Anton O'Toole - Finscéal de Shaol GAA
Is a fast-paced one-hour bilingual documentary filled with nostalgia, rare archive footage and legendary songs. It tells the fascinating story of the much-loved ‘Blue Panther’ from Synge Street CBS to a giant of Croke Park to an ailing Anton’s continued involvement. Anton was quiet and shy, but he didn’t let his character traits hold him back and became one of the superstar players of the iconic Dublin football team of the 1970s. They transformed the sport in the city and sparked off a Gaelic football revolution in Ireland, with changes that cemented the GAA’s place at the heart of Irish culture and the Synge Street clubman’s story links to the modern-day team.
The story is told against the backdrop of relevant historical events and gives insight into how GAA/sport relates to society in general including diversity and inclusion and retirement from sport is discussed. The interviewees relay their stories with passion, emotion and humour in beautifully lit one-on-one interviews and colourful outdoor surroundings such as the Skyline at Croke Park, seventeen stories high. Anton revisited the Phoenix Park (where his career all began) before he passed away, a re-enactment conveys the emotion around this. Several of Anton’s former team-mates reminisce picknicking in a spectacular setting overlooking the Irish Sea, the Dubs 70’s team have written one of the most compelling chapters of the GAA, but this also helps capture their unique human story.
Anton and Brian Mullins are the only two Dublin born players of the 20th century to win four All-Ireland medals for the capital. O’Toole proved he was still a recognizable and loved character on the streets of Dublin when Glen Hansard serenaded him Christmas 2018 with ‘On Raglan Road’ in Grafton Street, which went worldwide on social media.