Newsreels, irish studies, irish film, cinema, gaelic games, sport in ireland, sport and film
From the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, and over the next two decades, arose great efforts in Ireland to augment political independence from Britain with enhanced cultural separation. During this period the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) enjoyed a boom in numbers of players and supporters, thus confirming hurling and Gaelic football as the definitively Irish national games and the association itself as the most popular mass movement for the expression of independent Irish identity. Yet paradoxically, given the popular association of Gaelic games with Irish independence, nearly all footage of these games from that time was produced by foreign companies with a strong British bias. This article will focus primarily on the coverage of Pathé, a leading newsreel company in this period, through an examination of the content of relevant films in the online digital archive of British Pathé, and will explore the conditions of their production and reception in Ireland, including by the GAA, which was usually wary of portrayals in the British media.