Super Six for Laochra Gael

Laochra Gael returns to TG4 next week for a 17th series. The series follows last year’s new hour-long format, bringing each player’s personal stories to screen. The series features six Laochra with genuine star quality and provides a real sense of getting to know the characters behind the kits.

“I warmly welcome the latest instalment of Laochra Gael, which has long been a mainstay in the compendium of compulsive viewing for GAA members and followers of our games,” said GAA president John Horan in Dublin yesterday at the  launch of the new series.

“It dovetails with the excellent coverage afforded to our games by TG4 and Nemeton, coverage and analysis which affords them unique insights into the big games and the big names.”

“The list of top players who have engaged with this series bears testimony to the quality of the viewing and I laud everyone involved in providing us with another set of programmes in the weeks and months ahead.”

“Part of TG4’s mission since our inception has been to give the credit that is due to our incredible Gaelic Games heroes,” added TG4’s Director General, Alan Esslemont.

“I am delighted that we now have hour long episodes which chronicle not only the epic feats on the pitch, but also show the heartbreak and emotional journeys that these incredible men and women undertake, throughout their sporting careers. I would like to sincerely thank all of the players who took part and Nemeton who are doing trojan work in this television genre.”

The series is produced by NemetonTV, the independent production company from An Rinn in the West Waterford Gaeltacht, which produces much of TG4’s acclaimed sports coverage.

It was also announced yesterday that Nemeton have won a ‘substantial’ contract to produce TG4’s Live streaming coverage on YouTube.

“We will produce 12 games for streaming this year and we are delighted to have been given the opportunity by our long standing partners in TG4,” said Nemeton CEO Irial MacMurchú.

“I was in the US recently and it is very evident that live streaming is the way iof the future.”

“It appeals to the ‘cord-cutting’ next generation for whom linear TV is only part of how they consume sport and entertainment.”

“The value we bring is in producing TV standard coverage, regardless of how it is watched.  Quality is important, no matter the size of the screen and what we are producing for TG4 can be watched on any screen from a smartphone to a smart TV without missing a beat.”

The new Laochra Gael season will air on TG4 at 9:30pm on Wednesday evenings starting February 20th.


Jackie Tyrrell – The Journey 9.30pm, Wednesday 20th February

Jackie was recognised as one of the best defenders that ever played the game. But for a long period Jackie’s own lack of confidence was crippling him, even as he was captaining his county to glory. This programme explores how this self-doubt affected him and how he finally overcame it after meeting a man who would change his whole attitude to life and sport. The programme follows Jackie Tyrrell’s journey from complete lack of self-confidence to all-conquering defender and fashion icon.

Seamus Darby – The Man Who Got the Goal 9.30pm, Wednesday 27th February

Seamus Darby, the man who scored the most famous goal in the history of the GAA. Darby could never have known the changes that would come when his life changed in an instant. The programme will explore Darby’s story up to that defining moment, and how it came to be that it was he who went on with a few minutes to go. The detail of the dramatic climax of the 1982 All Ireland Final that put an end to Kerry’s “5-in-a-row” dreams, will be relived. The documentary will also delve into Darby’s life since then, and will discuss the difficulties he encountered as a result of being the man who scored the goal.

Rena Buckley – The Best Person in the World? 9.30pm, Wednesday 6th March

The story of a trailblazer in women’s sport, Rena Buckley. Rena broke some of the biggest records in the GAA. She won 18 All Irelands between camogie and ladies football, more than any other player male or female. She won 10 All Stars and when she lifted the Brendan Martin Cup in 2017 she became the first person to captain an All Ireland winning team in two codes. This is the story of an ordinary girl from Iniscarra who changed the landscape of women’s sport in Ireland and who inspired a new generation of girls’ participation. But the journey from Iniscarra to the steps of Croke Park was not always easy.

Kieran Duff – Don’t Judge Me 9.30pm, Wednesday 13th March

Kieran Duff was the darling of Hill 16 but he was the subject of much controversy in his playing career. Duff was Dublin’s key forward in the 1980’s but his hard man image made him very unpopular outside The Pale, especially after his sending off in the infamous 1983 All Ireland Final. But was his ill-repute deserved? What effect did that reputation have on his personal life? Is there more to his story than meets the eye? This episode is a deeply personal journey with an iconic GAA figure.

Andrew O’Shaughnessy – Shaughs’ Story 9.30pm, Wednesday 20th March

Andrew O’Shaughnessy; an extraordinary underage talent whose career was cut short by Multiple Sclerosis. He was most talked-about young hurling in the country at the turn of the millennium, but O’Shaughnessy’s intercounty career was over by the time he turned 24, after a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis that turned his world upside down. The programme looks back on O’Shaughnessy’s extraordinary underage career, the brief success under Richie Bennis, the controversy under Justin McCarthy, and how O’Shaughnessy has rebuilt his life since receiving the devastating diagnosis.

Colm Cooper – Gooch 9.30pm, Wednesday 27th March

The pressure, heartbreak and joy. The personal story behind the medals. A once-in-a-generation talent who defied convention by showing that Gaelic Football does not have to be a big man’s game. This episode of Laochra Gael delves behind the 5 All Irelands and 8 All Stars and reveals the origins of an extraordinary talent in an ordinary Killarney housing estate. The documentary also explores the personal pain away from the pitch during the years of dealing with his father’s death, as well as looking back on the testimonial controversy.

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