Sex, drugs, and poisoned chicken stories on new TG4 programme

What’s the best way for a student nurse to stop a housemate stealing her food from a shared fridge?

Sex, drugs, and poisoned chicken stories on new TG4 programme

By Pet O’Connell

What’s the best way for a student nurse to stop a housemate stealing her food from a shared fridge?

Planting diuretics in the chicken may not be the safest of cures, but as a means of ensuring cohabiting food thieves are “pissed off”, in more ways than one, it has its uses.

This fast-food route to the toilet also comes in handy as an anecdote when, decades later, the now former nurse is asked to take a road trip for TG4.

However, it’s a journey with a difference, with drivers and passengers required to share their innermost feelings on topics as random as sex and drugs and poisoned chickens, via a hidden camera, with viewers nationwide.

Turas Bóthair, which begins a second series next Thursday, aims to reveal what people really talk about in their cars, by eavesdropping on moments of “joy and sadness, comedy and tragedy, love and loss”.

In the case of Síle Uí Chróinín and her friend Máire Uí Laoire, the moments recorded on their drive through the byways of Cork’s Múscraí Gaeltacht include pronouncements on organ donation, abortion, and the rubbish that’s shown on television channels — with the exception of TG4 of course.

With Máire, mother of former Cork footballer Noel O’Leary, at the wheel, Síle recalls her days in digs as a student nurse and how she put her medical training to alternative use.

“We had a gang of us and we were all good at keeping the place clean, but this girl came along and she did nothing,” recalls Síle, who lives in Béal Átha ’n Ghaorthaidh and who is originally from Cúil Aodha.

If you had anything extra, she would come and drink it and eat it. She stole chicken that another girl and myself had, and by god, we taught her a lesson. We got a chicken and we got some of the diuretics from the ward we were working on, and we filled the chicken. We knew she would steal the meat and she did. She ate it and she was sick for a week. She didn’t steal again!

Over six episodes the pair, discuss more serious issues relating to Síle’s time as a nurse in England, including the streams of women arriving there for termination of pregnancies, from Ireland and Spain in particular.

The series, featuring conversations by Irish speakers from Belfast, Kerry, Dublin, and Donegal, is produced and directed by Milene Fegan, who described Máire and Síle as among the “stars of the show”.

“Síle and Máire have some really funny and some very moving stories,” she said.

Turas Bóthair 2 on TG4 starts on September 6. It is repeated on Tuesdays at 5.30pm.

More in this section