Joseph Plunkett and Grace Gifford (Alec Rose and Hilary Bowen-Walsh).

Story of Grace Gifford and Joseph Mary Plunkett opens new Scéalta Grá series

Six new Irish live stories featured in TG4 series

Following the success of season one, Scéalta Grá na hÉireann is back for a second season - six new couples, with six new captivating and heartbreaking stories! These stories cover a wide range of historical events, including the 1798 Rebellion, the Easter Rising, the Irish War of Independence and the American Civil War.

(TG4, 6th September, 8.30pm) The captivating story of Grace Gifford and Joseph Plunkett is widely recognised as one of the most tragic love stories in Ireland's history. Grace and Joe are brought together by their love for Ireland and their shared ideals and spirituality. They are married in Kilmainham Gaol but their life together is cut tragically short by the violence of the 1916 Easter Rising. Their love for each other and their country will always be remembered.

Roller skating might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of historical revolutionaries, but Joseph Plunkett was a man of many talents and passions. In the early 20th century, roller-skating was a popular pastime in Dublin, and Plunkett was not only an advocate but also a regular skater.

But Joseph Plunkett was more than just a roller skater; he was a poet, an artist, and a patriot who played a pivotal role in Ireland's struggle for freedom. Their story unfolds against the backdrop of the 1916 Easter Rising, a time of great turmoil and sacrifice in Irish history. In Kilmainham Gaol, where Joseph awaited his sentence, he and Grace exchanged vows, pledging their love for each other just hours before Joseph faced a firing squad for his involvement in the Rising. It's a heart-wrenching tale of love, dedication, and the ultimate sacrifice.

Joseph Plunkett's life was not limited to roller-skating; he also spent significant time battling tuberculosis in the warmer climates of the Mediterranean and North Africa, including Algiers. Even during his recuperation, Plunkett found solace in roller skating, as documented in his diary entries from 1911.

Scéalta Grá na hÉireann brings to light this extraordinary aspect of Joseph Plunkett's life and character, shedding new light on a revolutionary figure often remembered solely for his role in the struggle for Irish independence.

Lady Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby (Jacinta Sweeney, Míde Dineen).

(TG4, 13th September, 8.30pm) Lady Eleanor Butler of Kilkenny Castle and Sarah Ponsonby of Woodstock House, were two women who, despite the social norms of their time and the many obstacles they face, were determined to be together. They defied societal expectations and refused to conform to traditional gender roles. Their story is an inspirational tale of undying love and unbreakable courage. This couple's story is a testament to the power of love, and to the importance of being true to yourself.

(TG4, 20th September, 8.30pm) Michael Joseph O'Rahilly and Nancy Brown were as devoted to one another as they were to the fight for Irish independence. The recent demolition of their home at 40 Herbert Park is a stark reminder of the government's disregard for preserving the country's historical and cultural heritage. However, despite the loss of their physical home, the legacy of their love for each other lives on through O'Rahilly's farewell letter to Nancy, written as he lay mortally wounded on the streets of Dublin, during the 1916 Easter Rising.

Matilda and WolfeTone - Danielle Sheehan, Aaron O'Neill.

(TG4, 27th September, 8.30pm) Matilda and Theobald Wolfe Tone have a whirlwind romance that plays out in the era of revolutions. From Ireland to France and America this power couple almost bring the British Empire crashing to its knees and brush shoulders with Napoleon himself. Wolfe Tone is so vividly remembered today thanks to Matilda’s efforts in preserving his diaries and political writings in the now famous two volume biography, the Life of Theobald Wolfe Tone.

(TG4, 4th October, 8.30pm) Leslie Price and Tom Barry, the couple that brought down an Empire. Their respective involvement with the Cumann na mBán and the West Cork Brigade's flying column, play a key role in undermining the British Empire's operations in Ireland during the War of Independence. After the Civil War, Leslie Price contributes to the betterment of the Irish State, helping to establish the Irish Red Cross, Gorta and VHI, all of which still operate to this day. Tom’s book ‘Guerilla Days in Ireland’ is the seminal work on the Irish fight for freedom and on the tactics of guerilla warfare. Their combined efforts during the revolution, made them one of the most active and influential couples of their time.

Jenny Verner and John Mitchel (JohnDineen, ErinBarclay).

(TG4, 11th October, 8.30pm) John Mitchel and Jenny Verner's story is one of forbidden love, sacrifice, and political turmoil. Mitchel, a leading figure in the Irish nationalist movement, and Verner, a prominent member of the Protestant gentry, fell in love despite the disapproval of their families and the social divide of their time. Their commitment to one another and to the cause of Irish freedom will see them traverse 4 continents, numerous wars and years of incarceration.

This second season of Scéalta Grá na hÉireann promises to be even more captivating and more heartbreaking than the first, as viewers are transported back in time to experience the love stories of Ireland's most iconic couples. With an expert team of historians the show brings these tales to life in a visceral and compelling way. We are thrilled to share these stories with our audience and can't wait for everyone to tune in and fall in love with Scéalta Grá na hÉireann, all over again.

Scéalta Grá na hÉireann is a Bo Media Production for TG4, made with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.