The Toughest Summer
AIB, sponsors of the All-Ireland GAA Football and Hurling Club Championships, the All-Ireland Camogie Club Championships and the GAA All-Ireland Senior Football Championships, in celebration of the strength and tenacity of GAA communities nationwide, have teamed up with award-winning documentary filmmaker, Ross Whitaker, to tell the story of GAA’s Toughest Summer.
Ballyhale Shamrocks and Kilkenny hurler TJ Reid joined AIB at the launch of “The Toughest Summer” series, made up of five webisodes as well as a full-length feature documentary to air on RTE 1 at the end of August. TJ Reid features in the first webisode that will be available on AIB’s YouTube channel from 1pm on Thursday 23rd July at www.youtube.com/aib.
Following the unprecedented halt to the games we love, AIB’s “The Toughest Summer” will chart the return to GAA of players, coaches, volunteers and clubs and the joy that being able to restart Gaelic Games has brought to communities nationwide. The story will document GAA and Camogie communities as they look towards the first year without an All-Ireland Series to follow the County Club Championships and the first ever winter All Ireland Inter-County Championships. The Toughest Summer will be a celebration of all that is wonderful about GAA. It will highlight the strength of GAA grassroots and the power of the GAA community as they show their support across the country in navigating a summer like no other, proving just why GAA is such a special sport and community, quite unlike any other in the world.
Michael Dargan, Head of Consumer Marketing, added "GAA plays a unique role at the heart of local communities. This was apparent by the contribution of so many in the GAA to support their communities across the island of Ireland, especially more so over the past four months. We at AIB are hugely proud of our long-standing support of both the GAA and the Camogie Association and were delighted to be able to commission one of Ireland’s leading filmmakers, Ross Whitaker, to tell the story of The Toughest Summer - the summer without sport as we know it - and the return of the games we love. The Toughest Summer will be a celebration of Gaelic Games and its unique role in making both our local communities and us as a people stronger.
Speaking about The Toughest Summer, Ross Whitaker said: “I am really excited about collaborating with AIB to tell the story of “The Toughest Summer”. I have been a fan of AIB GAA’s #TheToughest campaign from the outset and its celebration of GAA as a sport. The role played by so many in the GAA during the pandemic showcases why Gaelic Games is such a special sport, unique in so many ways in world sport. In what other sport for example, did elite athletes play such a key role in a country’s response to the virus. It is for this reason that I am honoured to be able to tell the story of how the GAA community make it through this strange summer and in doing so help the country survive this crisis. The Toughest Summer will be a celebration of GAA, its contribution to Ireland and I hope will leave us all inspired and hopeful about our future.”
The Toughest Summer will air weekly, every Thursday at 1pm, on YouTube at www.youtube.com/aib for five weeks from July 23rd through August 20th with Episode One following legendary Ballyhale Shamrocks and Kilkenny hurler TJ Reid as he shares his own experience of these past testing months. The final feature length documentary will air on RTE 1 in late August.