Monday, May 9th will see the TG4 broadcast of ‘Ceol an Ghrá’, a documentary exploring the one and only time when Ireland was represented at the Eurvision song contest with an Irish language song, ‘Ceol an Ghrá’.
Crumlin born Sandie Jones and her Irish language song, ‘Ceol an Ghrá’ won the National Song Contest in 1972 and went on to represent Ireland at that year’s Eurovision Song Contest, held in Britain. The song was the first Irish language song to top the charts but Sandie’s Eurovision performance was over-shadowed by tensions in Northern Ireland and death threats she received in the lead up to taking part in the show.
The doc is the brainchild of Zoogon’s Sean Doyle (Frank O’Farrell: the Shadow of Busby), and was Produced and Directed by Ronan McCloskey (Charles Byrne: An Fathach Eireannach) and was commissioned by TG4’s Máire Ní Chonláin. Contributions to the documentary come from the song’s writers and composers, Liam Mac Uistin and Joe Burkett as well as Sandie Jones herself and Eurovision experts Doireann Ní Bhriain and Ronan Collins. Filming took place last year in various locations in Ireland, as well as in Virginia, where Sandie Jones now lives.
Executive Producer Sean Doyle tells IFTN the Eurovision is a wonderful reminder of a once prestigious occasion: “In an age when the likes of Jedward are representing Ireland at the Eurovision, this programme harks back to an era when representing Ireland at the Eurovision was the pinnacle of any artist’s career,”he tells us.
- ’Ceol an Ghrá’ will broadcast tonight at 9:30pm on TG4.