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May
09
2012

ILBF documentary investigates the Ballymanus tragedy of 1943

The Irish Language Broadcast Fund documentary, Tubáiste Bhaile Mhánais, follows Dónall Mac Ruairí as he investigates the events surrounding the explosion of a World War II sea mine in the Gaeltacht village of Ballymanus in Donegal in 1943, in which 19 young men lost their lives. It airs on TG4 this Wednesday, 9th May, at 9.30pm.

Tubáiste Bhaile Mhánais meets the few remaining eye witnesses of the event and asks the critical questions - what exactly happened on the 10th May on Ballymanus Strand? Is there any truth in the local view that it could have been prevented and that the authorities took steps to cover up the incident afterwards?

Presenter, Dónall Mac Ruairí is from nearby Rann na Feirste, and grew up hearing stories and rumours about the Ballymanus mine disaster. He was fully aware of the scale of what happened, but knew less about why it happened, and why it had been relatively under reported afterwards. Dónall sets out on a journey to uncover, once and for all, the full story.

We hear eye-witness accounts of the lead up to the explosion, and of the horrific events that unfolded that night. The programme questions how the incident was allowed to occur, and queries how the second biggest loss of life in the ‘emergency’ period in the Irish republic has remained hidden from view for so long.

Dónall Mac Ruairí said: “I thought it was crucial that an attempt be made to get the full facts of the Ballymanus mine disaster before the few remaining eye-witnesses are gone. It’s a terrible story of an incident that devastated a small Gaeltacht community, a community that has always felt that 19 lives were lost needlessly, and that their views on the matter were ignored or dismissed. The Ballymanus mine disaster deserves a much wider audience, and a much clearer understanding of what happened.”

Tubáiste Bhaile Mhánais is a Westway Film for TG4 with support from Northern Ireland Screen’s Irish language Broadcast Fund.

Tubáiste Bhaile Mhánais airs on TG4 on Wednesday 9th May at 9.30pm.


Fiosraíonn clár faisnéise CCG tubaiste Bhaile Mhánais a tharla i 1943

Leanann an clár faisnéise seo atá maoinithe ag an Chiste Craoltóireachta Gaeilge, Tubaiste Bhaile Mhánais, Dónall Mac Ruairí agus é ag fiosrú eachtra a tharla i mBaile Mhánais, baile beag Gaeltachta i nDún na nGall, i 1943. Maraíodh 19 fear óg nuair a phléasc mianach mara ann le linn an Dara Cogadh Domhanda. Craolfar an clár ar TG4 ar an Ceadaoin beag seo, an 9ú Bealtaine ag 9.30 i.n.

I dTubaiste Bhaile Mhánais, buaileann an láithreoir Dónall leis an bheagán daoine a chonaic an t-uafás agus atá fós beo agus déanann sé iarracht a fháil amach cad go díreach a tharla ar an 10ú Bealtaine ar Thrá Bhaile Mhánais. An bhfuil fírinne sa tuairim áitiúil go bhféadfadh an eachtra a sheachaint, agus go ndearna na húdaráis iarracht an fhírinne a cheilt ina diaidh?

Is as Rann na Feirste, cóngarach do Bhaile Mhánais, don láithreoir, Dónall Mac Ruairí, agus d’fhás sé aníos ag éisteacht le scéalta is ráflaí faoin eachtra. Bhí a fhios aige gur tubaiste uafásach a bhí ann ach ba bheag a bhí ar eolas aige faoin na fáthanna ar tharla sé nó faoin na fáthanna nár tuairiscíodh móran é ina dhiaidh. Téann Dónall ar thuras chun iomlán an scéil a fháil amach.

Cluineann muid cur síos ó na finnéithe faoin tréimhse agus faoin uafás a tharla an oíche sin. Déanann an clár imscrúdú ar na fáthanna ar tharla an eachtra, agus fiosraítear cén fáth ar cuireadh an dara cailliúint bheatha ba mhó le linn na “Éigeandála” i bPoblacht na hÉireann faoi cheilt ar feadh na mblianta.

Dúirt láithreoir an chláir, Dónall Mac Ruairí : “Ba rí-thábhachtach iarracht a dhéanamh sonraí iomlána thragóid mianaigh Bhaile Mhánais a fháil amach sular imigh an beagán finnéithe atá fágtha ar shlí na fírinne. Is drochscéal amach é faoi eachtra a ghoill go mór ar phobal Gaeltachta, pobal a mheas i gcónaí gur cailleadh 19 duine gan chúis, agus nach raibh aird ar a gcuid tuairimí faoin tubaiste. Ba chóir go mbeadh an scéal seo i mbéal an phobail go náisiúnta le go dtuigfí mar is ceart cad é go díreach a tharla ar an lá uafásach sin agus ó shin.

Is léiriú de chuid Westway Films é Tubaiste Bhaile Mhanais do TG4 le tacaíocht ó Chiste Craoltóireachta Gaeilge Scáileán Thuaisceart Éireann.

Tubaiste Bhaile Mhánais, Ceadaoin, 9ú Bealtaine, TG4, 9.30 i.n.

 


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