
This video has been watched nearly 700 times in the last four days. Here’s hoping all those people tune in to watch the doc.
“Ras Tailteann – Rothat an tSaoil” tells the secret history of one of Irelands greatest sporting institutions. First ran in 1953 its aim was to symbolise the nationalist aspirations of its organisers and promote Irish culture at a time of fierce political and sporting division.
Blending contemporary footage, rare sporting and social archive, and the first-hand accounts of a host of colourful and fascinating characters – riders and organisers, commentators, fans and critics – The Rás Tailteann is an extraordinary tale of civil-war politics and the race that launched the careers of Ireland’s most successful cyclists.
Nowadays the Rás is a major international cycling event featuring a host of international teams annually. The tumultuous history of the Rás Tailteann also offers a unique, parallel take on the cultural and political development of late 20th century Ireland – a revealing thought-line from the 1950s to the modern day. In Ireland, as we’ll see, the line between sport and politics is a very fine one indeed.