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Home from Home

August 15, 2014

Home from Home (New two part documentary series)

Tuesday, August 26th & Wednesday, August 27th

Setanta Sports

9.45pm

 

Home From Home tells the story of Irish emigration past and present by documenting the stories of both the well established and newly arrived members of four overseas GAA clubs based in Christchurch, Dubai, London and Toronto.  It unfolds into a fascinating blend of observational documentary and archive-based history film. The portraits of the clubs as they functioned in 2013 are inter-cut with stories and anecdotes that chart the spread of GAA sports around the world throughout the past century or so.

 

By portraying the spread of GAA around the world we present a unique prism through which the story of Irish emigration, right through to the present day, can be told. This series charts and explores the processes involved in the transfer of Gaelic sports from Ireland to significant focal points of Irish immigration as well as explaining the role GAA clubs played in the promotion and preservation of a distinctively Irish ethnic identity overseas. Much has been written, and documentaries have been produced, about the successes of the politicians, the efforts of the church and the solace, identity and friendships offered by a whole range of social, cultural and political organisations in helping the Irish to adapt to life in the New World.  Far less has been said about the crucial role of sports.  The films follow a broadly chronological order and also incorporate the timeless nature of the emigration experience. We look at the initial point of contact for the immigrant in their new home and the practical role that the GAA clubs played in looking after their own in sometimes hostile environments.  The vital psychological contribution that these organisations made to making ‘home’ feel that little less far away.   We also look at the process of assimilation, as the immigrant becomes the establishment. We look at the changing face of the Irish emigrant during the last three major phases of population loss (the 50s, 80s and 00s) and how this demographic shift has been reflected in the make-up of the overseas GAA clubs.

 

Christchurch GAA, Durham Robert Emmet’s Gaelic Football Club of Toronto, Fr. Murphy’s GAA Club of London and the Dubai Celts are the bedrock of the Irish communities in these four international cities; providing a social outlet for new arrivals, an opportunity to secure jobs through the Irish network and a place where those who arrived long ago with every intention of eventually returning home can reminisce.

 

The clubs have been chosen for the historical breadth and cultural diversity that they represent. London, as the first outpost of the GAA was a natural choice. Toronto, a particularly hostile environment for Irish Catholics in the nineteenth century, is the ideal case study for the protective role played by GAA clubs in this period. Christchurch is literally the point of no return; it’s as far from home as it’s possible to go both physically and psychologically. Then there’s Dubai; in an increasingly globalized and homogeneous world, Islamic countries are possibly the few remaining ‘alien cultures’ that an immigrant can encounter.

 

Over this two-part series this story will be brought to life as we follow a carefully selected number of old and new members as their lives inside and outside of their local GAA Club unfold. Our protagonists will be our guides into the communities around each club.  This series will show that in much the same way as it has in Ireland, Gaelic sport has provided a platform for the Irish diaspora to construct and give vent to a distinctively Irish ethnic and national identity.

 

To view a clip from the series:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIfynogGX70

 

‘Home from Home’ is directed by Andrew Gallimore and produced by Lucia Gavin of Midas Productions for Setanta Sports.  The documentary was produced with the support of the Sound & Vision fund of the Broadcasting Association of Ireland. 

 

MIDAS PRODUCTIONS is one of Ireland’s largest and most successful productions companies, with over thirty five series for Irish and international television to date.

 

Press enquiries:

Lucia Gavin – 0879430758/ 01-6611384