The definitive GAA sports series returns to TG4 in the spring with a new hour long format. Featuring five GAA personalities whose dramatic, event packed stories demand the longer programme duration to do them justice. These Laochra radiate genuine star quality and are already celebrated as sporting legends. But the series reveals deeper, fresh and sometimes unexpected insights into the lives of these icons, their relationship to their sport and the world around them. While their sporting careers continue to provide the core narratives that have been essential to Laochra Gael’s popularity down the years, this new series edges the envelope well beyond the four white lines. It’s gripping personal storylines compel its viewers to travel with it towards territory unique to the GAA television landscape.
Understanding Lar Corbett
Lar Corbett’s legacy includes some of the greatest hurling moments to grace the modern game. But in sport and even in everyday life people have found it deceptively difficult to zone into him. Sporting great, colourful storyteller and born again business entrepreneur the first episode in the series explores the immensely entertaining enigma that is Lar Corbett.
The Real Graham Geraghty
Talented, unorthodox, volatile, and photo-friendly Graham Geraghty proved a larger than life gift to the emerging tabloid culture of the 1990s and noughties. From controversial and outrageously gifted footballer to social worker helping young people to repair their fractured lives – Graham’s journey has been a roller coaster ride of incident and anecdote.
Ashling Thompson – Warrior Woman
All Star camogie player, All Ireland winning captain and one of only four Irish Red Bull sponsored athletes – model, mental health advocate and darling of the media – but there was a time when Ashling’s future looked so bleak she wasn’t even sure she had one. This episode traces Ashling’s heroic struggle to the apex of Camogie – overcoming career threatening injury and her crippling slump into darkness and depression.
Henry Shefflin – King of the Cats
Henry Shefflin’s slow but painstaking apprenticeship in the sorcery of the sliotar finally saw him emerge as perhaps the greatest hurler of all time – with a matchless record of 10 All Ireland medals, and a galaxy of All Star awards. But Henry was more than the king of hurling and this episode reveals an intensely human side to this superman of the hurling field.
Mickey Harte – Unquenchable Spirit
In many ways the father of contemporary football with a historic reign as one of football’s most effective mangers, a personal life scarred by loss and his daughter’s horrific murder. Mickey Harte has ploughed his own furrow with the occasional controversial consequence but his spirit and passion for life and the GAA remain unquenched.
The series comprises of five very different hours and five very different personalities. But emotion, insight, entertainment and drama are guaranteed in each. The ambition of the series is to retain the core following that the Laochra Gael series has built up over the years while broadening its appeal to a new and wider audience.
GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghail said today “I’m delighted to welcome another series of TG4’s ever-popular Laochra Gael and I look forward to seeing the exploits and achievements of some of the greatest players and managers of recent years from right across the Gaelic games family. All of those who feature in the latest series should be justifiably proud that they have been singled out for inclusion in recognition of their contribution to our games, and by extension, Cumann Lúthchleas Gael as a whole. Their respective roles deserve commendation of the highest order”.
“I’d also like to thank TG4 for their ongoing support of Gaelic games in so many ways, not least through the broadcast of our games in addition to high quality programming such as this”. ”These programmes are enjoyed by so many and they have survived the test of time preserving as they do some incredible memories and stand out moments, not just for the players, but for those of us who enjoyed their skills from the sidelines.”
Speaking at today’s launch, outgoing TG4 Leascheannasaí, Pádhraic Ó Ciardha said that the channel continues to be proud of its year-round and wide-ranging Gaelic games output. “Series such as this one have copper-fastened our status as the TV home of Gaelic games,” he said. “The new extended hour-long format for Laochra Gael enables us not just to profile these legendary figures but to provide our viewers with real insights as to how their individual personality shaped their ability to achieve the greatness we have seen from them.”
Executive Producer and Nemeton TV CEO, Irial Mac Murchú added: “We are very proud of the achievements of the Laochra Gael production team that has created a stunning 156 episodes in this epic series. This season, we delve deeper into the characters and the personalities behind the heroic highlights of their playing careers”
The new Laochra Gael season will air on TG4 at 9:30pm
on Wednesday evenings starting February 28th.
Media Contact: Rónán Ó Coisdealbha, Spórt TG4 (087) 2472841 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Laochra Gael Series:
Programme 1: Lar Corbett, 9.30pm, Wednesday February 28th
Programme 2: Graham Geraghty, 9.30pm, Wednesday 7th March
Programme 3: Ashling Thompson, 9.30pm, Wednesday 14th March
Programme 4: Henry Shefflin, 9.30pm, Wednesday 21st March
Programme 5: Mickey Harte, 9.30pm, Wednesday 28th March