The Toughest Road Back

Recently I edited a short documentary about the Kerry footballer Colm Cooper and his recovery from a pretty horrific series of injuries. Yesterday Colm made his competitive return to action, coming on for the last ten minutes for Kerry in their pivotal league game against Tyrone. As a result the film has now been shared online and is available on the AIB GAA Youtube channel or indeed can be watched below.
The film was made by Ross Whitaker and Aideen O’Sullivan of True Films, we last worked together on ‘When Ali Came to Ireland’ and it was great to get the band back together so to speak. The film was cut in my offices on Baggot Street where conveniently Aideen works next door as part of the Second Captains team so cutting this was a very enjoyable experience and I think the film turned out great…

Director – Ross Whitaker
Producer – Aideen O’Sullivan
Camera – Ross O’Callaghan
Editor – John Murphy
Rothko/True Films for AIB

GAA USA starts tonight TG4 9:30

Over the past few months I’ve been working on a series which debuts tonight and i’m very excited about people finally getting the chance to see it. Its a cracking series with some great stories in it that I think people will really like.

‘GAA USA’, a new four part series produced by the IFTA winning Sónta Films which chronicles the largely unknown history of Gaelic games in the United States, will air on TG4 on Wednesday, March 18th at 9.30pm and continue for 4 weeks.

Presented by former All-Ireland winning Kerry captain and award-winning broadcaster Dara Ó Cinnéide, the series reveals the remarkable passion and resourcefulness of the men and women who brought Gaelic Games west across the Atlantic to the USA.

Last weekend we travelled to New York city to launch the series in the Irish Consulate in the company of the new GAA President. It was a great night and I’m very grateful to have gotten the invite to attend.

The series is a Sónta Production funded by TG4, and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and was produced by Éamonn Ó Cualáin and directed by Sean Ó Cualáin.

The DOP on the project was Réamonn Mac Donnacha, Location sound was by Seamus Ó Flatharta, and it was edited by John Murphy with Darragh Dukes doing the music.

In the series, Dara Ó Cinnéide travels across the US to GAA clubs in Boston, Chicago, New York, Milwaukee, and San Diego, to give the audience an entirely new perspective on the Irish emigrant experience as lived through Gaelic games. In conversation with Irish people who have made a home for themselves in the States, he encounters an enduring love of Gaelic games, a deep respect for their past and a great hope for their future. He also explores the struggle of the guardians of Gaelic Games over the years to ensure the survival of the GAA.

Presenter Dara Ó Cinnéide said: ‘Gaelic games in America have always held a strange fascination for me. There were so many furrows to be ploughed and stories to be told that I was drawn to the series from the outset. Like many other Gaels, I have a particular affinity with the Unites States because generations of relatives and neighbours from home have immigrated to its cities and neighbourhoods.’

‘Their story was worth recounting and, having played there I believe I had a particular insight that would help me present that story.’

gaa usa 01

Irish Sports Doc’s online

kid sport
There are some great Irish sports doc available to watch online so I decided to collate some of them together for future reference. Perfect for days like today. If there’s any I’ve left out, leave a link in the comments. Enjoy

We Got Game

When droves of seven foot tall black ball players, who have just missed out on the NBA draft, arrive into a very white Ireland in the early 80’s, it makes for a very interesting story.
Directed by Garry Keane

The Millon Dollar Deal

A documentary about the World Series Of Poker in Las Vegas. Featuring Andrew Black, Donnacha O’Dea, Mike Magee, “Mad” Martyn Wilson, Mark Napolitano, Amarillo Slim, Scotty Nguyen, Dave “Devilfish” Ulliott & Matt Damon. Narrated by John Hurt.

Directed by John Butler, Produced by Luke McManus

Darragh O’ Se

The story of one of Kerry’s greatest ever football players, narrated by one of Irelands finest voice over artists.
Directed by Garry Keane

This is the story of Thomond Park, the home of Munster rugby. Through never before seen archive and filmed over 2 years this documentary showcases the unique relationship between the city of Limerick, the sport of rugby and the magical days seen at the stadium which was once used for grazing sheep but is now one of the worlds greatest stadia. Fans, players and ex players relive the magical days including beating the All Blacks in 1978, still the only Irish side to do so, cementing the stadium in Irish sporting folklore.
Directed by Shane Tobin

The Rod Squad
Directed by Cormac Hargaden
Episode 1


Episode 3

Episode 4

Reaching For Glory – Inside Irish Rugby 2007

Irelands Grand Slam Journey 2009

Jimmy’s Winning Matches

Produced and Directed by Joanne McGrath

Pride of the Parish



Part 2Part 3

Big Time – Bernard Dunne’s Fight For Glory

Part 2Part 3 Part 4Part 5

Marroned – Paidi Ó’Sé

Part 2Part 3

Green Is the Colour
Episode 1Episode 2Episode 3Episode 4

Final Words – Munster Hurling Final 2004

Documentary about the fantastic Munster Hurling Final of 2004 with contributions from all the principal players in that dramatic game

Return of the Rod Squad

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Part of What We Are
Directed by Imogen Murphy, Produced by Motive Television

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

So the football isn’t the only thing on today

The football is on today and I am very excited about Ireland v Croatia later on. There would appear to be a huge number of Irish over in Poland which means they wont be going to the Eucharistic Congress which also starts today. I remember learning in Primary and Secondary School about the first Eucharistic Congress held in Ireland back in 1932 and how that it was such a big deal for our fledgling nation. This years one has been more then a little low key, obviously we are all far more interested in whats happening in Poland and I’m sure the Church dont want to draw too much flack from the countless number of people who have legitimate reasons to protest the gathering. But just to get a sense of how huge the event in 1932 was take a look at this picture…

The final public mass of the congress was held in Phoenix Park. 25% of the population of Ireland attended the mass and afterwards four processions left the Park to O’Connell Street where approximately 500,000 people gathered on O’Connell Bridge for the concluding blessing.

So if we beat the croats, I’m hoping to see O’Connell street just as full tonight

New doc on Frank O’Farrell

Saw this on iftn recently and it piqued my interest, would love to cut this if i’m honest. (UPDATE: I didn’t and the film screened in Xmas 2011)

Zoogon is entering pre-production with a new historical documentary for RTÉ One entitled ‘Frank O’Farrell: the Shadow of Busby’. The feature doc will tell the story of Frank O’Farrell, a former Irish footballer who went on to take over from Matt Busby as manager of Manchester United.
Frank O’Farrell was the first and only Irish man to manage Manchester United. His football career started with Cork United after which he was signed on to play for West Ham United in January 1948. He retired as a player in 1961 due to injury, following this he managed Torquay United, Leicester City and finally Manchester United where he followed in the footsteps of Matt Busby in 1971. With 2011 marking the 40th anniversary of Frank’s 18 month reign at Old Trafford, Zoogon Ltd. have decided to explore exactly what went on during the manager’s turbulent time with the Red Devils.

Pre-production for the 52 minute documentary is to start on Monday, April 4th. The feature will then shoot for 4-5 weeks from the start of May. Producer is Sean Doyle who tells IFTN that the feature doc has ”snowballed completely from a small doc idea which has taken off.”The RTÉ executive producers involved with the project are Paula Fahy and RTÉ’s Deputy Head of Television Sport, Cliona O’Leary.

‘Frank O’Farrell: the Shadow of Busby’will feature an interview with Frank O’Farrell along with archive footage from both the BBC and ITN Source libraries. Sean tells us what drew him to the footballer in the first place, saying: ”Here is a guy who had to play football in secret when he was growing up in Cork. He was planning to be a train driver when he grew up and instead he went to the top of the football world. And yet, not many people know his story.”

The doc’s RTÉ TX date is TBC. ‘Frank O’Farrell: the Shadow of Busby’ received funding of €90,000 as part of the BAI’s most recent round of Sound and Vision funding decisions.

Anti-Glazer Projection

Man Utd supporters pulled off one of their most audacious stunts yet in their protests against the club’s owners by tonight projecting anti-Glazer slogans on to the side of Old Trafford to demand the American owners’ removal.

Messages such as “We want the Glazers out” were flashed on to the stand directly behind Sir Matt Busby’s statue in a move reminiscent of the time FHM magazine beamed a 100ft image of a naked Gail Porter on to the side of the Palace of Westminster. The logos of the club’s main sponsors were also projected on to the glass walls of United’s stadium, together with messages such as “Time to choose sides” and “Are you keeping the right company?”

Security guards tried unsuccessfully to intervene and there were some minor scuffles as other slogans followed in a 30-minute show.

Duncan Drasdo, the chief executive of the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust, said the idea was to send a message to the sponsors that they should share and understand the fans’ concerns about the financial state of the club under the Glazers.

“Sponsors wish to benefit from the affinity generated by association with the most loved football club in the world but the commercial value of that relationship is being diminished due to the unpopularity of the current owners,” he said