This film screened on Saturday 28th January 2017.
Directed by pioneering television documentarian Philip Donnellan, this rarely-seen socio-realist documentary foregrounds the lives of migrant Irish labourers in Britain of the 1960s. It shows Irishmen working on the construction of railways, tunnels and motorways, and explores ‘how their imaginations are related to their own land’. The film is interspersed with scenes of hurling at Wembley and some lively musical sessions. Traditional music enthusiasts will be rewarded by the film’s score: with musical supervision by Seamus Ennis, the traditional Irish singing of Paul Lenihan and Joe Heaney and the lyrics of Ewan McColl & Peggy Seeger.
This screening will include a panel discussion and live music. It will be chaired by Lance Pettitt, Birkbeck, University of London. Lance will be joined by renowned sean nós singer Josie McDonagh, rising trad star Órlaith McAuliffe, who was brought up in the vibrant London Irish music scene and renowned London publican and Clare man Tom King, whose London establishment has played host to Irish and English musicians down through the years.
(Notes by Sunniva O’Flynn.)