The definitive GAA sports series returns to TG4 this spring 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 reveals deeper, fresh and sometimes unexpected insights into the lives of these icons.
While their sporting careers continue to provide the backdrop to the story, the series travels well beyond the four white lines.
Gripping personal storylines will compel viewers to travel towards territory unique to the GAA television landscape.
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.
Participants: Jackie Tyrrell, Eoin Kelly, Tommy Walsh, Br. Damien Brennan, Sarah Tyrrell, Eimear Tyrrell, Damian Lawlor.
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.
Participants: Seamus Darby, Stephen Darby, Eugene McGee, Sean Lowry, Seán Walsh, Vincent Hogan.
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.
Participants: Rena Buckley, Mary Buckley, Briege Corkery, Paudie Murray, Eamonn Ryan, Malachy Clerkin.
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.
Participants: Kieran Duff, Mags Duff, Barney Rock, Brian Talty, Vincent Hogan.
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.
Participants: Andrew O'Shaughnessy, Eimear O'Shaughnessy, Denis Ring, Stephen Lucey, Maurice O'Brien, Gráinne McElwain.
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.
Participants: Colm Cooper, Vince Cooper, Vincent Hogan, Marc Ó Sé, Malachy Clerkin, Anthony Lynch, Damian Lawlor, Conor Gormley, Bracker O’Regan, Eddie O’Connor, Noreen Buckley, Michael McCarthy.
Speaking at today’s launch, GAA President John Horan said “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. 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.”
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.
The new Laochra Gael season will air on TG4 at 9:30pm on Wednesday evenings starting February 20th.