Archive for November 13th, 2009

Rapairi on TG4

13 November 2009

By Lisa Marie Griffith

10111The first of TG4’s new series ‘Rapairi’, an examination of  Irish outlaws from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, aired last night. The opening show made ambitious claims. The show aims to look at 6 outlaws, tories and raparees as they were referred to in the proclamations of the day, their lives and to establish the reality behind the folklore. It also aims to examine why Irish people are disrespectful to the law. As a social historian of the eighteenth century I have often come across ‘tories and raparees’ in my research. These are men who are on the run, have skipped a court hearing, have escaped from jail and who are known and wanted criminals. Many of these men went into hiding, escaped to rural Ireland and lived like bandits and the term basically described villains and criminals. TG4, however, chose to focus on the raparee heroes of early modern Ireland- gentlemen who had been pushed outside the law because of some injustice that they had suffered.

I will have to admit I was a little bemused by TG4’s twenty-first century version of a raparee; the Rossport 5. Interspersed with their attempt to explain what an early-modern raparee was the programme had clips of the Rossport 5 outside court and anti-Shell-protests. Read more