TG4's new documentary about the Tyrone All-Ireland dynasty is essential viewing for GAA fans
"We would not be weighed down by the disappointments of the past or the pain we had endured."
A new TG4 documentary will show "how a unique generation transformed Gaelic football forever" and it's airing in just a couple of days' time.
Officially launched on Friday by All-Ireland winners Mark Harte, Brian McGuigan and Kevin Hughes, Tír Eoghain: The Unbreakable Bond premieres this Sunday, 26 August on TG4 at 8.30pm.
The production tells the story of how Mickey Harte’s minor teams of 1997 and 1998, in spite of despairing lows, went on to drive their county to three All-Ireland senior titles.
Ahead of next week’s final pitting Tyrone against Dublin, the doc examines how a county that had failed to capture Sam Maguire before 2003 found the belief to become champions.
Contributions come from Tyrone manager Mickey Harte and All-Ireland winners Brian McGuigan, Enda McGinley, Mark Harte and Kevin Hughes as the documentary charts how the seeds of Tyrone’s success were sown by a special group of minor players from 1997 and 1998.
13 of these players went on to feature on the Tyrone team as they claimed the Sam Maguire in 2003, 2005 and 2008.
Brian McGuigan recalls some especially emotional motivation for the team back then, having lost friend and teammate Paul McGirr following an accident during an Ulster Minor Championship match in 1997.
One year on, the Omagh bombing brought further devastation.
"From the death of our friend and teammate Paul McGirr to the utter devastation of the Omagh bombing, these players went through more than anything a group of young men should," said McGuigan.
"We faced challenges on and off the pitch and came through them because of the incredible bond we had with each other and the guidance of our management team led by Mickey Harte.
"We would not be weighed down by the disappointments of the past or the pain we had endured and believed we could achieve a success never done before by any other Tyrone team.”
The documentary features exclusive behind the scenes home video footage of the 1997 and 1998 Tyrone minor teams, as well as rarely seen archival footage from their minor matches.
It also boasts footage of a 20-year reunion, featuring the minor team from 1998 and manager Mickey Harte.
Helmed by award-winning director Declan McGrath, Tír Eoghain: The Unbreakable Bond airs this Sunday 26 August on TG4 at 8.30pm.