Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Peig was the Netflix of the time

‘Seanabhean is ea mise anois go bhfuil cos léi insan uaigh is an chos eile ar a bruach’

A new documentary from TG4 will revisit the iconic Peig, her brilliant personality and her art as a storyteller, reclaiming her and portraying her like never before.

Presented by broadcaster Sinéad Ní Uallacháin, TG4 is on a rebranding mission to give her story a retelling – one that will hopefully change her memory in our minds forever.

Sinéad will take the viewer on a fascinating journey to find out about the real seanchaí, listening to recordings of her, meeting those who love her, debunking myths and finally uncovering a legacy to be proud of. 

‘I wonder what Peig would have said, if she knew that we’d still be talking about her, at length, in the year 2021?’ ponders Sinéad.

‘This woman generously shared not only her life story but many other stories that she had collected over the years – I don’t believe the abuse she continuously receives is warranted.’

Peig was one of the greatest Irish storytellers, a born performer and entertainer.

As Máire Ní Dhálaigh, of the OPW’s Blasket Centre, says, ‘Peig was the Netflix of the time’.

Similar to how social media updates and reality TV can be taken out of context, Peig was associated with the old world of piety; an image which was inflicted upon her by the Irish state in a book that was carefully edited to reflect just one version of her life.

The documentary will question how our relationship with her reflects our complex relationship with our heritage, our language and who we are. 

PEIG will air on 10 March 9:30pm on TG4 or can be viewed on the TG4 player. 

A personal note from myself:

It’s not Peig Sayer’s fault. I believe that Peig has been unjustly represented across many media and by our educational system.

She was one of the most important storytellers of our time and an inspiration to me as a storyteller of sorts myself.

At some stage, people need to stop reverting to past gripes and move on and grow. Peig deserves so much better – she was so such an integral part of documenting the oral history of a time gone by. It was not her fault that she and her stories went viral.

Peig was a woman full of life, fun and craic who loved to entertain and drew people to her – there’s a reason why her stories were so important. To understand her fascinating story and to gain a just insight into her life, I recommend listening to Fin Dwyer’s fantastic two podcast episodes:

Books about Peig Sayers that I also recommend:

Peig Sayers – Níl Deireadh Ráite / Not the Final Word

Peig Sayers: Labharfad Le Cach – I Will Speak to You All

Peig. The Autobiography of Peig Sayers of the Great Blasket Island

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I'm a freelance content creator, author, and journalist who has a strong desire to share interesting content about Irish people and things about Ireland at home and abroad. I am constantly curious.

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