The IFI Irish Film Archive launched the GAA Football Gold DVD at Croke Park today with a gathering of footballers of different generations who will toast a different era in the history of Gaelic Football. The GAA Football Gold DVD is the first time that the All- Ireland Football highlights from the National Film Institute (now the IFI) has been available to own at home. It follows the hugely successful GAA Hurling Gold DVD which was one of last Christmas’ must have stocking-fillers. The beautifully presented DVD is priced €19.99 and is available from www.ifi.ie, the IFI Film Shop and all good retailers, with profits going to the newly launched IFI Irish Film Archive Preservation Fund.
The films capture a different era of gameplay and some of the greatest football players in GAA history such as Galway’s Frankie Stockwell and Seán Purcell, Cork’s Denis “Toots” Kelleher, Dublin’s Kevin Heffernen, Kerry’s Mick O’Connell and Seán Murphy; and Cavan’s Peter Donohoe, P.J Duke and John Joe O’Reilly. The DVD includes wins for Kerry, Meath, Dublin, Mayo and Galway as well as a golden era for Cavan football with three wins and a rare All-Ireland victory for Louth.
The extraordinary atmosphere at Croke Park is well documented with capacity crowds being swelled by fence-jumpers, roof-walkers, canine pitch invaders, Bishops, Presidents and Taoisigh. The finals were occasions of huge national significance, the political and religious pageantry of the era are prominently highlighted while the footage of supporters arriving in Dublin and families gathered around the wireless back home provide priceless records of the social history of the time. Much of the commentary is provided by the legendary Michael O’Hehir who’s infectious passion for the game and humourous style more than cover any hiccups in the emerging technology.
Five time Kerry All-Ireland winner Jimmy Deenihan TD., Minister for Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht welcomed the release of the DVD saying, ‘GAA is a key part of our Irish identity, it is important for us to be able to see and enjoy this interesting stage in the evolution and development of our Gaelic Games. Without the work of the IFI Irish Film Archive in collecting and preserving important parts of our past such as this, we wouldn’t have this valuable record of our past achievements. I am pleased that funding from my Department was provided through the Arts Council, to support the IFI Irish Film Archive to ensure the important work of making accessible our moving image heritage continues”.
Kasandra O’Connell of the IFI Irish Film Archive said ‘We are delighted to follow up the success of last year’s GAA Hurling Gold DVD with this fascinating collection for Gaelic Football Fans also taken from the vaults of the IFI Irish Film Archive. The fact that this amazing footage survives serves as a reminder of the importance of the work of the IFI Irish Film Archive, and that our moving image heritage is an invaluable part of our cultural identity that needs to be actively protected.’
The films have been painstakingly remastered and digitised by the staff of the IFI Irish Film Archive, who preserve the original film reels in their climate-controlled vaults. The Archive holds thousands of reels of commercial and amateur footage, a moving image record of Ireland’s history from 1897 to the present. The IFI ensures that this rich resource is shared with the public in as many ways as possible including research access, public screenings, and events in Dublin, nationally and internationally. The release of key titles on DVD is another way to make this rich material available to audiences.
GAA Football Gold is the sixth in a series of DVD releases from the IFI Irish Film Archive which also includes the feature film Irish Destiny (1926) and Seoda, a collection of short Irish films from 1948-1970, The O’Kalem Colletion, and the hugely successful GAA Hurling Gold DVD. All six DVDs are available from the IFI Film Shop, www.ifi.ie and all leading DVD retailers.
GAA Football Gold All-Ireland Finals 1947-1959
1947 Cavan v. Kerry
1948 Cavan v. Mayo
1949 Meath v. Cavan
1950 Mayo v. Louth
1951 Mayo v. Meath
1952 Cavan v. Meath (inc. replay)
1953 Kerry v. Armagh
1954 Meath v. Kerry
1955 Kerry v. Dublin
1956 Galway v. Cork
1957 Louth v. Cork
1958 Dublin v. Derry
1959 Kerry v. Galway
The DVD is priced €19.99 and is available from www.ifi.ie , the IFI Film Shop and all good DVD retailers, with profits going to the newly launched IFI Irish Film Archive Preservation Fund.
For more information, interview requests and images please contact Patrick Stewart at the IFI Press Office on 01 679 5744 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The IFI acknowledges the financial support of the Arts Council.