New documentary series exploring iconic Irish love stories to premiere with Cork figure

New documentary series exploring iconic Irish love stories to premiere with Cork figure

Letters to Kitty Kiernan from Michael Collins. Picture via TG4.

A new documentary series exploring the most iconic Irish love stories throughout history is to premiere with Ireland's "greatest and most tragic love story", that of Michael Collins and Kitty Kiernan. 

Set to air on TG4, Scéalta Grá na hÉireann is a six-part series which will commence on January 13.

The first episode is set to explore the "love triangle" between Michael Collins, Kitty Kiernan and Collins’ best friend Harry Boland.

Longford native Catherine Brigid Kiernan, affectionately known as 'Kitty' met first met Michael Collins in 1918 when he stayed at her family hotel in Granard with Harry Boland.

The two men were canvassing for the by-election in Longford and both quickly fell for Kitty.

Kitty Kiernan of Granard, County Longford. She was closely involved with Irish politician Harry Boland and got engaged to Michael Collins on 8th October 1921. Photo: Walshe/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
Kitty Kiernan of Granard, County Longford. She was closely involved with Irish politician Harry Boland and got engaged to Michael Collins on 8th October 1921. Photo: Walshe/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

She kept in contact with both men, but in the end, Collins was to emerge the triumphant suitor.

"Michael Collins and Kitty Kiernan kept their love alive through the 300 letters they exchanged between 1919 and 1922. 

"These correspondence offer a stunning insight into a tragic love story that took place during a period of great violence, upheaval and change for the nation from the War of Independence, through the Treaty Negotiations and The Irish Civil War," the documentary makers note. 

These letters, preserved in the Cork Public Museum, are captured in high definition in this series. 

"It’s an extraordinary archive, there’s nothing else like it in relation to a love story between such a well-known politician and his love," Diarmaid Ferriter, Professor of History at UCD commented. 

The second episode of the series examines "the doomed love affair" between the Irish patriot Robert Emmet and Sarah Curran that took place during the Irish rebellion of 1803. 

Also explored in the series is Oscar Wilde's illicit love affair with Lord Alfred 'Bosie' Douglas in Victorian London, the unrequited love story between W.B. Yeats and Maud Gonne and more. 

Scéalta Grá na hÉireann is a Bo Media Production and will air on TG4 on Wednesday, January 13 at 8:30pm.

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