BBC focus on Kiltegan for new documentary
THE LITTLE village of Kiltegan were out in force on Monday as a BBC camera crew arrived to have a look at how a GAA club in a small rural community managed to survive.
And that was the very question the presenter Joe Lynam put to club Chairman Pat Keogh. On his arrival Six hours later, after a day of intense activity he was putting much the same question to his BBC viewers. What is it that makes the GAA tick. How can one of their units survive in such a small area and promote football, hurling and camogie at senior level.
Remember that the players don’t get a single cent but the club can continue to attract members to its ranks in the face of stiff opposition from all sides?
No doubt the presenter was keenly aware that he was addressing an audience reared on a diet of Premiership football, played by multi-millionaires.
Could the answer to his question possible be the much maligned ‘voluntary worker’?
During the day his cameraman had picked the same voluntary workers extract ash trees for hurling-making under the watchful eye of expert Pat Staunton Later they saw the same ash shaped into hurling sticks by, of all people, the local C.C. Fr. Joe Brophy, supervised by hurley-maker David Moran. In the small GAA club everyone has to chip in
They had watched training sessions for all age groups from tots to teenagers; from Junior C to Senior in all three codes.
The snow covered peak of Lugnaculla made a fitting backdrop for the pretty little village surround by the woodlands of Humewood and St Patrick’s College. A point that did not go unnoticed be the visitors.
St Tegan’s, the correct name, is indeed a unique club. An amalgamations of two small villages, Rathdangen and Kiltegan, their unity of purpose has saw them go from strength strength.
The Wicklow Co. Chairman Andy O’Brien was there to welcome the visitors and to congratulate the club.
’Kiltegan GAA club continue to make history in GAA terms,’ he said. ‘Monday saw their club, community, and county exposed to the world through the worldwide channels of BBC television. While the format for the making of this documentary regarding the background, culture and structures of the GAA for British television is not fully clear as yet I am sure the viewers of the finished product, regardless of where they are in the world, will be hugely impressed when they consider the Kiltegan club like hundreds of clubs throughout the country and beyond provide sporting and cultural activities for all ages, in an open and inclusive way, driven by community volunteers.
‘From speaking with the producer of the programme Mr. Joe Lynam, a native of Wicklow, their intention is to capture the community spirit involved in a club, the involvement of youth, sports for boys and girls, cultur- al activities so I assured him that Kiltegan GAA club can fulfill all of these elements.
‘While the focus will be on the village of Kiltegan and its people I know each of us GAA people will recognise the same type of people and passion within our own clubs and to that end this exposure of that uniqueness that all GAA clubs have will reflect the type of proactive GAA clubs that exist in Wicklow and a county that is proud of its GAA roots.
‘With the current pleasant weather conditions I am sure footage of Kiltegan and its surrounds will confirm why we carry the title of the Garden County of Ireland with a history of accommodating visitors from all destinations, so I am glad that Joe Lynam and his crew received the typical warm Wicklow hospitality from the Gaels of Kiltegan led by their club ambassador and County President Mr. Peter Keogh.
‘From speaking with Peter I know he sees this as a further opportunity to expose our great association at club and county level, I also got the feeling from talking to Peter that the roots of a hurling club is to get some mention.
‘I wish all in Kiltegan GAA club the best of luck and also I would like to thank Mr. Joe Lynam for his support and co-operation to Kiltegan GAA club and County Management in preparation for his visit.’
The coverage details of the event will be covered on the Wicklow GAA Website giving details of when it is expected to be televised, however the coverage is expected to be televised over the coming weeks.
Darran Hobson of Kiltegan is blocked during the Football League Division 1 game against St. Patrick’s.