Related people: Dr. Sean Crosson.

Representing the Nation through Sport:The National Film Institute’s Gaelic Games Films, 1948-1968

This talk considered a series of films made in Ireland between 1948 and 1968 that constituted distinctly Irish sports films as films that were centrally concerned with representing and promoting the nation through sport. These films captured highlights of all-Ireland finals in hurling and Gaelic football - some featuring teams from the West of Ireland, including Galway, Mayo and Roscommon - and were made by the National Film Institute of Ireland, now the Irish Film Institute. They represent the fruits of the first sustained period of indigenous filming of Gaelic games. While offering a fascinating insight into Irish society in the post war period and the development of these games, these films also provide an intriguing link with one of the pioneers of documentary film, John Grierson, and one of the most accomplished (and controversial) sports films ever made, Leni Riefenstahl’s Olympia (1938). The talk includes rare highlights footage of Roscommon competing in the all-Ireland football finals of 1943, 1946 and 1962.

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