29 Sept 2022

Donegal to feature in series which explores the country’s GAA silverware

The Democrat Cup and the importance local newspapers played in Donegal’s sporting tradition explored

Donegal is to feature in a documentary-type series which investigates the stories behind the country’s GAA silverware. The new 6-part series begins on TG4 this Wednesday September 14 at 8.30pm and is presented by Gráinne McElwain.

Scéalta na gCorn sees presenter Gráinne McElwain travel across Ireland visiting clubs and county grounds, learning the lesser-known stories behind our nation’s trophies. She will find out how some cups are named after Irish revolutionary patriots such as Roger Casement and Terence McSwiney, how other trophies are named after clergy, others again after prominent GAA administrators, who have contributed to the development of the Association and how even more are named after players and grassroots members, their memory perpetuated through the trophies and cups named in their honour.

The first three episodes sees Gráinne visit the capital where she learns the background to the Silvermines Cup. Episode two takes Gráinne to her native Monaghan, a county that has seen a recent growth in Gaelic games silverware with new cups replacing old ones. She hears the trans-Atlantic story behind the American Cup and finds out about the Gloria Corrigan Memorial Tournament. The third episode sees Gráinne in Antrim, a hurling stronghold where she is keen to find out about the Volunteer Cup, known fondly as Big Ears, as well as Roger Casement’s historical role in the competition for the Shield of Heroes. It’s not all about hurling though and Gráinne goes to Belfast to discover more about senior football and the Seamus McFerran Cup and a local club that presents a trophy in fond memory of 16-year-old camóg Bronagh Kelly. She meets John Gough, referee of a controversial All-Ireland Football final and discovers silverware isn’t just for the players.

Episode four takes Gráinne to Donegal which is recognised by many today as being a football stronghold. She discovers the northwest has historical links to both hurling and camogie. She finds out about a much-loved priest who has three cups named in his honour and before visiting county home grounds Páirc Mhic Cumhaill, to learn about The Democrat Cup and the importance local newspapers played in Donegal’s sporting tradition.

Episode five will see Gráinne journey into the west, her adopted home county of Galway where she learns about one of the oldest trophies in the country, The Odlums Irish Purtiy Cup. She also visits a handball club that teams up with Gael Linn for a special tournament. Gráinne meets the family of young footballer Pia McDermott Geraghty who continues to be remembered in silverware and she travels to Ballinasloe to find out about legendary Galway hurler Michael ‘Inky’ Flaherty.

The Scéalta na gCorn series finishes in Cork, triumphant All-Ireland winners across football, hurling and camogie throughout the decades. Gráinne is eager to find out about some of the silverware honouring patriots such as John ‘Flyer’ Nyhan and his deep connection with the War of Independence and former Cork Lord Mayors, Tomás Mac Curtáin and Traolach Mac Suibhne. She will also hear about the trophies named in honour of some of the county’s influential women in football such as Mary Quinn and a curiously named cup called Little Norah.

Produced by Imagine Media, with support from NI Screen’s Irish Language Broadcast Fund, ‘Scéalta na gCorn’ will broadcast on TG4 weekly, starting September 14, 2022, at 8.30pm. 

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