RTE Television

Thank GAA It's Friday

Thank GAA It's Friday returns to your screens for another summer packed with GAA goodness.

Episode 1

Episode 1 returns on Friday, July 3rd on RTÉ2, covering the best stories our native games have to offer.The show's creators bring you the complete weekly GAA package; containing characters, games, fascinating stories and communities both at home and abroad.

Ahead of the Munster football final, we talk to Gillingham's player-of-the-year and a famous son of Kerry football, John Egan. John's father, who passed away in 2012, was part of the great Kingdom sides of the late '70s and early '80s, winning six All-Irelands and five All-Star awards. Despite his Kerry background, John was born and raised in the heart of the Rebel county but will there be divided loyalties come Munster football final day?

Comedic actor David Rawle, AKA Martin Moone in the mega-hit Moone Boy, talks to us about his Gaelic Football heritage in lovely Leitrim's Carrigallen GAA club. David returns to the hallowed turf once more to relive memories with his friends and former club mates (none of whom are imaginary!). And David also has to finally confront the annoying fact that
everyone thinks he's from Roscommon!

Drugs in the GAA has become a major talking point in recent weeks and we spoke to Irish Times journalist Malachy Clerkin, former Irish athlete David Gillick and leading sports nutritionist Dr. Sharon Madigan to see whether there is a serious issue in the GAA. Expect plenty of heated debate!

With Antrim playing Fermanagh in the All-Ireland Football Qualifier series, former Antrim captain Anto Finnegan remembers the Saffrons' glory days at the turn of the century. Anto led his county to All-Ireland B success over Fermanagh in 1999, as well as to their first Ulster Championship win in 18 years in 2000. He now faces a more difficult battle off the field, having been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2012.

Plus we'll have all the build up to the Leinster hurling final so tune in on Friday 3rd July at 8:30pm
on RTÉ2.

Episode 2

Episode 2 of the series comes to you on Friday, July 10th on RTÉ 2 at 8:30pm with features on the Leinster football and the Munster hurling finals.

Tipperary face Waterford in what promises to be a thrilling Munster hurling final. We caught up with two men determined to throw the Premier County's season into reverse: Waterford's Shanahan brothers. Maurice and Dan have been a driving force in their county's amazing 2015 so far and the Lismore brothers joined us to talk trucks and sliotars as the Deise go for their first Munster title since 2010.

We'll also turn our attention to the Leinster football final by catching up with Westmeath hero John Heslin as he cultivates the Lake County's challenge for a first Leinster in 11 years. John trades in his football boots for his wellington boots to give us an insight into his Agricultural Science PhD on heifer puberty. The final against Dublin could be a real coming of age story for Heslin and the Westmeath panel.

Armagh's Jamie Clarke gives us a taste of life as a modern footballer. The Crossmaglen sharpshooter, better known for roasting full-backs than coffee beans, developed a passion for coffee while travelling. Back in Ireland, he's letting his love of the bean filter through to a wider audience. We raise our cups to Armagh brewing up a successful qualifier run.

While, for some, the qualifier journey is already over. But, for one GAA stalwart, the 86-year-old journalist Peter Keogh, it's a road well travelled. We join Peter's trip from his idyllic home in Co. Wicklow to the Athletic Grounds in Armagh as the Garden County looked to pull off a shock in Ulster.

So join us on RTÉ 2, Friday July 10th at 8:30pm for the perfect warm-up to another massive GAA weekend.

Twitter: @ThankGAA

Email: ThankGAA@loosehorse.ie

Thank GAA It's Friday
  • RTÉ Two, Friday, 8.30pm