sUNDAY 9TH DECEMBER
POCK OF THE IRISH (POC NA NGAEL) & AN COSC
Irish hurling legend Ger Loughnane is on a mission to discover the Irish connections to ice hockey in Canada. He reveals how the Irish emigrants who settled there over 200 years ago, created the sport and played a key role in developing the game from its inception on a frozen pond in Nova Scotia to the modern arenas of today’s official championships. This is a poignant exploration of the incredible contribution of Irish immigrants in creating and developing a sport that went on to help define the new nation of Canada.
Featuring: Ger Loughnane, Brendan Shanahan, Geraldine Heane
Director Eamonn O Cualain
Preceded by short film An Cosc (9 min)
Based on true events and set in the 1930’s Ireland, the film features two friends from opposite sides of a border town, who share a voracious passion for hurling.
Screening starts 6pm
A MOTHER BRINGS HER SON TO BE SHOT
Filmed over five years, Sinéad O’Shea’s documentary takes a look at a community that is often ignored whenever the subject of peace in Northern Ireland is broached. As the film states, the Good Friday Agreement – an international treaty signed by both the British and Irish governments in 1998 – ended decades-long conflict by catering to different groups; not just the major unionist and nationalist political parties, but paramilitary organisations.
However, in the Creggan housing estate in Derry, normal rules do not apply when it comes to law and order. The police are not called upon to dispense justice when tackling local crime - that task falls to so-called ’dissident republicans’ who reject the 1998 agreement, despite its mandate from 71% of voters. Operating under the name of the IRA – or ’the RA’ in the vernacular of those in Creggan – these groups routinely deliver ’knee-cappings’; gun-shots to the leg, permanently injuring targets.
Executive produced by Joshua Oppenheimer – whose stunning film The Act of Killing took a look at the legacy of genocide in Indonesia – A Mother Brings Her Son to Be Shot may not make for cheerful viewing, but it is an important social document, not least at a time of political uncertainty brought on by the UK’s exit from the European Union.
Northern Ireland, 1983. In what is considered one of the highest security prisons in all of Europe, 38 inmates, all members of the IRA, hijack a food truck and smash their way to freedom. It was the largest break-out in British or Irish history, and a pivotal event of the era known as ’the Troubles’, depicted in Stephen Burke’s film, Maze. The ’Maze’ of the title is Her Majesty’s Prison Maze, known to Irish republican prisoners as Long Kesh, where Bobby Sands died two years prior to the events of the film. Sands was an IRA member who was elected a Member of Parliament for Fermanagh and South Tyrone with over 50% of the vote, while serving 14 years for firearm possession. He died after 66 days on hunger strike, demanding better conditions for Irish republican prisoners.
The shadow of Sands and the nine other hunger strikers who died in the early 1980s looms large in Maze. Indeed, one of the first voices heard in the film is that of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who declared, while Sands and others struggled for political status, that "there is no such thing as political murder, political bombing or political violence." In Burke’s film, we meet inmate Larry Marley (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor), who, despite the nature of his imprisonment, develops a close relationship with officer Gordon Close (Barry Ward), for which he is accused by his fellow IRA men of "betraying the hunger strikers!"
Director Stephen Burke
Cast: Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Barry Ward, Martin McCann
Screening Starts 9pm