Laochra Gael series 22 launched with 8 new Gaelic Games legends profiled


Eight legends who performed heroics on the field and who each have a unique and extraordinary story to tell. 

The new Laochra Gael season will air on TG4 at 9:30pm on Thursday evenings starting January 25th.

The definitive GAA sports series returns to TG4 this spring for a 22nd series. The series hour-long format has proved a huge success, bringing each player’s personal stories to screen. The series features eight Laochra with genuine star quality and reveals deeper, fresh and sometimes unexpected insights into the lives of these icons.   While their sporting careers continue to provide the backdrop to the story, the series travels well beyond the four white lines.  Gripping personal storylines will compel viewers to travel towards territory unique to the GAA television landscape.

Richie Power

Laochra Gael returns for its 22nd Series and it starts with the story of Kilkenny hurler, Richie Power. Richie was destined for success from a young age, gathering inspiration from his father Richie Snr who played for Kilkenny in the eighties. Richie, One of the most skilful forwards to ever play for Kilkenny, with 8 All-Ireland medals in his collection. Plagued by knee injuries, Richie spent a lot of his playing career rehabbing those injuries to get back time and time again. With the whole community focusing on his playing career, no one knew that Richie was going through an upheaval in his personal life, and he felt separated from his fellow players. But after speaking openly with his family about his struggles with a gambling addiction, Richie begins the road to recovery.

Director:   Sarah McCoy

Participants: Richie Power; Richie Power Snr; Cathal Moore; Michael Rice; Jackie Tyrrell; Brendan Maher; Vincent Hogan; Maria Connolly; John Power; Jamie Power; Michael Comerford

Tony Scullion

Growing up in a rural area of Derry, football was always at the heart of Tony’s life. Despite the beauty of the area around them, the Scullions had a hard life and it was often difficult to keep hunger at bay. As a young teenager Tony’s dream was to play football for his county and in 1987 Tony Scullion won his first Ulster championship. He also earned his first All-Star award and by this time Tony was a cornerstone of the Derry football team. By 1993 Derry were one of the best teams in the country, but disaster struck when Tony broke his ankle in a league game. With the team steadily improving Tony was focused on winning back his place on a team that was destined for glory, and that he did so when he won his All Ireland medal in 1993.

Director:   Cormac Morel

Participants: Tony Scullion; John Scullion; Declan Bogue ; John Joe Doherty; Enda Gormley; Damien Ó Dónaill; Vinny Murphy; Siobhán Scullion; Charlene Scullion; Ciara Scullion; Anton Scullion

Lindsay Peat

Lindsay Peat is one of the most versatile sports stars Ireland has ever seen. She reached elite levels in four different sports representing her country in soccer, basketball and rugby all the while playing intercounty football with Dublin. Her footballing success culminated in winning an All-Ireland title with Dublin 2010, the first ever for the county’s women. Having retired from intercounty football in 2014, Peat turned to a new sport, rugby, and saw herself line out for Ireland in multiple Six Nations campaigns as well as the Rugby World Cup in 2017. Peat’s unwavering determination to constantly better herself in a sporting capacity helped mask underlying personal struggles with her sexuality and self-doubt which she eventually overcame and embraced in time.

Director:   Miriam Fitzsimons

Participants: Lindsay Peat; Sorcha Furlong; Mark Ingle; Denise Masterson; Valerie Mulcahy ; Daragh Ó Conchúir; Ken Peat; Marian Peat; Gemma Peat; Barra Peat-Brogan

Tony Griffin

Laochra Gael continues with the story of Clare Hurler Tony Griffin. In 2002 Tony Griffin joined the Clare hurling team, a team full of experience but in need of new players, and this young lad from Ballyea was just what they needed. But at the peak of his powers, Tony made the decision to leave hurling and travel across Canada and raise money for cancer care and also to honour his late father Jerome. Tonys cycle helped raised over 1 million euro for Cancer charities. Since retiring from hurling Tony has continued to help others and in 2012 he founded Soar, an organization that supports and helps teenagers across Ireland to achieve their dreams.

Director:   Cormac Morel

Participants: Tony Griffin; Maria Griffin; Seán Griffin ; Frankie Griffin; Keira-Eva Mooney; Anthony Daly; Paul Flanagan; Michael Rice; Diarmuid Lyng; Dónal O’Grady; Tony Kelly

Alan Kerins

Alan Kerins played both senior hurling and football for Galway, picking up an All-Ireland Medal in the latter. Alan Kerins’ introduction to Gaelic Football at intercounty level was not without controversy back in 2001. Already an established intercounty hurler, he was catapulted into the football set-up despite not even playing club championship with Salthill. However his commitments paid off, as within the year he walked up the steps in Croke Park to collect the Sam Maguire. He holds the unique distinction of having won All-Ireland Club medals in both hurling and football and is the only man to ever do so with different clubs. But his greatest impact is surely The Alan Kerins Projects which the Galway man founded in 2005 and has since raised over €5 million directly for many vital and life-saving projects and programmes for communities all over the world. Alan now devotes his life to others and It was this sense of community, his spirituality, family and friends that sustained him and his wife when their son Ruadhán was critical ill.

Director:   Hugh Walsh

Participants: Alan Kerins; Mark Kerins; Monty Kerins; Anne Kerins; Ciara Kerins; Ruadhán Kerins; Ben Kerins; Fiadh Kerins; Michael Foley; Dónal Óg Cusack; Seán Óg de Paor; Cathal Moore

Pat Critchley

Pat Critchley was a mainstay of the Laois GAA hurling team of the 1980s. He is often referred to as “Laois’s only hurling All Star”, which is some distinction, picked up when he was a mop-haired midfielder when Laois made it to the Leinster final in 1985. During his playing days, coaching captured Critchley’s imagination. Critchley has given thousands an opportunity to develop and flourish on pitches and courts throughout Ireland – in football, hurling, basketball and ladies football at club and county level. Sport was an obvious outlet. But music was and remains a huge part of his life. For a while, he was part of The Mere Mortals, the Laois rock band managed by his friend and former Laois team-mate Séamus Cheddar Plunkett. A major part of his life is notably the tragic death of Paul Mulhare in 1985, the year of his All-Star, following a league match between Dublin and Laois. Mulhare suffered an accidental blow to the head from Critchley’s hurl, and later died in hospital. Critchley treats it sensitively and with tremendous humanity and care. There is a sense that writing offers him some helpful expression and an attempt to make sense of what were almost surreal experiences.

Director:   Cormac Morel

Participants: Pat Critchley; Mick Critchley; Vincent Hogan; Dónal O’Grady; Pat Fleury; Séamus Plunkett; Patty Critchley; Elaine Fitzpatrick; Catherine Ashe; Angela Casey; Ollie Plunkett; Des Rigney; Paul Brophy; Paul Marron; John Bohan; Billy Bohan

Ciara Gaynor

Between 1999 and 2005, Ciara Gaynor was a cornerstone of Tipperary’s formidable defensive unit, one of the best camogie teams of all time. A player who won five All-Ireland medals and the player of the year award in 2003, Ciara and her team inspired a generation of young Tipperary girls to follow their dreams. The years of her youth, led by her father Len, stood with Ciara and at nineteen years old she already had her first All-Ireland senior medal. But after winning the 3rd Final in a row, an incident that occurred in her professional life as a Guard put the prospect of her fourth championship in a row in jeopardy. After the match in 2005, with 5 Finals under her belt, Ciara announced her retirement. She focused her newfound energy on family life and her lifelong love of horses. Today Ciara’s competitive spirit is embedded in one of the most demanding global sporting events – IRONMAN. Not surprisingly, she qualified for the 2023 World Championships in Hawaii.

Director:   Moira Sweeney

Participants: Ciara Gaynor; Len Gaynor; Therese Brophy; Sinéad Millea; Darragh Ó Conchúir; Eileen Gaynor; Sinead Gaynor; Sheila Gregan; Charlie Cairns; Jeremy Cairns; Stephanie Dunlea

Kevin Hughes

For the Series Finale of Laochra Gael comes the story of Tyrone’s midfielder, Kevin Hughes. Along with his team mates, Kevin was naturally euphoric after magnificently bringing home the coveted Sam Maguire football trophy in 2003. But the success and celebrations masked a deep and painful sorrow for Kevin and his family. He lost his brother Paul Hughes (22) and his sister Helen Hughes (24) tragically in two separate car accidents on the same stretch of road in 1997 & 2001. Subject to huge tragedy and loss both on and off the field that particular group of Tyrone players share an unbreakable bond.

Director:   Sarah McCoy

Participants: Kevin Hughes; Teresa Hughes; Mark Harte; Declan Bogue; Michael Foley; Darragh Ó Sé; Mickey Harte; Peter Canavan; Charlie Hughes; James Hughes; Holly Hughes

Ahead of the new Laochra Gael Series Uachtarán CLG, Larry McCarthy said: “Few could have predicted that when TG4’s excellent Laochra Gael series first aired, that in 2024 we would welcome the 22nd edition of what is an incredibly popular programme. To say that it has stood the test of time is an understatement. While games lie at the heart of the allure, the personal stories of some of the biggest and most popular names in Gaelic sports adds immeasurably to the offering and it is a credit to the programme that so many former players have agreed to provide context to careers that have illuminated Irish sport. This series will see the 200 programme milestone passed. Here’s to the next 200.”

TG4’s Director General, Alan Esslemont said, The GAA, LGFA and An Cumann Camógaíochta are not only Ireland’s most important sporting organisations, but they also rank among Ireland’s most significant nationwide cultural and social organisations. All year, all week, the broader family of Gaelic games are core to Ireland’s social fabric.  Within the membership of these organisations there are individuals of outstanding talent and the hour-long format of ‘Laochra Gael’ allows TG4 to tell the stories of the achievements of these athletes and also to illustrate the challenges life has presented them with. I thank and congratulate all of the players featured in the 2024 season of ‘Laochra Gael’ and I also congratulate Nemeton for the quality, sensitivity and professionalism of their storytelling, values which are key to TG4.”

Eight outstanding Gaels. Eight remarkable personal stories. “Laochra Gael” is back on TG4 at 9:30 on Thursday the 25th January 2023.

The series is produced by NemetonTV, the independent production company from An Rinn in the Waterford Gaeltacht which has produced much of TG4’s acclaimed sports coverage.

The new Laochra Gael season will air on TG4 at 9:30pm on Thursday evenings starting January 25th.

Programme 1:   Richie Power, 9.30pm, Thursday 25th January  

Programme 2:  Tony Scullion, 9.30pm, Thursday 1st February

Programme 3:  Lindsay Peat, 9.30pm, Thursday 8th February

Programme 4:  Tony Griffin,  9.30pm, Thursday 15th February

Programme 5: Alan Kerins, 9.30pm, Thursday 22rd February

Programme 6: Pat Critchley, 9.30pm, Thursday 29th February

Programme 7: Ciara Gaynor, 9.30pm, Thursday 7th March

Programme 8: Kevin Hughes, 9.30pm, Thursday 14th March

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