TG4’s cycling documentary ‘Rás Tailteann – Rotha an tSaoil’ scooped two awards at this year’s Celtic Media Festival held in Swansea.
The double-winning documentary tells the story behind one of Ireland’s greatest sporting institutions, the Rás Tailteann cycling race. Established 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. The programme tells the tumultuous history of the Rás and also offers a unique take on the cultural and political development of late 20th century Ireland – a revealing through-line from the 1950s to the modern day.
Produced by Dot Television and Sónta, the production received funding from TG4 and from the BAI. Producer David Burke and director Seán Ó Cualáin were in Swansea to receive their two Torc awards. On Wednesday the show won the Bronze Torc award for best Sports Programme and then on Saturday got the prestigious Gold Torc for Spirit of the Festival Award.
The Celtic Media Festival is held annually and presents awards in a range of programme categories. Entries go through a national pre-selection phase in each of the Celtic countries with the best advancing to compete in the international phase. TG4 had eight programmes shortlisted in various categories in this year’s Festival. The Spirit of the Festival Award is given to the best programme in a Celtic language.
I’m delighted to have been part of the programme and just wish I could have been over there with the lads for what sounded like a great weekend in Wales.