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03rd Oct 2023

Grá ar an Trá Episode 2: Tears, Ghost-style pottery, and the first dumping

Katy Thornton

The couples hurry to focail up as the first elimination looms.

Another week, another episode of Grá ar an Trá, which kicked off with Loman sticking notes to all the kitchen cupboards so no one would forget what was put where – bless him. There was something fairly wholesome about this I have to say, and it wasn’t the only wholesome part of the episode.

With no need for introductions this week – new couple Zak and Talia seem to have fit right in, although are having some trouble getting to know each other, especially because the only way Zak can remember Talia’s name is by comparing it to Tequila – it’s clear from the offset who is feeling each other, and who is not, who is improving at Gaeilge, and who is not. Strangely in some couples, the two don’t go hand in hand.

Ciara and Donall remain close romantically this week, sneaking off outside the leithreas for a smooch which we only hear via their mics, but Ciara is struggling to learn Irish, which has the potential to cause friction in later episodes.

On the other hand Saoirse and Femi are flying it with the Gaeilge, but the pair approach romance very differently, with Femi a slow burner, just out of a long-term relationship, and Saoirse moving faster having only been in situationships before.

Wholesome moments

Gaeilgoir Séan was the star of this episode for more than just his lilac and yellow patterned shirt. After a night of merriment, where Séan hadn’t been drinking and Megan had, the Irish speaker chose not to kiss her, explaining to the lads that he didn’t think it would be consensual.

This was fairly revolutionary to witness; I’m not sure the Love Island lads have ever delved into the discussion of consent on the ITV show, but the Grá ar an Trá lads were as receptive to it as Séan was comfortable bringing it up.

Later on, when Séan had a panic attack in the middle of the night, Loman went out to check on him, and later the other boys gathered in support of their friend, even applauding how open and honest he was about it. Perhaps I’m applauding the bare minimum, but this is the kind of male friendship we should be seeing more of on reality tv, and while it’s something I admittedly didn’t expect to get from Grá ar an Trá, I’m glad I did.

Throw that in with Séan and Megan having their first date in a pottery class, having their own Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore moment, and their wholesome getting to know each other better stroll on the trá, and I was smiling stupidly at my TV screen.


While I initially struggled to resist the urge to roll my eyes at the amount of tears that were shed this episode, I quickly remembered how hard it was learning Irish when I was at school, and how the modh coinníollach sent me into many a spiral in the twelve years I was studying the language, and scolded myself for my disdain.

In a dating show tears are always expected – Love Island has been known for its many moments of “fake” tears – but with the exception of Laura crying due to her struggles with finding a connection, which were equally valid, Ciara, Talia, and Michelle’s tears stemmed from their frustration at feeling they weren’t improving, and that’s fairly relatable.

Spoilers Ahead – you’ve been warned!

While some couples got closer in Episode Two – Saoirse and Femi, Séan and Megan, Michelle and Andrew – others began to rip at the seams after a very illuminating ceili. Sadly it was not to be for Loman and Laura, who realised that what was supposed to be, in James Kavanagh’s words, the ancient Irish art of seduction, actually had the opposite effect on them. When it came time to send someone home, it was pretty clear who would be packing their bags.

In a weirdly emotional turn, it was actually quite sad saying goodbye to Laura and Loman and I would argue that of the couples, they weren’t the worst when it came to learning Gaeilge. However, Cinnire Gráinne perhaps did them a kindness, as we quickly saw the consequences of what happens when the grá just isn’t there.

Overall Thoughts

The show really gets into its stride this week and the couples grow closer, or further apart, and the premise which seemed messy and confusing last week, makes much more sense in episode two.

With one couple gone, and just three weeks to go, the pressure is on for the couples to focail up, and I don’t think it will be as easy to guess who is heading home in Episode Three as it was in Episode Two.

What can I say, I’m hooked.

Header image via Twitter / Virgin Media Television


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