Music teacher Ron Cooney has been working in the Republic of Ireland's only high-rise housing estate for fifteen years. During this time he has seen the area undergo a dramatic transformation, including the demolition of six of its seven tower blocks. The young people of Ballymun have had an extraordinary experience, and Ron sets out to produce a collection of music that gives voice to their story. Working with composer Daragh O'Toole, Ron's ambition is to create a 'world class' collection of music for his talented students to play and write lyrics for.
This music will challenge the negative views many still hold of the area – views that have the potential to hold his students back, and undermine the aims of the Ballymun Music Programme. The music that is produced attracts the attention of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, and is soon recorded by them in a unique collaboration with the students. A dynamic funny and driven man, despite his own health problems, what Ron and his students have achieved is simply amazing. Ballymun Lullaby is a story that needs to be heard.
Notes by Sunniva O'Flynn.
For more information on Ballymun Lullaby, see this IFI blog from director Frank Berry
72 minutes, Ireland, 2011, Colour
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