A host of well-known Donegal faces including Michael Murphy (Glenswilly GAA), Geraldine Harkin (Moville GAA) and Gerry Dunne feature in the latest AIB documentary, The Toughest Summer, which is now available on AIB’s YouTube channel.
Told through the lens of award-winning documentary maker, Ross Whitaker, the feature piece will track their story alongside a host of other GAA members nationwide and will celebrate the strength and resilience of the thousands of people in GAA communities. The documentary delves in behind the scenes to life in Donegal, and shows the heartbreak for Michael as he closes his sport shop and later, his joy at returning to both the shop and the football pitch, as well as the huge community work that went on throughout recent months, with Moville GAA pulling together to help the people in their community.
“We as a club knew we had to do something – so we started delivering prescriptions and also doing deliveries from the local supermarket and making sure that the more vulnerable people in the community were being looked after,” Geraldine Harkin reflected.
“It was a real feel-good factor when you saw the Moville GAA jersey. It was more than just getting your messages – it was a connection,” said Gerry Dunne reflecting on how much that local support from the GAA meant.
The 50-minute documentary, which aired on RTÉ One on Tuesday August 25th, marks the finale in AIB’s The Toughest Summer series, and saw AIB, proud sponsors of the All-Ireland Club Championships across football, hurling and camogie, as well as the All-Ireland Senior Football Championships, give viewers a poignant look into GAA communities across Ireland over the past several months.
The Toughest Summer showcases the powerful and extraordinary ways that the GAA has connected with their local communities when needed most, proving that even when there are no games being played, the GAA is still the beating heart of Ireland’s rural and urban communities. This week’s documentary tracks a host of GAA people, from players to coaches, fans to commentators, and will also follow the stories of TJ Reid, Michael Darragh Macauley, Caitriona Cormican, Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh and Ann Downey to name but a few.
The documentary is the culmination of a journey through a unique period of time in GAA history and chronicles the unprecedented halt to the games in March 2020. It follows the stories of GAA people and their communities across the country as they learned to cope with their new reality, and their subsequent path towards returning to on-field action once more. It tells the story of a summer that has been like no other; one that has truly highlighted the importance of GAA within local communities and one that has united friends and rivals, old and young, players and fans.
AIB’s The Toughest Summer, which aired on RTÉ One on Tuesday, August 25th, is on this page and is also available on AIB’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/aib
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