A Madrid-based Gaoth Dobhair woman is to feature this week in a new TG4 programme on GAA clubs on the continent.
“Cluiche As Baile” (The Away Game) gives an insight into the unique experience of those involved in the dozens of GAA clubs in cities all across Europe.
The documentary covers hurling/camogie in Germany, and football in Spain. In Madrid, a strong community of Irish ex-pat and other international players from the Madrid Harps, who focus on football.
Áine Ní Chearbhaill, an English teacher from Gaoth Dobhair, explains why she moved abroad after the pandemic.
“Moving away is a good chance to meet new people, and learn a new language and culture,” she said.
A fan of the fine weather in Madrid for playing football, she adds that she has no plans to move home any time soon.
“The cost of living here is a lot lower than in Ireland, unfortunately.”
Brothers Jack and Cian Desmond from West Cork directed and produced the 50-minute documentary.
They travelled to Hamburg, Cologne, Madrid and Galicia, getting to know some of the people behind the clubs. They include Irish expats, Germans, Spanish, French, Kazakh and even farther afield. The programme follows the players’ journey as they learn a new sport, forge a strong community, and ultimately battle for the pan-European trophy.
The show is narrated by well-known broadcaster and personality Síle Seoige.
The capital of Spain has a strong team of young Irish expats, as well as non-Irish people who have picked up Gaelic football. Madrid Harps sent men’s and women’s teams to Galicia to compete for the football cups, hosted by A Coruna’s Fillos De Breogan football club.
The region of Galicia in north-west Spain is famous for the Camino pilgrimage. It also has a Celtic culture, and an entire Gaelic football league was created by Galician people. The city of A Coruna was this year’s hosts of the Pan-European Gaelic Football championships. Hundreds of players came from all over Europe, so the pressure was on. To add to the stakes, the finals was broadcast live on local Galician TV.
The programme will premiere on TG4 on Thursday June 1st at 9:30pm, and will be available to view on the TG4 Player website thereafter.