'Maureen O'Hara - Banríon Hollywood'
A jam-packed schedule on TG4 this Christmas season, includes new documentaries, festive music, sports documentaries, feature-length Irish language films, and family entertainment.
New Documentaries include, 'Maureen O'Hara - Banríon Hollywood' (Christmas Day 9:00pm). Maureen O’Hara was the first Irish leading lady of cinema. She became a Hollywood superstar and a role model for every Irish actress who followed her on to the big screen. 2020 is the 100th anniversary of her birth and this documentary looks back over the life and career of one of the most extraordinary Irish women of all time.
Her most famous film was 'The Quiet Man', but Maureen O’Hara was anything but quiet. She was a feisty, colourful, energetic, accomplished, talented, no-nonsense woman who mesmerised Hollywood and made her own rules. She enthralled and enchanted every director and leading actor she ever worked with and her list of co-stars includes some of the most famous actors of all time. She made over 65 movies in a career that spanned eight decades and received an honorary Oscar in 2014.
'Moya' airs on December 29 at 9:20pm. In this deeply personal documentary, Moya looks back on a fascinating 50 years of song. Featuring exclusive interviews and performances with Moya and her family as well as contributions from the cream of Irish musical talent, including Paul Brady, Imelda May, Damien Dempsey, Liam Ó Maonlaí, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and many others, this is a landmark musical documentary.
'Rang 2020' airs on December 29 at 7:15pm. Many of us still wake in a cold sweat from nightmares about our final state exams. A rite of passage, a shared ordeal, but for the Class of 2020, the confusion and frustration amplified as the Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc across the globe. This documentary, featuring a mixture of self-shot and documentary footage, follows the lives, struggles and disruptions endured by four students as they prepare for their Leaving Certificate and A-level exams and progress to Third Level Education. We also witness their personal loss as they and their families grapple with the cruel implications of Covid-19 virus.
On New Year's Eve at 7:15pm, 'Faoi Scáth a Chéile' examines how the Covid 19 pandemic shook us to our very core but also led to an awakening of our true values. From rural village to bustling city, life as we knew it has changed. Now as we stand on the threshold of a new year, we have the opportunity to begin anew. Will Covid-19 be remembered as the event that brought us all to our senses? In this documentary we take a personal look at how six individuals dealt with the challenges of living through this tumultuous year and are looking forward to the prospect of a more compassionate, genuine and meaningful life in 2021 for themselves and their communities.
In 'Bádóirí, Bliain gan Coimhlint' on New Year's Day at 7:15pm, we learn it was an odd summer for the Connemara Sailors, the Galway Hookers races have been cancelled, and they're kept in their home bays. Even so, new boats are being built, and a new ship arrives from the far east. There's a revival of sailors and hookers in Carna, while others are preparing already for next seasons racing. Missing this season are two of the Bailey brothers, Peadar and Pádraig, leaving a hole in the heart of this community.
Sports Documentary, 'Laochra Thar Lear' (December 23 at 9:30pm), is a celebration of Ireland's Olympic Heroes. As we look forward to the next Olympic games which are due to be held a year late in Tokyo in summer 2021, here is a gem of a programme from TG4 that will wet our appetites even more for athletics. Laochra Thar Lear looks back to a time when Irish athletes were to the forefront in many Olympic disciplines. This programme tells the stories of Irish Olympic champions during the first sixty years of the modern games, from John Pius Boland's two gold medals in Athens in 1896 to Ronnie Delaney's record-breaking win in Melbourne in 1956.
'Dawn Run: Laochra na Rásaíochta' (December 27 at 9.55pm) takes a look at Ireland's most famous National Hunt horses from the 1970's to the present day, recounting their brilliant feats through archive footage and interviews with the men and women involved in their success. This episode tells the remarkable story of Dawn Run, a mare trained in County Kilkenny by Paddy Mullins, who remains the only horse ever to win both the Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup at Cheltenham.
'Tunes from the Church' (December 20 at 9:30pm) is a concert of traditional music from Saint Nicholas' Collegiate Church in the heart of Galway City, presented by Cormac Begley. During the 1990's, the duet Begley and Cooney reached national acclaim and were regarded as one of the foremost performers of Irish music. Cooney pioneered a new approach to traditional accompaniment and formed a perfect marriage with the energetic West-Kerry style of Seamus Begley. Joined by Canon Gary Hastings, Kevin Hough, Saileog Ní Cheannabháin and Clíodhna Ní Bheaglaoich, each bringing their own unique musical talents to this historic and majestic setting.
'Anúna: On a Cold Winter's Night' (Christmas Eve at 8:15pm) was filmed by candlelight in front of a live audience in St Bartholomew's Church in Dublin on a wild and stormy evening. The songs span a thousand years of music created for the winter season performed by the combined voices of this legendary Irish-based vocal group who brought gravitas and elegance to the original Riverdance. The evening includes classic songs of the season such as Away in the Manger, Jingle Bells and Ding Dong Merrily on High as well as classic favourites Dúlamán, Pie Jesu and Fionnghuala.
'Kilfenora Beo' (Christmas Day at 8:05pm) contains highlights from live online concert. With TikTok stars, Michael and Matthew Gardiner, Sinéad Neylon and Edel Vaughan. A spectacular one-off show!
'The Dubliners - The Parting Glass' (Christmas Day at 9:55pm) is an exclusive first airing, The Dubliners take to the stage in the magnificent surroundings of Dublin's Christ Church Cathedral to celebrate 50 years of music making. The year is 2012 and the concert marks the start of the The Dubliner's final ever tour and Barney McKenna's last ever performance as he died shortly afterwards. This unique show pays tribute to one of Ireland's most iconic bands and you are invited to join in the celebrations. A night of music, stories and craic awaits.
'Liam O'Flynn - Píobaire' (St. Stephen's Day at 7:45pm) is a feature documentary which tells the story of master piper, Liam O'Flynn, from his membership with iconic Irish supergroup, Planxty, through to his ground-breaking orchestral work in The Brendan Voyage.
'Christy Moore - Come All You Dreamers' (December 27 at 10.55pm) was recorded Live at the Barrowland, Glasgow in 2008. Christy Moore, Declan Sinnott and special guests perform all our favourites including After the Deluge, Barrowland, City Of Chicago, Ride On, Missing you, Back Home in Derry and more.
'Gradam Ceoil TG4 2020' (New Year's Eve at 8:15pm). Gradam Ceoil returns for 2020, bringing together the finest traditional musicians from far and wide for one spectacular celebration. Live from The Waterfront Hall, Belfast, Dónal Ó Connor and Doireann Ní Ghlacáin preside over TG4's flagship traditional music awards with stand-out performances from greats such as Laoise Kelly, Seamus Connolly, Josephine Marsh, Sharon Howley, Ned Kelly, Lillis Ó Laoire and Beoga.
'Fáilte 2021, New Year's Eve' (11:30pm) joins Dáithí Ó Sé, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh & friends as they welcome 2021 with a special musical gathering from Dingle in Co.Kerry. Featuring guests from Donegal, Conamara, Waterford and Meath, our hosts will bring you the best of music, song and dance to say goodbye to 2020 and sing and dance our way into 2021. Join Pauline Scanlon and the Whileaways, Fidil, Cormac Begley, Séamus Begley & family, Emma Ní Fhioruisce, Megan Nic Ruairí, Johnny Óg Connolly, Máírtín Tom Sheáinín, Séamus & Caoimhe Uí Fhlatharta, The Hot Toddies; Éamonn Mac Donnacha and more for a special New Years Eve celebration on TG4.
'Cine4: Finky' (New Year's Day at 9:20pm) is a TV Premier of the first Irish language Cine 4 film. Starring Dara Devaney Ned Dennehy, Diarmuid de Faoite. Directed by Dathaí Keane. Micí Finky, a musician and puppeteer looking to escape his past, steals an envelope full of cash and runs off to Scotland with his childhood friend Tom Tom. On their first night in Glasgow, Finky suffers a horrible accident and is left paralysed from the waist down. He hits rock bottom but is given a chance at redemption when recruited by Carnival Chaotica.