Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hurling Fever!

The GAA hurling season may just have finished ( well done to Tipperary and commiserations to Kilkenny) but the IFI Irish Film Archive is still hurling obsessed as we are put the finishing touches to our Archive hurling DVD. Encouraged by the tremendous success of our Irish Destiny and Seoda DVDs, which were released last Autumn, we decided to dig deep into the Archive collections and produce another DVD, this time with the focus on sport.

Highlights of All Ireland Hurling and Football Finals were routinely filmed by the National Film Institute (before it was renamed the Irish Film Institute) from 1948 onwards and generally lasted 10-20 minutes; in addition to highlights of the Senior and Minor games, the films showed the build-up to the match and the players in training, and generally had a tongue-in-cheek newsreel quality. Over the last few months the Archive staff have been painstakingly assessing the sound and picture elements of GAA film material held in our vaults, selecting the best quality elements and transferring them to a digital format ready for publishing on DVD. This DVD will feature All Ireland hurling finals from 1948 up to 1959 and we hope to follow it with a compilation of GAA football finals of the same period.

As with our other DVD releases, time and effort has also been spent producing an accompanying booklet with images and explanatory notes. The booklet will be full of interesting pictures and match notes will be provided by sports historian Dr. Seán Crosson. It will be an absolute must for GAA fans, but the shots of Dublin in the 1940s and 1950s, and scenes of crowds making their way from Heuston Station, along O'Connell Street and up Jones's Road, will also appeal to the those who remember a quieter, slower paced Dublin.

Keep checking our blog for details of the DVD release later in the year.

Kasandra O'Connell
Head of Irish Film Archive

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