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‘Torthaí na Daoirse’ to air on TG4 on Wednesday, 22nd October
22 Oct 2014 : Seán Brosnan
‘Torthaí na Daoirse’, a documentary chronicling the Dunnes Stores anti-apartheid strike in 1984 when Mary Manning took on her employers, will air on Wednesday, 22nd October at 9.30pm.

Directed by Sinead O’Brien and produced by Ferndale Films, the documentary will focus on the day when 21 year old Mary Manning refused to register the sale of an Outspan grapefruit. She and ten other workers who supported her action were suspended from work with immediate effect and a strike ensued. The lockout was to last two years and nine months and only ended when the Irish government agreed to implement a complete ban of the import of South African goods until the apartheid regime was overthrown.

This documentary exposes the bitter rivalry that escalated between the parties concerned as the eyes of the world shone on the strikers in their fight against apartheid. European trade was the lifeblood of apartheid in South Africa, and on that day in July 1984 the action taken by Manning was about to change the face of the anti-apartheid movement around the world.

‘Torthaí na Daoirse’ has been nominated for the Prix d'Or European award which the jury is assessing this week and was winner of the best feature documentary at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh. It also sold out at the Stranger Than Fiction Documentary Festival in Dublin last month.

Director Sinead O’Brien said: This is a film about about an ordinary group of people who took an extraordinary and brave action against those in power and won. I hope this documentary shows people how difficult the strikers struggle was and how they never backed down no matter how heavy the odds were against them.

Participants include: Mary Manning, Áine Ní Éalaí, Ben Dunne, Brendan Archbold, Brendan Ryan, Des Geraghty, Bishop Desmond Tutu and sitting TDs Finian McGrath and Ruairí Quinn.

The project received support from the BAI Sound and Vision scheme and from Bord Scannán na hÉireann/Irish Film Board.

‘Torthaí na Daoirse’ will air on TG4 on Wednesday, October 22nd at 9.30pm.

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