At the end of 2016, a small group of people did something remarkable.  It was on the sporting field, but this is not a sporting documentary.   The people are from a tiny GAA club in east County Derry - Slaughtneil.  At the end of 2016, they had achieved the incredible: they had become Ulster champions in three codes, football, hurling and camogie.  

In January 2017, Slaughtneil were aiming for three All-Ireland club championships - unheard of for one club, it seems.

It was in January that documentary-maker, Ronan Kelly, decided to follow the players and supporters on their journey towards Croke Park.  He suspected that their incredible success was only partly to do with sport, and he was right.  The Slaughtneil story included, politics, a motorway, death and even the poet, Seamus Heaney.

For the younger members of the club, it’s a refuge from the trials of daily life.  For the older members, though, it was a refuge from the trials of The Troubles.  

As one club member put it, "Being a member means being Irish and but, when you boil it down, it’s about being Slaughtneil."

Radio commentators featured:
Thomas Kane 
Mark Sidebottom 

Raidio na Gaeltachta
Ciarán Ó Fátharta 
Paddy O Gríofa
Seán Bán Breathnach
Antaine Conghaile 

RTÉ Radio 1
Brian Carthy
Paddy Hunter
Pauric Lodge
Siobhan Madigan

Music:  "Danse Carribe", Andrew Bird

First broadcast on Saturday, August 26, Radio 1 at 1 pm

Slaughtneil GAC

Michael McMullan's podcast

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