Football, beef and the IRA - RTÉ's documentary on League of Ireland players in Libya looks great 7 months ago

Football, beef and the IRA - RTÉ's documentary on League of Ireland players in Libya looks great

Brian Kerr, Colonel Gadaffi, guns and a football match. Don't miss it.

Of all the recent football documentaries that are worth a watch, Kevin Brannigan's feature Kerr's Kids should definitely be close to the top of the list.

The same director has made another documentary featuring the former Ireland manager, this time focussing on a very different tenure of Kerr's managerial career. It could be argued, however, that the subject matter of In League With Gadaffi is far more interesting.

Essentially, in 1989, a League of Ireland selection that was managed by Brian Kerr and comprised of players from Bohemians and St. Patrick's Athletic travelled to Libya to play a game against the national team when the Gadaffi regime was dominant.

In the documenary, Brian Kerr and the League of Ireland players who made the trip to Libya recount their story.

Aided by RTÉ archival footage, it is a story that transcends the football pitch.

At the time of the match, Gaddafi was public enemy number one and the archive footage helps contextualise the overt and covert links between Libya and the Irish state in the 1980s.

Beef went one way in major deals between Irish beef barons and Gaddafi's state; guns came the other way as Gaddafi backed the Provisional IRA as a proxy force in his war on the west.

In League With Gaddafi starts at 9:35pm on RTÉ1 on Monday (9 December).

Take a look at what's in store.

Clip via RTÉ