Ras Tailteann Doc Airs Tonight TG4 9:30

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.

8 Comments

  1. Many thanks for your reply, John. I watched the programme on line and saw a 2 second video of my dad. It was about 6 minutes from the start.His Ulster team were posing for a photo, which we have on our wall. My dad passed away a few years ago and I would love to see the whole clip if possible. Do you know where I could get this?
    Thanks again
    Fidelis

    1. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.
      That archive footage belongs to the IFI, its possible that the clip is no longer then the 2 seconds featured in the documentary. With film being quite expensive in the 50’s, they often didn’t roll the camera for very long. I no longer have the original source material however if you email david@dottelevision.org and talk to David burke, the producer of the film he might help you out.
      John

  2. Where Could I Watch This Again Online, I Saw The Original And Am Now Doing My Leaving Cert History Write Up On The Ras. It Was So Interesting And If You Know Of Anywhere I Could Do Some More Research And See This Documentary It Would Be Very Much Appreciated. Thank You
    Oisin

    1. Oisin, thats great, I’m delighted that you’re doing your history special topic on the Ras. Its a great story and should do well for you. I talked to the producer of the film and he said if you email him at david@dottelevision.org, he will send you on a dvd of the film and whatever notes he has that might help you. There is also a book on the Ras that you might be able to pick up somewhere.
      All the best with it
      John

      1. Yes I Actually Sent Him One Recently and Am Waiting A Reply I Hope He Gets Back To Me Soon Im On A Deadline And Am Really Eager To Get Started Thanks For The Help. 🙂

  3. Couldn’t see the repeat the other night. Do you know if they’re putting it up on the tg4 player? That book on the Ras is fabulous.

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