Radharc Documentaries in the Hesburgh Library

Anois teacht an earraigh beidh an lá ag dul chun síneadh,
Is tar éis na féil Bríde ardóidh mé mo sheol.

Most Irish schoolchildren were introduced to those lines at some time, and so the first of February, in addition to being the feastday of Saint Brigid, is associated with Raifteirí the poet’s celebration of Cill Aodáin in County Mayo. The lines are translated as follows:

Now with the coming of spring the day will begin to stretch,
And after St. Brigid’s Day I will hoist my sail.

Bridgits NightAmong the Hesburgh Library’s DVDs is a short documentary in Irish, made in 1961, describing Donegal traditions on the night of St. Brigid. The eight-minute film shows the family making crosses, preparing food and following the traditional prayers for the protection of Saint Brigid.

This is only one of the films in the Radharc collection, a very rich and interesting collection of documentaries in the library’s DVD collection.  Radharc documentaries were made by a Catholic group headed by Fr. Joe Dunn, from the early 1960s until the 1990s. The documentaries cover topics that were of interest to Irish Catholics, including history and social concerns, and also the affairs of other countries, particularly where Irish emigrants or Irish missionaries were involved. Thus there are documentaries on the Philippines, Mexico, Nigeria, El Salvador, the United States and England, with coverage of food aid to Biafra, religious orders, and Irish immigrant workers in England.

For a guide to the Radharc Collection at the Hesburgh Library, please consult the Libguide Ireland On Film: Radharc Documentaries.

These and other DVDs are in the Library’s Lower Level.


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