Documentary on One

Three Rivers - One Summer

Three Rivers, One Summer celebrates the lives of documentary-maker Ger Philpott's parents Tadhg and Mary Philpott, who died in the past year within three months of each other.

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4.2/5 (59 ratings)

Documentary Maker: Ger Philpott

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Documentary maker: Ronan Kelly

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Three Rivers - One Summer

Both Ger Philpott's parents died in the past year, within three months of each other.

This documentary celebrates their lives.

The Philpott's are a swimming family - both Ger and his Dad swam competitively at Masters level internationally – in fact they made a bit of swimming history in the mid eighties when they both won gold medals at the same international competition in Rome.

Shortly before his dad died, he asked Ger to swim the Lee this summer. He climbed back into the pool two days after Dad was buried to train for the event – a former competitive swimmer if he was to do it I’d have to do it right! Two of his brothers also did the Lee swim in his honour. For Ger, working his way back to fitness was an antidote to grief.

The swim quickly grew into three rivers – the Hudson in NYC last May, the Lee in Cork in July and the Liffey in Dublin last September. The journey of the rivers was a joyous, bittersweet affair.


Three Rivers tells the story of a journey through grief and Ger and his siblings love of their parents. In a sense it’s their love story with them intertwined with their own love story.

It features love letters Ger's dad wrote to his Mum when they were courting – he was living in war time Britain at the time…it also features some of their music from down the years – Mario Lanza, Johnn Mc Cormack, Doris Day, Ry Cooder, Patrick Watson etc etc…..

They also managed to capture some unique underwater sound and atmos during the making of the programme which features actuality form NYC, Cork and Dublin.

First broadcast Saturday November 26th

Compiled by Ger Philpott

Produced by Ronan Kelly

Music Used:

"Arriverderci, Roma", Mario Lanza & Ruggero Leoncavallo
"Secret Love", Doris Day
"For the Good Times", Kris Kristofferson
"To Build A Home", Patrick Watson/Cinematic Orchestra
"She Moved Through The Fair", John McCormack
"Golden Days instrumental", Mario Lanza

(The Lee Swim was recorded using a pedal kayak from Munster Marine)

An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries.

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