Friday, October 28, 2011

DVD: GAA Football Gold

Yes it's that time of the year again and the IFI Irish Film Archive is ready to press go on its latest GAA DVD release: GAA Football Gold

Following the incredible success of last year's release of hurling highlights from the '40s and '50s (it was one of the biggest selling sport DVDs last year), we have put together a fantastic package for Gaelic football fans, which covers the period 1947-1959. The 1947 match was the first one filmed for cinema audiences and was played between Cavan and Kerry in the New York Polo Grounds, home of the NY Giants baseball team. As it has rarely been seen,  we were delighted to have been  given permission to include it on this DVD and share it with current Gaelic games fans.

1947: Kerry vs. Cavan

The All Ireland 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 IFI Irish Film Archive staff has 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. As with our other DVD releases, considerable time and effort has also been spent producing an accompanying booklet full of interesting images of the matches and crowds, with illuminating liner notes provided by Dr. Seán Crosson.

GAA fans will be fascinated by the footage of legendary football stars of the '40s and '50s in action, but there is much in this collection to interest the general public: there is tremendous footage of Dublin supporters, some in drag, making their way to Croke Park by pony and trap in 1958, and spectators on the roofs of the stands & children sitting behind the goal posts, in the days before health and safety spoiled the fun. Other note worthy footage is the cameramen getting ready to film in 1957, groundsman Jimmy Curran preparing the pitch in 1947 and Micheal O'Heir gives a rousing commentary throughout. Dublin fans will relish their county's win in 1958, which is reminiscent of their recent glorious victory, but the geographical spread is wide with Meath, Cork, Louth, Derry, Cavan, Mayo, Armagh and Galway all featured.

The DVD will hit the shops from November 9th and will be available of the IFI website and from IFI Film Shop, keep checking our website for further details.

Kasandra O'Connell
Head of IFI Irish film Archive

For more information on previous DVDs released by the IFI Irish Film Archive, including GAA Gold, Irish Destiny, Seoda or The O'Kalem Collection, please visit our website.

For orders and information on other DVD releases, please contact IFI Film Shop on 01 679 5727 or email:

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1 comment:

  1. Yes, these years are very fantastic years for the Gaa. The matches are well played and the crowd is so much in that time to see the matches.