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ILBF documentary celebrating Saint Colmcille to air on TG4



Date Posted: November 30, 2021

A new Irish Language Broadcast Fund documentary about the exciting life story of one of Ireland and Scotland’s most important saints, Colmcille – An Naomh Dána, will air on Tuesday 7th December at 9:30pm on TG4. The documentary was produced by Abú Media and MacTV with support from MG ALBA.

The documentary will take the viewer from Donegal to Iona in a quest for the truths within the myths surrounding Donegal’s finest son, troublemaker, copyright infringer, warrior and exile, yet one of Ireland’s most revered saints.

Though known by many as the Dove of Peace, he was at the centre of bloody battles, before founding a monastery on Iona, laying the foundations for the island to become a beacon of civilisation in the Dark Ages – he’s even said to have taken on the Loch Ness Monster!

But who was Colmcille, the Irish abbot, known in Scotland as St. Columba? His exploits as poet, scribe, politician, warrior, and holy man, became notorious throughout Ireland and Scotland. This exciting new documentary, explores the man, the myth, and his legacy today.

Born in Gartan, near Lough Gartan in Co. Donegal in 521 A.D, Colmcille seemed to attract trouble. After clashing with Finnian over the copying of a manuscript he went into exile, founding a monastery on Iona that became a renowned centre of spirituality and learning. Today Colmcille is revered as one of Ireland and Scotland’s major saints and texts about him have made an important contribution to our knowledge of life in the era.

Dramatic reconstruction is interwoven with expert accounts as we rediscover the achievements of this most uncompromising of saints.

Alan Esslemont Director General of TG4 said: “Addressing the Scottish Parliament in 2016, President Michael D. Higgins reflected on the relationship between Ireland and Scotland, “given our shared and complex history, it has often been difficult to say where the Irish ends and where what is Scottish begins. Or the other way round.” Colm Cille, warrior-cleric-politician, was in the vanguard of what was consciously the Irish colonisation and plantation of Scotland, spreading Irish Christianity throughout Scotland and using the names for Ireland, Éire, Fódhla, Banbha, Ealg to symbolically stake out Irish ownership of key places in Scotland, Strathearn (the Valley of Ireland), Glenelg (the Glen of Ireland) Atholl (New Ireland), Banff (Ireland) and Elgin (Little Ireland). I am delighted, to mark the 1500th anniversary of his birth, that TG4 and our Scottish sister channel, BBC ALBA, are bringing a fresh and compelling documentary to screens in both of our countries on the life of this most obstinate, avant-gardist, bold and influential Gael who permanently changed both Ireland and Scotland.”

Head of Northern Ireland Screen’s Irish Language Broadcast Fund Áine Walsh said: “Colmcille is recognised as an Irish saint and a Scottish saint and has left his mark on the folklore and landscape of both countries and as a result the Irish Language Broadcast Fund was delighted that this project came before us to commemorate 1500 years after the saint’s birth. Not only did it provide an opportunity to explore the life of the bold saint, but it also provided another opportunity to strengthen the links between Ireland and Scotland on a significant program which will be broadcast on TG4 and BBC ALBA. Partnerships like this are very important in our efforts to deliver engaging and high-quality content, and this programme certainly meets that criterion.”

Margaret Cameron Commissioning Editor & Head of Creative Collaborations added: “This programme was a very natural fit for co-production, and we’re delighted to see this production and broadcast collaboration result in high quality content to the BBC ALBA audience. Creative ties between Ireland and Scotland are strong and BBC ALBA was delighted to commission the project to mark 1500 years since the birth of Calum Cille and to build on those creative bonds.”


Clár faisnéise de chuid an CCG a cheiliúradh Naomh Colmcille le craoladh ar TG4

Craolfar clár faisnéise nua de chuid an Chiste Craoltóireachta Gaeilge, Colmcille – An Naomh Dána, ar TG4 ar an 7ú Nollaig ag 9.30pm chun naomh na hÉireann agus na hAlban a rugadh 1,500 bliain ó shin a cheiliúradh. Abú Media a léirigh Colmcille – An Naomh Dána le maoiniú  ón CCG agus MG ALBA.

Sa chlár faisnéise seo, tabharfar an breathnóir ó Dhún na nGall go hÍ sa tóir ar an bhfírinne laistigh de na miotais a bhaineann le mac gaisce, scabhaitéir, sáraitheoir cóipchirt, gaiscíoch agus deoraí Dhún na nGall, ach atá ar dhuine de naoimh na hÉireann a bhfuil ardmheas air mar sin féin – Colmcille.

Cé gur fearr aithne air do go leor daoine mar cholm na síochána, bhíodh sé i gcroílár cathanna fuilteacha, sular bhunaigh sé mainistir ar Í, beart a leag an bhunchloch a dhéanfadh eiseamláir na sibhialtachta den oileán sa Ré Dhorcha – deirtear go ndeachaigh sé chun catha le hOllphéist Loch Nis fiú!

Ach cérbh é Colmcille, an t-ab as Éirinn, ar a dtugtaí Naomh Columba air in Albain? Bhí cáil mhór ar a chuid gaiscí ina fhile, scríobhaí, polaiteoir, gaiscíoch agus fear cráifeach ar fud na hÉireann agus na hAlban. Fiosraítear an fear, an miotas agus a oidhreacht sa lá atá inniu ann sa chlár faisnéise nua iontach seo.

Is i nGartán, gar do Loch Ghartáin i gCo. Dhún na nGall a rugadh é sa bhliain 521 A.D., agus is cosúil go leanfadh an trioblóid é. Nuair a tharla achrann idir é féin agus Finnian faoi lámhscríbhinn a chóipeáil, d’imigh sé ar deoraíocht agus bhunaigh mainistir ar Í a mbeadh cáil uirthi ina dhiaidh sin ina ionad spioradáltachta agus foghlama. Meastar Colmcille sa lá atá inniu ann a bheith ar dhuine de naoimh mhóra na hÉireann agus na hAlban agus is cúnamh tábhachtach iad na téacsanna a scríobhadh faoi chun cur leis an eolas atá againn ar an saol a bhí ann ag an am sin.

Tá athchruthú drámatúil fite fuaite le cuntais ó shaineolaithe agus muid ag fáil amach arís faoi éachtaí an naoimh neamhghéilliúil seo.

Dúirt Ard-Stiúrthóir TG4, Alan Esslemont, “Ag labhairt dó i bParlaimint na hAlban in 2016, rinne an tUachtarán Micheál D Ó hUiginn machnamh ar an gcaidreamh idir Éire agus Albain, “mar gheall ar ár stair chomhroinnte agus chasta, ba mhinic a bhí sé deacair a rá cá gcríochnaíonn an chuid Éireannach agus cá dtosaíonn an chuid Albanach. Nó an bealach eile thart.” Bhí Colmcille, trodaí-cléireach-polaiteoir, ar thús cadhnaíochta maidir le coilíniú agus plandáil chomhfhiosach na hÉireann in Albain, ag scaipeadh Críostaíocht na hÉireann ar fud na hAlban agus ag úsáid ainmneacha a dtíre, Éire, Fódhla, Banbha, Ealg mar shiombail ghabhála agus úinéireachta ar áiteanna tábhachtacha in Albain, Strathearn (Srath Éireann), Glenelg (Gleann na hÉireann) Atholl (Éire Nua), Banff (Éire) agus Elgin (Éire Bheag). Tá lúcháir orm, chun comóradh 1500 bliain a bhreithe a cheiliúradh, go bhfuil TG4 agus ár gcomhchainéal Albanach, BBC ALBA, ag tabhairt clár faisnéise úr agus láidir chun scáileáin sa dá thír ar shaol Cholmcille, an Gael ceanndána agus ceannródaíoch seo a d’fhág a lorg buan ar Éirinn agus ar Albain.”

Dúirt Ceannasaí an Chiste Craoltóireachta Gaeilge Scáileán Thuaisceart Éireann Áine Walsh: “Tá Colmcille aitheanta mar naomh na hÉireann agus naomh na hAlban agus a rian fágtha aige ar bhéaloideas agus tírdhreach an dá thír agus dá bharr sin bhí an Ciste Craoltóireachta Gaeilge thar a bheith sásta gur tháinig an togra seo faoinár mbráid agus 1500 bliain ó rugadh an naomh á comóradh.  Ní hamháin gur thug sé deis iniúchadh a dhéanamh ar shaol an naoimh dhána seo ach thug sé deis eile na nascanna idir Éire agus Albain a neartú ar chlár suntasach a bheidh le craoladh ar TG4 agus ar BBC Alba.  Tá páirtnéireachtaí ar nós seo iontach tábhachtach agus muid ag iarraidh ábhar tarraingteach agus ábhar ar ardchaighdeán a chur ar fáil, agus is cinnte go gcomhlíonann an clár seo na critéir sin.”

Is éard a dúirt Margaret Cameron, Eagarthóir Coimisiúnaithe & Ceann na gComhfhiontar Ildánacha: “Is clár é seo a bhí feiliúnach don chomhléiriú agus tá ríméad orainn go bhfuil ábhar d’ardchaighdeán mar thoradh ar an léiriúchán seo agus ar an gcomhfhiontar craolta do lucht féachana agus éisteachta BBC ALBA. Tá naisc chruthaitheacha láidre idir Éire agus Alba agus bhí an-áthas ar BBC ALBA an togra a choimisiúnú chun 1500 bliain ó rugadh Colm Cille a cheiliúradh agus chun cur leis na naisc chruthaitheacha sin.”

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