The Great Book of Ireland documentary airs on RTÉ One on Thurs 20 August

19th August 2020

A documentary on The Great Book of Ireland will be broadcast on RTÉ One on Thursday 20 August at 10.10pm. 

The programme tells the story what has been called Ireland's modern-day Book of Kells - the Great Book includes the original work of 144 poets, 121 artists and 9 composers.

Theo Dorgan of Poetry Ireland and Gene Lambert of Clashganna Mills were the original architects of the idea and editors of the book, which was acquired by University College Cork (UCC) in 2013. It was originally conceived in 1989 to help fund the capital plans for the two support organisations for artists and writers. 

The 278-page single volume vellum manuscript includes poems by Seamus Heaney and Michael D Higgins, current President of Ireland, who was then a poet in his late forties. 

The Great Book took two years to complete. Among the contributing writers are Michael Longley, Eavan Boland, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Dennis O’Driscoll, and John Montague. Bono and Daniel Day-Lewis also feature.

The documentary was commissioned by UCC and is directed by Alan Gilsenan. 

Watch the trailer below: