6, Harcourt Street is known as the most historic house in Dublin. Since its beginning in Georgian Dublin it has been home to a Unionist MP, Irish revolutionaries and a Catholic Saint. It saw action in 1916 and played a key role during Ireland’s Revolutionary period including the decision to found Dáil Éireann and was also where Michael Collins had his office when Minister for Finance. It has been Conradh na Gaeilge’s headquarters since 1966 and has played its part in rejuvenating the language in the capital city and nationally.
The story of the building itself gives a fascinating insight into how Dublin and Ireland changed through the years. Its walls have witnessed monumental decisions that have had far-reaching consequences. A cradle of thought, debate and action that that helped mould life in Ireland.
Andrew Kelly (top), an archivist and a collector from Kilmacthomas in Co Waterford, is the focus of a new An Corsaiceach documentary for TG4.
Linda Ní Ghríofa writes:
Since his teens. Andrew Kelly has been collecting and cataloguing photographs, negatives, camera equipment and film. To date he has over 20,000 photographs and 15,000 feet of film in his collection. He has also rescued and restored old cameras, flat-bed glazers, lanterns, specialist equipment – all items once used in the creation of film and photography. He has created his own films also, chronicling events of historic and local significance. He continues to preserve film and photographic work, which would be lost did had he not recognise their value.
A new documentary from TG4 will revisit Peig, her personality and her art as a storyteller ‘reclaiming her and portraying her as she has never been before’.
Deirdre Ní Choistín writes:
Peig Sayers – widely considered to be the most hated woman in Irish history has tormented young students across Ireland for decades with her memoir ‘Peig’.
Described as boring, unrelenting, and unintelligible, Peig’s autobiography was part of the compulsory Leaving Certificate Irish syllabus until 1995.
Presented by broadcaster Sinéad Ní Uallacháin (top right with Sharon Granahan who has a tattoo of Peig) is on a rebranding mission to give Peig the mother of all make overs – one that will change her memory in our minds forever.
She will take the viewer on a fascinating journey to find out about the real Peig, listening to recordings of her, dipping into some comedy sketches about Peig, meeting those who love her [ and loathe her, debunking myths and finally uncovering who the real Peig is and a legacy to be proud of….
The award winning TG4 documentary strand concludes its current season with a programme on Galway comedian Stevo Timothy (aka Farmer Michael).
Deirdre Ní Choistín writes:
Stevo often refers to mental health issues in his stage shows and online sketches, sketches which have now racked millions of views online.
His Farmer Michael persona brings laughter to many of his young followers, but this persona masks an underlying anxiety from which Stevo has suffered all his life.
In this final documentary of Finné, Stevo explores his panic attacks, depression and alcohol abuse with candour, and also chronicles his drink driving escapade in 2005 which caused the death of his friend John Laffey, and left him paralysed from the waist down.
The story of Ireland’s first vasectomy doctor Andrew Rynne taking on the church in the 1980s.
On TG4 at 9.30pm.
Filmmaker Paddy Hayes writes:
This is Andrew (top) outside Naas courthouse in 1983 having been fined £500 for prescribing condoms to those without rings on their fingers. Why does he look so happy? Because it was Rynne himself who wrote to the DPP to inform them that he was prescribing contraceptives to sinners.
He wanted to draw attention to the hypocrisy of Haughey’s “Irish solution to an Irish problem” where contraception was only allowed for “bona fide family planning purposes”. It cost him £500, but the law was duly changed.
The fourth season of the wildly acclaimed black comedy–crime drama television series based on the Coen Brothers 1996 film of the same name and starring Irish actress Jessie Buckley (top) as Nurse Oraetta Mayflower, premiers exclusively on TG4 at 10.30pm (Netflix having passed on carrying the fourth season, for some reason).
Sol – an inspiring film about a little boy’s journey through grief premieres in Ireland and the UK on the darkest night of the year, the Winter Solstice – Monday 21 December at 6:30pm.
The animated, 28-minute film aims to bring light and comfort to families with young children as the darkest year in modern times draws to a close.
Emmy award-winning Irish actor, Fionnula Flanagan voices Sol’s grandmother alongside Myra Zepf (author and winner of Ireland’s Children’s Book of the Year prize) voices Sol’s mother. Sol himself is voiced by 12 year old Zana Akkoç. The film’s song has been recorded by Moya Brennan, member of Celtic folk band, Clannad.
Sol will broadcast simultaneously in Irish on TG4, in Welsh on S4C, and in Scots Gaelic BBC ALBA at 6:30pm on December 21. It will also be available to view in the UK on CiTV with English subtitles at 7:30pm.
New TG4 weather men Darren Ó Dubhgain (right) and Donncha Ó Murchú
I feel a warm front.
Two new presenters have joined TG4’s weather and continuity team creating an even more diverse panel. They are, Darren Ó Dubhgain from Donegal and Dubliner Donncha Ó Murchú. Aimsir TG4 provides the Irish weather service through Irish. Three linear bulletins are broadcast each day and there are more on the station’s website TG4.ie/aimsir as well as its own social media on Twitter @AimsirTG4.
A new one-hour documentary from Loosehorse for TG4 that tells the story of how hurling ‘redefined itself as a sport in the 1990s to truly become our national game’.
Linda Ni Ghriofa writes:
For over a century, the hurling spoils were shared among the traditional three superpowers of Cork, Kilkenny and Tipperary. As the decade began there was no sign of the aristocracy being unseated. Then, in five minutes in 1994, the hurlers of Offaly sparked a revolution.
Along came a collection of upstarts to destroy the old order, and go down in history as Ireland’s most charismatic, colourful and enduring personalities….
…Diarmuid Lyng, for whom the ‘90s provided the inspiration for his own stellar inter-county career with Wexford, is an authentic and affectionate Narrator.
Réabhlóid GAA is the story of how, in one decade a sport, and a country, changed forever.
From top: Aoife Rafter; Aisling Gallagher; Sarah and Adrian McVann and their lockdown baby; Margaret Franklin
Saol Faoi Ghlas – an chéad dianghlasáil.
A lockdown documentary by Midas Productions on TG4.
Linda Ni Ghriofa writes:
In March 2020, our lives were turned upside down as we were forced to come to grips with the implications of living under the shadow of a global pandemic. Following unique characters and stories, Saol Faoi Ghlas captures an unprecedented time in Ireland’s history as it explores the added challenges living under lockdown.
Featuring a mixture of self-shot and documentary footage from characters in every province in Ireland, this documentary is a snapshot into a time where we as a people struggled with the new demands placed on us. Despite the personal hardship suffered by those featured in this documentary, this is ultimately a story of hope that reminds us of our resilience and strength as individuals and as communities…
Aoife Rafter is cocooning in her family home in Naas, county Kildare. Having lived with Cystic Fibrosis all her life, she knows only too well how devasting a respiratory illness could be for her. Just before lockdown, Aoife finished treatment for Cervical Cancer and now finds herself without clinics, check-ups or medical support and her world confined to just a few rooms.
In Tullamore Leaving Cert student Aisling Gallagher finds herself studying online and wondering if her exams will take place at all. Her dreams of studying in Trinity college are compromised as her final milestones in secondary school disappear.
SarahandAdrian McVann from Westport are expecting their first baby in the middle of a pandemic and are faced with the reality that many expectant couples found themselves in as Sarah will enter the maternity ward alone.
Because she is over 70, Margaret Franklin has been asked to cocoon. Unable to visit family and friends, she fills her week with online choir practice, online courses and exercise classes. Despite being determined to keep active, Margaret feels abandoned by the blanket cocooning advice and lack of freedom the restrictions mean for her.
Saol Faoi Ghlas – an chéad dianghlasáil at 9.30pm, Wednesday, November 18, on TG4.