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

‘Mar a Cheile Muid’ airs tonight at 9

Earlier this month I was delighted that I got a chance to work on this documentary with the director Sean O’Cualain form Sonta Films. It looks at the Gaeltacht Civil Rights movements of the late 60’s and 70’s and asks whats happened to the spirit of those times as we look at the issues facing the gaeltacht region and in particular the Irish language. I think its great and perhaps even important.

It airs tonight, Tuesday Dec 30th at 9 on TG4.

If you have any interest in the Gaeltacht or in the Irish language I urge you to watch it.

Here is a promo for the doc

It was produced and directed by Sean O’Cualain. It was shot by Reamonn MacDonnacha, edited by my good self and was scored by Darragh Dukes.

Prominent Gaeltacht Civil Rights Campaigner in the 70’s and elected official wrote this piece about the film

Over the past week sean has been releasing some short video pieces with extra material that we were unable to discuss in the finished film. There are some interesting issues raised here as well. You can watch those clips on Sean’s Vimeo page

mar a cheile

In 1969 a group of young people in Conamara came together to fight for the rights of their local communities. Poverty, emigration and a lack of respect for the Irish language was their motivation. The group became known as The Gaeltacht Civil Rights Movement and they chose 8 aims they felt were required to save their communities and native language. The following twenty years transformed Conamara into a modern and vibrant, rural community, but are the aspirations and hope of that generation still in tune with those of today’s, a generation who benefited greatly from the fruits of the change.

Here’s what Sean had to say about the documentary

I mí na Samhna 2014, d’iarr mé ar grúpa sean-chairde ó Chonamara theacht le chèile. Os cionn dhá scór bliain ó shoin, bhí a ngrúpa, Gluaiseacht Cearta Sibhialta na Gaeltachta ar cheann do na grúpaí pobail ba réabhlóidí ó bhunú an stát. Throidear ar son cearta a muintire le go mbeidís féin i gceannas ar a gcinniúint féin. Lena mbeart agus a mbriathar, shlánaigh siad pobal a bhí ligthe i ndearmad ag an stát. I 1974 nuair a d’eirigh leo Oireachtas na Gaeilge a thógáil amach as BAC agus a reachtáil sa nGaeltacht don gcéad uair riamh, bhí an ghluaiseacht i mbarr a réime, agus iad fós ag iarraidh an pobal a mhisniú agus a spreagadh. Ag an Oireachtas sin d’impigh Joe Steve Ó Neachtain ar phobal na Gaeltachta a ndroim a chur le rútaí aibí an chultúr, len í a chosaint, ach is amhlaidh anois gur chas muid ár ndroim leí.
Céard a tharla dúinn ó 1974? An mar a chéile inniú mianta, agus spriocanna glún na réabhlóide sin agus muide na glúnta a lean. An mairfidh an Ghaeltacht glún eile?
Seán Ó Cualáin