Johnny Jimmy An Oileáin and his team race their currach in the annual Féile na gCurrachaí in An Spidéal.
An Spidéal in County Galway is one of the locations in the Connemara currach racing season. ‘Cursaí’ producer Micheál Ó Conaola went to his home place to film material for a report on the currach races there. Following the event, he found that he had far more material than what was needed for a short report on ‘Cursaí’, so much so in fact that he was able to make a documentary film on it.
Ó Conaola follows Johnny Jimmy Mac Donnacha from An Cheathrú Rua in the lead up to the race. A seasoned currach racer, we see him and his team on the quay in An Spidéal making the final preparations prior to the start of their race.
Tá currachaí 's naomhóga tagtha as chuile thaobh. As Na Machairí, Ciarraí, as Baile na nGall, as Condae an Chláir, 's as chuile cheard de Chonamara. Beidh fíorchoimhlint ann.
As the men polish their boat and secure the oar handles, some spectators enjoy the side show events of horse shoe throwing and darts. And of course, there is the all-important catching up with friends, neighbours and relations.
Six currachs will race. But which team is the best?
‘Cursaí : Ar Na Maidí’ was broadcast on 3 August 1987. The commentary is by Padraic Ó Catháin.
‘Cúrsaí’ was an Irish language series which ran on RTÉ Television from 1986 to 1995. In its early days, Cúrsaí was billed as "Iris-chlár le béim faoi leith ar chúrsaí reatha an lae agus ar chúrsaí na tíre i gcoitinne" (RTÉ Guide, 17 October 1986). But it covered a wide range of topics and was broadcast four nights a week, from Tuesday to Friday, on RTÉ 2.