150 years of Irish rugby history on TG4


TG4 HAVE launched a four-part television documentary series Gualainn le Gualainnchronicling the history of Irish rugby, dating back to the playing fields of Trinity College in 1854 up to Ireland’s Grand Slam triumph in the Millennium stadium in 2009.

Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh was the masters of ceremonies for the launch in Trinity College, where the game was first played in Ireland, joined by a host of Ireland’s greatest rugby players of the past 60 years, including members of the 1948 Grand Slam winning side.

Produced by Fastnet Films, the series is predominantly a social history, as opposed to a sports history, and is largely concerned with the way the game has developed throughout the last 150 years.

It chronicles the remarkable expansion of rugby into new social demographics in Ireland in recent years.

The production team unearthed some amazing old footage, including some very early matches at Trinity, club and interprovincial matches going back to the early 1920s, two Ireland matches against France (1912 and 1914) that pre-date any other known film of Irish internationals by at least a decade, and probably the highlight, both the France and Wales games from the 1948 Grand Slam winning season, never seen by Irish audiences; not even by the players themselves.

In addition to the archive material, including films and photographs, the series also features interviews with over 60 current or former internationals, including greats such as Willie John McBride, Brian O’Driscoll, Jack Kyle, Jim McCarthy, Tom Kiernan, Syd Millar, Ollie Campbell, Tony Ward, Luke Fitzgerald, Donal Lenihan, Syd Millar, Fergus Slattery, Conor O’Shea, Keith Wood, Mick Galwey, Ray McLoughlin and Willie Duggan.

The series also features an extremely entertaining interview with former international and Lion Moss Keane, one of the game’s great characters, recorded before he passed away last month. Written and directed by Andrew Gallimore and produced by Morgan Bushe and Conor Barry, Gualainn le Gualainnwill be broadcast on Wednesday nights at 9.30pm from November 10th.