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Gripping love stories that shaped our great nation

Michael Collins who exchanged 300 love letters with Kitty Kiernan between 1919 and 1922

A LAMENT central to a tragic love story, which was composed by Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonail, the aunt of The Liberator, Daniel O’Connell, will form part of what promises to be a fascinating new series to be broadcast on TG4 in the coming weeks.

Scéalta Grá na hÉireann is a new six-part series which will commence on Wednesday next, January 13, with the gripping story of the love triangle between Michael Collins, Kitty Kiernan and Collins’ best friend Harry Boland.

But week four of the series will have a strong Kerry connection as it features the tragic tale of the greatest poem ever composed in the Irish oral tradition with Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonail’s lament, Caoineadh Art Uí Laoghaire, coming under the spotlight.

The series features a poignant lament penned by Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonail, the aunt of Daniel O’Connell

It poignantly outlines the life and murder of the great love of her life, Art O’Laoghaire, an Irish Catholic who fought with the Hungarian Huzzars and returned home to stand up to the Protestant Penal Laws in Ireland.

Scéalta Grá na hÉireann will explore the most iconic love stories throughout the history of the land with tales that echo through time with each one playing a major part in the formation of modern Ireland.

From the stormy passion of the Pirate Queen, Grace O’Malley, to Oscar Wilde’s scandalous affair with Lord Alfred Douglas, Scéalta Grá na hÉireann will reveal the greatest romances of many iconic people that shaped the country’s history.

Some of the love letters exchanges between Michael Collins and Kitty Kiernan

The first in the series will feature what is billed as Ireland’s greatest and most tragic love story between Michael Collins and Kitty Kiernan who kept their love alive through the 300 letters they exchanged between 1919 and 1922.

The programme will offer a stunning insight into their romance which took place during a period of great violence, upheaval and change for the nation from the War of Independence, through the Treaty Negotiations and the Irish Civil War.

Others stories in the series will feature the doomed love affair between the Irish patriot Robert Emmet and Sarah Curran, Oscar Wilde’s illicit affair with Lord Alfred ‘Bosie’ Douglas in Victorian London, the unrequited love story of WB Yeats and Maud Gonne and the epic story of Grace O’Malley and Richard Bourke.

Scéalta Grá na hÉireann is a Bo Media, Cork production for TG4, made with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. The first in the series will be on at 8.30pm on Wednesday of next week.

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