Archive for the ‘telly’ Category

 

 This statement was originally put on Auntie War’s Facebook Profile in early July 2014 at a few minues to 1pm on the 8th of July 

 This statement was obviously intendended for Irish news outlets (Papers,radio RTE,TV, blogs like mine and websites

STATEMENT FOR  PRESS BY NIALL FARRELL: ON ANOTHER WOMAN’S WOUND – THE BACKGROUND TO THE MAKING OF A DOCUMENTARY ON THE LIFE & DEATH OF MAIREAD FARRELL

 This statement was obviously intendended for Irish news outlets (Papers,radio RTE,TV, blogs like mine and websites

No member of the extended Farrell family participated in the making of the documentary, “An Unfinished Conversation…”, on the life and death of my only sister Mairead

 

This is a brief explanation as to why we felt compelled not to participate.

 

The unjust killing by the British state of Mairead on March 6th 1988 was the most harrowing experience to befall our family and it was one that in my own case has left deep scars. The dramatic nature of Mairead’s short life and brutal death attracted many seeking to document it in print and film. With the wise advice of our lawyer Paddy McGrory we learnt from earlier mistakes and became much more cautious when dealing with the miscellaneous branches of the media.

 

The author of “An Unfinished Conversation…”, Briona Nic Dhiarmada, had been working with Mairead on a book about her life at the time of the murder. In 1989 Briona produced a manuscript, which I was given the task by my parents of reading. In the family’s view this ‘biography’ was deeply flawed. The main thesis was that Mairead’s political activism from her joining the Republican Movement till her death in Gibraltar stemmed from her need to “fit in” amongst her peers in the Republican Movement. This was not the confident, extrovert, intelligent and determined Mairead we knew and we believed said more about Nic Dhiarmada’s inadequacies rather than those of my sister. For that reason we decided to give Nic Dhiarmada a wide berth.

 

The above thesis contrasts markedly with Professor (sic) Nic Dhiarmada’s new-found assessment of my sister’s life as reproduced on the website of the US Notre Dame University: “I strongly believe that Mairéad Farrell was a product of her environment and a product of Irish history.”

 

Where and when she had her Pauline conversion I do not know, nor do I care.

 

Enter The Republican Movement

 

In the Summer of 2012 while I was on holiday abroad I received a call from what I will loosely call a leading figure in the Republican Movement. He informed me that Nic Dhiarmada had teamed up with Dublin-based filmmakers with the goal of making a documentary of Mairead’s life. I expressed my serious reservations about Nic Dhiarmada, but agreed to discuss it further on my return to Ireland. However, it soon transpired that filming of the documentary was well underway. The “big shots” within the Republican Movement had already done a deal with Nic Dhiarmada et al without having the common decency to inform us straight away of the proposal. Faced with such a fait accompli I decided to have nothing to do with the documentary and asked family members to do the same.

 

During the 1990s the leadership of the Republican Movement created what they call the “Republican Family”. Being the brother of an IRA martyr I have found myself forcibly adopted into this “family”. It has meant receiving calls to establish my views on such absurd things as Martin McGuinness shaking hands with Frau Battenberg aka Elizabeth Windsor. But when it came to something close to my heart, my sister, I receive no call. Of course, such underhand, deceitful actions are par for the course with these “big shot republicans”. One thing is clear: the Republican Movement would not allow its members to participate in a documentary about the families of the “republican royalty” without first getting the assent of these “royals”.

 

The Documentary

 

The title of  Briona Nic Dhiarmada’s documentary “An Unfinished Conversation..” puts, as I expected, the filmmaker centre stage. It will no doubt improve her career and help fill the coffers of the Dublin company involved. That is why I believe “On Another Woman’s Wound” would be a more appropriate title for the documentary.

 

 

Conclusion

 

In the greater scheme of things the making of this documentary is of little importance. There are more critical issues to be focused on from Ireland’s participation in mass murder via Shannon airport to mass unemployment, mass poverty, mass emigration etc etc that exists in Ireland. My daughter, newly-elected Sinn Fein councilor Mairead Farrell, and I agree that it is more important that she concentrates on the concerns of her constituents than become involved in this saga.

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Gary Sinise is a co-founder of Steppenwolf Theatre Company. He is a three-time Tony-nominee, twice for acting in Steppenwolf’s productions of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Grapes of Wrath and once for Best Director of Buried Child. Gary has also directed some of Steppenwolf’s most notable productions, including Orphans, the Viet Nam veteran drama Tracers and Sam Shepard’s True West, which he later performed with John Malkovich in Steppenwolf’s New York debut and received an Obie award for directing. He’s appeared in many films including Apollo 13, Ransom, and received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting actor for Forrest Gump. On the small screen he’s won the Emmy for Best Actor in George Wallace and a Golden Globe for Truman, and appeared in CSI: New York. He plays electric bass in his band, The Lt. Dan Band, and is committed to Operation International Children, a grassroots program he co-created with author Laura Hillenbrand that sends school supplies to our troops which are then distributed to children in the conflict areas where they are deployed. In 2008 he was awarded the Presidential Citizen Medal for his humanitarian work, the second highest honor an American can receive.

Some of his credits and awards 

Film

Actor The Big Bounce; The Human Stain; A Gentleman’s Game; Imposter; Mission to Mars; Reindeer Games; The Green Mile; It’s the Rage; Bruno; Snake Eyes; Ransom; Albino Alligator; Apollo 13; The Quick and the Dead; Forrest Gump; Jack the Bear; Of Mice and Men; A Midnight Clear. Director Of Mice and Men; Miles From Home.

Television

Fallen Angel (Hallmark); That Championship Season (Showtime); George Wallace (TNT); Truman(HBO); The Stand (ABC).

Awards

Golden Globe (Truman); Obie Award (True West); Tony Award nomination (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Grapes of Wrath; Buried Child); Screen Actors Guild Award, Emmy Award and Cable ACE Award (George Wallace and Truman); National Board of Review Award (Forrest Gump); Academy Award nomination (Forrest Gump). Presidential Citizen Medal (2008)