UCC historian is consultant in new Ken Loach film
A new Ken Loach film, set during the 1930s, has premiered in Cannes entitled “Jimmy’s Hall”. Dr. Donal O Drisceoil, School of History, is the film’s historical consultant.
The film tells the story of Irish 1930s communist leader James Gralton (Barry Ward) and the dance and schooling hall he opens to the anger of the local conservatives.
"Jimmy’s Hall", tells the story of Jimmy Gralton, the only Irish person ever to be deported from Ireland.
Shot on location in Ireland, it stars Irish actors Barry Ward ("City of Vice", "Silent Witness", "The Claim") and Simone Kirby ("Pure Mule", "Season of the Witch").
In 1921 the War of Independence was drawing to a close. The Treaty, partition, and the Civil War lay on the horizon. That year Jimmy builds a dance hall on a rural crossroads. Named the Pearse-Connolly Hall after the heroes of 1916, Jimmy sees it as a place where young people can learn, argue, dream, dance, and have fun.
However its socialist and free-spirited reputation drew the wrath of conservative politicians and clergy and Jimmy was forced to close the hall, and leave Ireland for a while, eventually settling in New York.
In 1932, with the Depression still raging, and a new political force coming to power in Ireland, Fianna Fáil, Jimmy returns home to Leitrim to look after his mother. He also sees his community at a low ebb, culturally and economically poor, and his dance hall still closed. He decides to re-open it and to hell with the consequences.