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Film Details

Series/Newsreel titleUACHTARÁIN
Episode/Item titleClár 4: Erskine Childers
Programme 4: Erskine Childers
Production companyTG4
Country of originIreland
Colourcol
SoundDigital Stereo
Duration53
TX channelTG4
TX date09/05/2007
CopyTG4
SummaryFourth in the series features a profile of President Erskine Childers. Fourth in the series features a profile of President Erskine Childers. The programme begins with the inauguration of Arsine Childers as President of Ireland before returning to the details of his life leading up to the presidency: his birth in London in 1905; his father, the novelist Robert Arsine Childers, and mother Molly Osgood; their move to Glendalough, Wicklow, in the early 1900s; how Childers Sr. and Osgood smuggled German arms into Ireland through Howth on the Asgard in 1914; Childers Sr.’s growing Republicism following the events of the 1916 Easter Rising and the family’s permanent move to Ireland while Erskine Jr. attended the Gresham Boarding School in England. The programme then goes on to outline how, following several visits to his family in Ireland, the young Chiders also became a committed nationalist; Childers Sr.’s involvement in the Treaty negotiations and dissatisfaction with the outcome; Childers membership of De Valera’s anti-Treaty side in the Irish Civil War; the execution of Childers Sr. in November 1922 – and the message of reconciliation and forgiveness communicated to his son before his death, an event that would haunt the latter for the rest of his life. The film then covers Childers’ education at Cambridge University in 1924, and his subsequent job as a tour guide in Paris where, it is suggested, he nodded to forget the events of 1922; his marriage in the early 1930s and return to Ireland as Advertising Manger of the Irish press at the invitation of Eamon De Valera; his subsequent election to the Fianna Fail party. After the death of Childers' wife in 1950, he marries Rita Dudley in Paris against the wishes of Archbishop Charles McQuaid who disapproves of the marriage on sectarian grounds. The film traces his development within the Fianna Fail Party as Minister for Post and Telegraphs, and Minister of Lands, Fishing and Forestry, and his growing commitment to the Party; his reputation for aloofness with his colleagues; his appointment, in 1960, as Tanaiste and Minister of Health; his involvement in the 1970 Arms Crisis in Fianna Fail (in which Charles J. Haughey and Neil Blaney were sacked) and strong support for Taoiseach Jack Lynch and opposition to a violent solution to the Troubles in Northern Ireland. The final section of the documentary looks at Childers’ role as the Irish President. It is stated that Childers’ initially had little interest in the position, but was persuaded by Jack Lynch and was elected against fellow candidate Tom O’Higgins, following a unique election campaign. The film ends with an assessment of Childers’ role as President, how he had to learn to suppress his political views, the emphasis on his literacy and intellect, and his sudden death of a heart attack in December 1974. Participants include: Tim Pat Coogan; Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh; Diarmaid Ferritter; TK Whitaker; Neilli Mulcahy Bacon; Risteárd Mulcahy; an tAthair Pádraig Ó Fiannachta; Jim Duffy; Garrett Fitzgerald; Joe Lee; David Andrews, Barry Desmond; Michael D. Higgins; Turtle Bunbury; Ulick O’Connor; Pádraig Faulkner; Declan Kiberd; Aras an Uachtarain; Wally Young, Gerry Flynn and Nessa Childers.
LanguageIrish
Production creditsp.c.: Dearg Films, Sight & Sound (Scéim Maoiniúcháin Craoltóireachta), buíoclas: Nessa Childers, Tim Pat Coogan; Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh; Diarmaid Ferritter; TK Whitaker; Neilli Mulcahy Bacon; Risteárd Mulcahy; an tAthair Pádraig Ó Fiannachta; Jim Duffy; Garrett Fitzgerald; Joe Lee; David Andrews, Barry Desmond; Michael D. Higgins; Turtle Bunbury; Ulick O’Connor; Pádraig Faulkner; Declan Kiberd; Aras an Uachtarain; Wally Young, Gerry Flynn; Cambridge University; Gresham Public School; cartlann: Nessa Childers; Leanharlanna agus Cartlanna, RTE; IFI (Instituid Scannán Naisiúnta na hEireann), Cartann Scannán na hEireann; Gael Linn; ITN Source; Reuters; British Pathe/ITN Source; Fox Movietone/ITN Source; trachtaire/eagarthóir scripte: Pat Butler, taighdeoir cartlaiine: Aoife Scott, comhairleoir staire: Diarmaid Ferriter, ceamera: Martin Birney, fuaime: Sam Horgan, cúntóir ceamera: Carol Tormey, ceamera cuaille: Ciaran Carty, griú sna stát aontaithe: Adam Vardy (ceamera), Steve Nelson (fuaim); grianghraif 2D: Richard Merrigan, ceol: Steve Lynch, meascadh fuaime: Keith Alexander, léiritheoir/stiúrthóir: Rossa Ó Síoradáin, Brian Reddin, eagarthóir: Darren Chan, léiritheoir feidhmeach do TG4: Michaél Ó Meallaigh, léiritheoir feidhmeach: Brian Reddin.
Genre/CategoryTV Documentary Series
Historical

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