27 October 2021 The Irish Film & Television Network
Irish Language Documentary ‘Poc na nGael’ to Screen at #FilmFleadh
11 Jul 2017 : Katie McNeice
Éamonn Ó Cualáin directs the title, which translates to ‘Puck of the Irish’, and which he also co-produces with Sam Kingston of Fócas Films.

It screens at 14:15 on Sunday July 16th in the cinemobile. For tickets please click the link below.

It was funded by Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and TG4, and will air in TG4 in the Autumn.

"What stood out for me for the huge impact that the Irish have had in Canada, from ice-hurling on the lakes of Nova Scotia 250 years ago to the formation of the biggest hockey clubs in Canada", says director Éamonn Ó Cualáin.

‘Poc na nGael’ follows hurling legend Ger Loughnane as he sets out on a journey across Canada to discover the Irish links to the Canadian obsession that is ice hockey. Canada is passionate about hockey just as the Irish are passionate about hurling, and the bond between the sports quickly became evident to him.

"When I watch hockey, I can see the links to hurling”, he said. “The passion, the skill and the stick work, the commitment of the players, it's clear to me that the sports are connected." Ger isn’t alone in his thinking. Hockey legend Brendan Shanahan agrees “I can see some sense to the theory that hockey has roots in hurling. The attributes between the athletes are very similar.”

What will surprise most is that the hurling link is due to Irish Protestants/Ulster Scots who brought hurling across with them. Ger uncovers this fascinating link at the birthplace of hockey in Windsor, Nova Scotia. His journey across eastern Canada reveals that the sport the Irish helped develop also provided the Irish with the opportunity to grow in Canadian society. After the Famine, the Irish were mainly in the slums. In Montreal, Ger visits the site of a mass grave where 6000 Irish were buried.

Toronto became the “Belfast of Canada” such was the division between Catholic and Protestant Irish in the city. Yet, success in hockey provided a gateway for the Irish to progress in Canadian society. Irish teams and Irish players became adored across Canada. Ger discovers the strong Irish heritage of leading Canadian teams such as the Montreal Canadiens, the Ottawa Senators and the Toronto Maple Leafs who originated as the Toronto St.Patrick’s. As the NHL celebrates its 100th anniversary he examines the Irish legacy and how it is remembered today.

Buy Tickets Here

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