30 years of AIL on TG4 on Sunday
Energia All Ireland League Celebrates 30 Year Anniversary with TG4 Documentary, Energia AIL: A 30-year Rugby Legacy
16th November 2021: Energia, title sponsor of the All-Ireland League and one of Ireland’s leading energy suppliers, are celebrating 30 years of Club rugby’s premier competition this year by producing a captivating documentary featuring key contributors to the All-Ireland League in Ireland, including the IRFU’s Colin McEntee and Amanda Greensmith, former and current Ireland players Gordon D’ Arcy, Keith Earls and Fiona Reidy, and league legends including John O’Mahony, father of Ireland flanker Peter O’Mahony, and former President of Cork Constitution rugby club.
Featured in the documentary, Gordan D’Arcy, Lansdowne RFC, and former Leinster and IRFU player said: “ I grew up with my Lansdowne friends over a period and I consider them family, we shared incredible experiences and we got to an AIL final, and it’s not necessarily about that, but in sport, you’re always building towards something, and we got there. We’re now at the stage where we’re giving back to the club, and anytime someone picks up the phone, I see the lads always saying yes and I will always say yes to the club.”
The documentary, narrated by Máire Treasa Ní Dhubhghaill, will air on TG4 on Sunday 21st November at 17:15, and discusses the significant benefits of the club game to the community and its contribution to Irish Rugby, highlighting the sense of passion and spirit, and its crucial importance in developing the game at a grassroots level.
Des Kavanagh, IRFU President said: “Grassroots rugby is an integral part of the Irish Rugby pathway. Many senior and academy squads in the provinces, not to mention Irish representative teams, are filled with players who started playing mini rugby with their clubs and sharpened their development at senior level in the Energia AIL.Covid-19 has been really difficult, and the amateur game is no different. It’s been hard going for players, coaches, volunteers, and administrators these past two years. It’s great to see the return of Energia AIL this year and with it, this Energia documentary. It celebrates the league’s 30-year legacy and shines a light on what the future holds for Irish Rugby. ‘’
There are 217 clubs on the island of Ireland, and 60 teams playing in the Energia AIL. Energia is committed to supporting the women’s game. This year, two additional teams have joined the women’s division and the documentary features several key women players including former Ireland captain, Niamh Briggs.
Head of Brand at Energia, Amy O’Shaughnessy said: “It is a very exciting and interesting time to be involved with Irish Rugby from grassroots through provincial level and to the national team. The Energia AIL documentary is a wonderful celebration of the action both on and off the pitch and highlights some of the real talent and incredible rugby we have seen from players over the past three decades, as well as the positive impact the league has had on local communities and Irish sport and culture. It is now more important than ever that we celebrate, honour, and recognise all those involved in the Energia AIL. We’re thoroughly looking forward to tuning in with everyone on Sunday 21stas we recognise all those who have made an outstanding contribution to the league over the past 30 years.”
This coming May, after two long years, we will see the return of the Energia AIL finals, making it a very special year for clubs across the country, their players, families and volunteers and the new documentary will give viewers a rare insight into the pride, commitment, and joy that grassroots rugby brings to so many in Ireland.
Energia AIL: A 30 Year Rugby Legacy, will air on TG4 on Sunday 21st at 17:15 and will be available episodically to watch on YouTube from Monday 22nd of November. Each of the four episodes will be released on a weekly basis.