The Rewind

The Rewind Recommends: A Documentary About Gaddafi, Beef Deals And Brian Kerr Is On RTE Tonight

The Rewind Recommends: A Documentary About Gaddafi, Beef Deals And Brian Kerr Is On RTE Tonight

If that headline alone isn't enough to pique your interest, then we don't know what to say.

'In League With Gaddafi' brings an assortment of aspects to the table in order to tell an intriguing tale of recent Irish history. The documentary, directed by Kevin Brannigan, brings together recollections of his childhood, when his father would recount tales of a Libyan man sent to Ballymun in the 1980s to ensure animals were slaughtered in the Halal manner. This was a decade where Charles Haughey secured a beef deal with Muammar al-Gaddafi's government, meaning that 100,000 cattle would be exported to Libya.

In 1989, a select team of Bohemians and St Patrick's Athletic made the journey to Tripoli to take on the Libyan national team. Both sides were out of the FAI Cup in its earlier rounds and, with wages needing to be paid, took the Libyan FA up on their offer to play the national team in Benghazi.

The majority of interviews concern the players and staff involved in the footballing trip, however Eamon McCann is on-hand to lend political context to the trip.

The documentary utilises a vast amount of the RTE archive, with the match available thanks to a VHS tape found in Pat Fenlon's attic.

The film explores a time and relationship often overlooked, with football at the core of a story which sees paramilitary involvement, political capital, and most of all, beef.

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In League with Gaddafi is on RTÉ One tonight at 9.35pm. 

 

 

 

Sean Meehan

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