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Film Details

Series/Newsreel titleANAMNOCHT
Episode/Item titlePatriot Game, The
Gnó Gan Chríoch
Óglach
Volunteer
Production companyAkajava Films
SponsorBord Scannan Na hEireann/Irish Film Board
History Channel, The
TG4
Country of originIreland
ProducerCULLETON, Brendan
DirectorMALDEA, Irene
Script/AdaptationCULLETON, Brendan
PhotographyEMERSON, Declan
ROLDOS, Nuria
EditingMALDEA, Irene
Colourcol
SoundDigital Stereo
Duration50
Release date2007
TX date28/03/2007
CopyTG4
SummaryDocumentary charting the history and evolution of Irish Republicanism. The programme focuses on the guerilla border campaigns from1956 to 1962 (which ended due to lack of public support and a clampdown on the terrorists by Eamon De Valera and Minister Charles J. Haughey) to the Civil Rights Movement in the late 60s and the beginnings of a more ruthless and all-encompassing war in Northern Ireland. The documentary traces the activities of the IRA in chronological structure: the beginnings of a paramilitary war against the historic partition of the borders between the republic and British-occupied Northern Ireland in the mid 50s, political attempts at breaking down partition, unsuccessful attempts at fundraising in the US, the re-emergence of the now illegal IRA, the volunteers underestimation of the innate opposition of Unionists to Dublin rule, and the struggle against the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and the B Specials; the plight of Catholics in the North; the economic impoverishment of the Republic and the influence of the Wolfe Tone commemorations in 1962 in re-charging republicanism fronted by nationalists Tony Magan, Tomas MacCurtain and Paddy McLogan and the IRA Army Council who advocated a United Ireland through physical force; the Army Council’s assimilation of Sinn Fein, the establishment of the United Irishmen propaganda newspaper, and the beginnings of a military campaign aimed exclusively at the North of Ireland; the raid on and seizing of weapons from Gough British Army Military Barracks in Armagh in 1952; the issuing of a key IRA statement at the annual Republican parade at Bodenstown, Republic of Ireland, in 1954, and the subsequent military training of the volunteers (to which the Garda Siochana in the republic turned a blind eye); the failed raid on Omagh Barracks (based on information provided by Republican intelligence officer Sean Garland) in 1954 and the subsequent trail for treason against the Queen of eight volunteers which resulted in a surge in IRA support; the unsuccessful raid on Arbourfield British Army Barracks at Berkshire, England, in August 1955, headed by Ruairí Ó Bradaigh, which lead to several life sentences being handed out to volunteers and a further increase in public support in the Republic; the IRA’s establishment of Operation Harvest (under Seán Cronin) in Dec 1956 - in which flying columns infiltrate and attack targets in Northern Ireland - a successful campaign which nonetheless lead to the British government’s imposition of internment policies in the province; the aborted attack in Dec 1956 by flying columns on the Derrylin RUC Barracks in which RUC constable John Scally died, and Unionist reaction; a further unsuccessful attack on the RUC Barracks at Brookborough, Northern Ireland, in January 1957, in which volunteers Seán South and Fergal O’Hanlon, died – and the consequent reaction of the governments’ north and south by sealing the border and ordering the arrest of all known republicans; the effect of the funeral of Seán South in Limerick, January 1957, in consolidating public support for the nationalists and the IRA; the collapse in 1957 of the southern government and the subsequent success of Sinn Fein in the general election; the coming to political power of Eamon de Valera who would suppress the IRA by imposing interment and arrests and imprisonment in the Curragh Internment Camp; the adoption of a new Army Council by the IRA, renewed campaigns despite public aversion to violence, and the avoidance of attacks on the RUC for fear of pogroms; the death of several IRA volunteers while preparing a mine at a safe house in Edentubber, Crossmaglen, in November 1957, leading to further public disenchantment; Minister for Justice, Charles Haughey’s introduction, in November, 1961, of military courts to try volunteers; and the IRA Army Council’s statement, in February 1962, of a stand-down and dissolution of military activities. The documentary ends with an assessment by eyewitnesses of the effects of the campaigns on subsequent historical events in Northern and Southern Ireland. Interviewees: Tony Meade, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, labhrás Ó Donghaile, Breandán Ó Raghallaigh, Tomas MacCurtain (archive), Brian Faulkner (archive), Eamonn Ó Buadhigh, Robert Kehoe, Patrick O’Regan, Robert Briscoe TD (archive), and Eamon De Valera (archive). The documentary makes extensive use of archive footage, amateur propaganda footage, newsreels, photographs, eyewitness accounts, and reconstructions of key events.
NoteThis documentary contains extracts from FINTONA HOUSING – A STUDY OF HOUSING DISCRIMINATION (1953), and the newsreel PRESIDENT DE VALERA IN THE US.

The working title for this film was ÓGLACH (VOLUNTEER).
LanguageEnglish
Production creditsp.c.: Akajava Films, spon: Bord Scannán na hEireann, TG4, léirithe/sc: Brendan Culleton, stiúrtha/eagathóir: Irena Maldea, stiúrthóir ceamera: Declan Emerson, buncheol cumtha & seinnte: Tom Lawrence, treachtaireacht: Barry Barnes, eagarthóir scripté: Niall Murphy, taighdeoirí: Dr. Edward Culleton, Stella Ahern, comhairleoir staire: Cr. Brian Hanley, ceamaradóir: Declan King, grianghrafadóir: Dieter Auner, Agata Stolnska-Morris, dearthóir grafaici: Clig Negusanu, cúntóir léirithe: Katie Lowry, feistas: Louise Stanton, RTÉ, Flame Torbay Costume Hire, Munster Military Vehicle and Re-Enactment Group, Emmet kennedy, Terry Rogers, armadóir: Laurence Thermes, tiomání: Seamus Kelly, stoc: KODAK, telecine: Windmill Lane, saoreaidí reámhlíne: Akajava Films, gradú: Eugene McCrystal, eagarthóir líne: Dominic Lord, fuaim: Joe Dolan, Paul Emerson, eagarthóir fuaime/dubala: Keith Alexander, eagarthóir cúnta: Brian O’Toole, Patrick Thornton, aistritheor scripté, aistritheor: Daragh Bass, cartlann: Cartlann Scannán na hEireann, Institiúid Scannán na hEireann, Clarke Collection, An Post, An Roinn Gnóthaí: Eachtrachta, ITN Source, Reuters, British Pathé, Fox Movietone, BBC Motion Gallery, CBS, fotheidil: Europus, búiochas le: Charles Murphy, Joe McElduff, Sean Garland, Larry Bateson, John Kelly, Frank McConnell, Matthew Murphy, Colum Culleton, Ebony Corcoran, Sandra Maldea, Lawrence Roe, Dr. Pat Wallace, Greagóir O’Ceallaigh, Ard-Mhúsaem na hEireann, Alan Maher, BSE, Sunniva O’Flynn, Brendan McCarthy, Ardmore Studios, Kenneth Clarke, David Knox, léirithóir feidhmeannach Micheeal Ó Meallaigh (TG4), Noemi Ferrer (Bord Scannán na hEireann). ‘The Patriot Game’ (c) akajava films 2007.
Genre/CategoryTV Documentary
Historical
KeywordsIRA
Irish Republican Army
Irish history

Contact: irishfilm@tcd.ie | Last updated: Nov 27 2006.