New series on great Irish love stories starts with Michael Collins and Kitty Kiernan

The first episode will air on TG4 on Wednesday at 8.30pm.
New series on great Irish love stories starts with Michael Collins and Kitty Kiernan

Scéalta Grá na hÉireann is a six-part factual series that examines some of the iconic relationships throughout the history of our land. The series will premiere with Ireland’s greatest and most tragic love story, the love triangle between Michael Collins, Kitty Kiernan and Collins’ best friend Harry Boland. Photo: Bo Media

A new series, which will look at some of the most iconic relationships throughout Irish history, will start with an insight into the love-life of Michael Collins.

Scéalta Grá na hÉireann is a six-part series which is being brought to TG4 by Bo Media, a Cork-based company.

The first episode, which will air on Wednesday at 8.30pm, will look at 'Ireland’s greatest and most tragic love story,' the love triangle between Michael Collins, Kitty Kiernan and Collins’ best friend Harry Boland.

The series aims to bring old love stories back to life, with the help of never-seen-before colourised photos, restored by the people behind “Old Ireland in Colour” and the award-winning team at “My Colourful Past”.

Michael Collins and Kitty Kiernan wrote more than 300 love letters to each other. Photo: Bo Media
Michael Collins and Kitty Kiernan wrote more than 300 love letters to each other. Photo: Bo Media

“These stories echo through time and each one has played a major part in the formation of modern Ireland,” said a spokesperson for Bo Media.

Diarmaid Ferriter, Professor of History at UCD, discussed the love between one of Ireland’s best-known revolutionaries and his fiancée.

“There’s no doubt that Collins was the love of Kiernan’s life, perhaps that becomes even more pronounced as a result of the way that he was lost to her,” said Mr Ferriter.

It is understood that the couple had planned to wed in November 1922, however, Collins was assassinated in August of that same year.

Other episodes in the series will look at the love stories of such icons as Gráinne Ní Mháille, the ‘Pirate Queen, and her husband Risteárd an Iarainn, Oscar Wilde’s doomed love affair with Lord Alfred Douglas and perhaps the better-known story of Maud Gonne and WB Yeats.

“Each episode, each powerful love story is anchored by a tangible item that represents and reflects the relationship in each story. For example, the love letters, over 300 in all, written by Michael Collins and Kitty Kiernan during the most violent period in Irish history,” said a spokesperson for Bo Media.

It is understood that Michael Collins and Kitty Kiernan had planned to wed in November 1922, however, Collins was assassinated in August of that same year. Photo: Bo Media
It is understood that Michael Collins and Kitty Kiernan had planned to wed in November 1922, however, Collins was assassinated in August of that same year. Photo: Bo Media

“These items give the viewer a direct connection to these historical stories and all of the items in the series can be seen today in museums or in the landscape throughout Ireland,” they added.

According to the show’s producer, Derek Nagle, the first episode will give us an insight into Michael Collins' life which is rarely seen.

“We always learn about the work he did, but we often overlook his personal life. He had a relationship. He was like us all, he wanted love, and this shows the emotional side of the man,” Mr Nagle said.

The director says he has a feeling Irish viewers will enjoy the series and the discoveries it brings.

“Irish people love to gossip. We love to gossip about people's love lives even better. And these are historical figures which everyone already knows about and has an opinion on,” he added.

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