GAA supporters will be more than familiar with the documentary series Laochra Gael shown on TG4 by this stage, but on Wednesday night TG4 produced one of its most fascinating episodes to date with Lar Corbett going under the spotlight.
For years now TG4 have been in a league of their own when it comes to coverage of the GAA. GAA BEO has allowed us to witness games we otherwise would not have seen as well its Monday evening highlights show.
However, the channel’s documentary series Laochra Gael is arguably the jewel in the TG4 GAA crown.
Beginning in May of 2001, the show has grown in popularity with each passing year. Up to now it had always followed the same pattern. This year, however, we are being gifted to an hour-long episode, also visiting some important sites in a new format.
Tipperary hurling legend Lar Corbett was the first to undergo the Laochra Gael treatment in 2018, and the episode certainly proved to be hugely entertaining. ‘Understanding Lar Corbett’ was both the title and the theme of this week’s episode.
It’s well-known that Lar Corbett has proven to be an interesting character throughout his hurling career, and this week’s episode provided an insight into the mind of one of the game’s most creative forwards ever.
The 36-year-old’s juvenile career did not follow the traditional pattern of progressing through the development squads to minor. Corbett never hurled minor for Tipp, instead breaking into the senior side through impressing with Thurles Sarsfields.
The pub owner was certainly a complex character and this was clear through his unique relationships and views on former managers. These relationships, along with injuries, it would appear affected Corbett’s form on the field.
He professed a particular fondness for former bosses Nicky English, Liam Sheedy and Eamon O’Shea, all of whom guided Corbett to All-Ireland finals. Some of his other managers weren’t quite as successful, or respected, however.
But one man stood out among the rest. It was clear that there was no love held for ‘Babs’ Keating by the 2010 Hurler of the Year, with Corbett professing his belief that Tipp’s 2007 loss to Wexford was the turning point in Tipperary hurling.
The 2010 All-Ireland final will always stand out for most as the defining moment of Corbett’s career.
Unfortunately, there is an equally memorable moment in his glittering career which is not so fondly remembered.
Lar also discussed the circus which was the 2012 All-Ireland semi-final. This was, of course, the memorable game in which Corbett spent the game following Tommy Walsh rather than the other way around.
It’s clear that Tipperary’s highest ever goalscorer does feel disappointment in the heavy criticism he alone came in for following the defeat and did not feel the tactic was the sole reason for the defeat.
All in all the episode was an enjoyable look back at a stellar hurling career. It was also a thrilling look into the mind of one of the country’s most devastating attackers and is well worth a watch.
The highest of praise must once again go to TG4 for producing a show of such quality and let’s hope the coming week’s episodes are of the same continued high standards.
— Spórt TG4 (@SportTG4) February 28, 2018
The show will be repeated again on Friday March 2 at 11:25pm.