One of the best – and longest running – ‘ behind the scenes’ GAA programmes of the decade has been the An Rinn, County Waterford , Nemeton TV productions show ‘Laochra Gael ‘on TG4. Thursday this week sees the start of the latest series commencing at 8pm.
This in fact is the eleventh series, which started way back in 2001 with an hour long feature on the mercurial Ger Loughnane. There are ten players featured in all, starting with the programme featuring Eddie Brennan from Kilkenny, on St Valentine’s Day, 14th February.
Eddie speaks candidly about his early struggles to establish a starting berth on the Kilkenny teams and how he had to alter his playing style from 2006 onwards. Anthony Tohill, the towering Derry midfielder, speaks strongly about the treatment meted to manager Eamonn Coleman, after Derry’s championship exit at the hands of Down in 1994. Damian Fitzhenry has a simple explanataion as to how he started off in goal, leading back to his childhood days in the back garden! Seamus Moynihan outlines how he was willing to play wherever selected for the cause of the Kerry team and of his constant struggles with injuries later in his career.
Gerald McCarthy speaks emotionally about his days as Cork manager, and of the strife within Cork hurling at the time. Galway’s Jarlath Fallon recalls a day where he was forbidden by his manager to come off the field, although clearly injured, as well as his determination to make a mark in the second half of the 1998 All Ireland Final. Paul Flynn of Waterford lets us know where he developed his unique ‘dip’ in frees, which led of course to his memorable goal against Cork in 2004, as well as the shattering disappointments of 2007 and 2008 in Croke Park.
Glenn Ryan lets us know finally of his injuries which almost forced him off the Kildare team in the 1998 All Ireland Final, as well as a day where Tommy Dowd perhaps unwittingly kept him on the field of play! Conor Hayes is honest as ever in his memories of being selected out of the blue for the 1980 All Ireland Final for Galway, as well as the teak tough encounter between themselves and Kilkenny in 1987. Dynamic Cork Ladies’ captain, Juliet Murphy brings the series to a close, and she gives an insight as to how the all conquering team continually motivate themselves year after year.
As well as the players featured in each programme, there are contributions from team mates and opponents.
Laochra Gael on TG4 – Every Thursday at 8.00pm – starting 14th February featuring:
1 Eddie Brennan Thursday 14 February 8:00pm, Repeated Sunday 17 February 4:20pm
2 Anthony Tohill Thursday 21 February 8:00pm, Repeated Sunday 24 February 12:55pm
3 Damien Fitzhenry Thursday 28 February 8:00pm, Repeated Sunday 3 March 5:55pm
4 Seamus Moynihan Thursday 7 March 8:00pm, Repeated Sunday 10 March 5:55pm
5 Gerald Mc Carthy Thursday 14 March 8:00pm, Repeated Sunday 17 March 12:55pm
6. Ja Fallon Thursday 21 March 8:00pm, Repeated Sunday 24 March 5:55pm
7 Paul Flynn Thursday 28 March 8:00pm, Repeated Sunday 31 March 5:55pm
8 Glenn Ryan Thursday 4 April 8:00pm, Repeated Sunday 7 April 5:55pm
9 Conor Hayes Thursday 11 April 8:00pm, Repeated Sunday 14 April 5:55pm
10 Juliet Murphy Thursday 18 April 8:00pm, Repeated Sunday 21 April 5:55pm