The GAA-themed project is directed by Pat Comer and produced by by Éamonn Ó Cualáin and Samuel Kingston of Fócas Films. It airs at 19:45, after the Munster v Leinster Rugby match.
'An Fhuil agus an Bindealán' sees Donal O’Grady embark on a journey to uncover the origins of the Cork GAA jersey, with his findings surprising Cork people most of all.
O’Grady finds the journey of the jersey from the blue jerseys of the early 1900s with a saffron-coloured ‘C’ on the front to the red we know today is actually embedded in the War of Independence.
“It’s an honour for me to tell this story, the link between the jersey and the battle for freedom is an incredible tale…Can you imagine a Cork team in blue? We’re just so associated with the red, would our history have been the same in a blue jersey?”
By 1919 Co. Cork had not had all-Ireland hurling success in sixteen years. At the time, the War of Independence was underway with the British losing their control of the county.
British forces broke into the county board offices on Cook St. and stole the well-known blue and saffron jerseys, relying on the connections between Cork GAA and the IRA at the time to send a warning.
A version of the modern jersey was worn by Cork in their National Hurling League game against Kilkenny in March, when the team instead donned a set of red jerseys from the recently defunct Father O'Leary Temperance Association Team.
The jerseys inspired players not only to win the Kilkenny match, but go on to defeat Dublin in the All-Ireland final with a spell of 6-4 to 2-4.
Throughout the documentary O’Grady meets players, old and new alike, to discuss the meaning of the jersey to them. He discovers the role Cork played in the war, earning them the title of the Rebel county, is etched in their collective psyche and the blood red jerseys are a symbolic representation of the fight for freedom.
Pat Comer, Director:
“As a proud Galway man who has worn the county colours, I know the passion jerseys evoke but there’s certainly something extra special between Cork people and the red jersey.”