The group pictured on Gabhla island.

Mayo footballer heads to Irish college for new TV series

RTÉ’s new series, Réaltaí na Gaeltachta, is sending five familiar faces to Irish college at Coláiste Bhríde, Rann na Feirste, in the heart of the Donegal Gaeltacht, to take on the challenge of re-learning the Irish language.

Mayo footballer-turned-AFL-player Oisín Mullin will be joined by sports broadcaster Des Cahill, writer Amanda Brunker, comedian Fred Cooke, and Tiktok star Lauren Whelan as they spend one week living with a Bean an Tí - as real students with classes, céilís and obair bhaile.

At the end of the week, the ultimate test awaits: have they all got what it takes to become Réaltaí na Gaeltachta?

Dusting off their copybooks and packing their bags, the five students make their way to one of Ireland's most famous Irish colleges where they spend one week living the full student experience - all as Gaeilge.

Under the watchful eye of Bean an Tí Caitlín Nóra Frainc, Des, Fred and Oisín share a room in the boys' house. Meanwhile in the girls' house, Amanda and Lauren are right at home with Bean an tí Maighread Mhic Grianna and her granddaughter Aisling.

Under the tutelage of Múinteoir Niall Ó Sluain and helped by a host of local faces, the five immerse themselves in the summer college experience. Each day they will follow a traditional Irish college timetable – classes in the morning with múinteoirí Niall and Méabh, followed by busy afternoons of activities as Gaeilge which include singing, dancing and kayaking.

At the end of the week, each student will build up to a ‘scrúdú béil’ to see just how much their grasp of the Irish language has grown. With a prize-giving at the talent show at the end of the week, who will come out on top as true Réaltaí na Gaeltachta?

Set against the stunning coastal backdrop of west Donegal, it’s not long before the students find themselves on a road to discovery, to a place where the language reveals itself to them in a light they’ve never seen before.

For everyone who’s ever been to Irish college - and for anyone who’s ever wondered what it would be like - Réaltaí na Gaeltachta provides a feel-good dose of nostalgia that celebrates what it feels like to get to know and love our glorious native language, all over again.

* Tune in to the new series of Réaltaí na Gaeltachta this Tuesday, February 28, at 7 p.m. on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player.