Culture Journal Ireland

74 Days: Terence Swinney: A compelling account of the oldest of revolutionary acts.

Terence McSwiney was the Lord Mayor of Cork in 1920 when he was arrested by British crown forces on charges of sidition. 74 Days: Terence MacSwiney, shown recently on RTÉ1 to mark one hundred years since his death explores not only the reasons and background behind his subsequent hunger strike, but using modenr day graphics and science seeks to show just exactly how such an act would affect his body with each passing day. The programme is ably presented by Dr. Sarah-Anne Buckley from the Department of History at NUI Galway with contributions from Tomás Mac Conmara, a historian and writer and John Borgonovo of UCC. Terence McSwiney in 1920…

Read more

True North: Restoring Ormiston

Ormiston House is a rather ornate highlight on the otherwise ordinary landscape of Belfast. Lying on the outskirts of the East of the city it has a rich and varied history, but lay dormant and derelict for years until it was taken on as a renovation project by one Belfast based couple. Restoring Ormiston was shown as part of the BBC’s True North series this week and told the story of a spectacular building which was nearly lost. Built in 1867 on thirteen acres of land Ormiston House, which in the past had belonged to one of the owners of the famous Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, they neglected…

Read more

Once Upon a Time in Iraq – brilliantly told, absolutely compelling

There was no one at home when the bombs dropped. My family were away on holiday and I was in England visiting friends when the invasion of Iraq began in September 2003. Even though both of us were far from the danger zone there is something strangely ironic that has always struck this particular writer about that time ever since. This is apt in a way because Once Upon A Time in Iraq is mainly about the normal people who had their homes bombed and their families torn apart. Each episode leys out the foundation stone for the purpose behind the series. “The politicians have had their say”, it declares,…

Read more

Marvellous: A truly human story

Marvellous, staring Toby Jones is a truly human story about following your dreams and reaching beyond supposed limitation which ultimately are merely societal. This light hearted drama; screened recently on BBC tells the story of Neil Baldwin, a real-life character who achieves beyond what conventional wisdom perceives him able to do. After leaving his steady butchers job almost literally to run away and join the circus Neil is enjoying life as a clown entertaining people until a dispute with the circus’ manager results in him being left behind. Undaunted by this Neil, after a stint working as a recruiter for Stoke University, is eventually hired by Lou Macari, manager of…

Read more

Memories of The Press Gang

At it’s height the Irish Press group of newspapers was one of the highest circulated newspapers in Ireland with a readership of 200,000, by the time it folded in the mid nineteen nineties it owed debts of twenty million and it’s staff of approximately six hundred were owed wages. For a while the staff rebelled, being one of the first titles to publish exclusively online. Unfortunately for them though computer ownership wasn’t exactly widespread never mind being able to access news and other information on devices the size of your hand. The Press Gang is a collection of the best articles and fondest memories of many of the staff who…

Read more

Viceroy’s House

The central characters; or rather the central characters outside of Lord Mountbatten and his wife; namely Jeet Kumar, (played by Manish Dayal, who has been previously seen in the 100 Step Journey along with Om Puri who also appears in this film) Aalia Noor and her father Ali Rahim )played by Puri) represent the ordinary people in this film. Because the issue of a Hindu being attracted to a Muslim is addressed it is used as a metaphor for the bigger issue of the relationship between the fledgling states. There is a growing tension between these two characters, a result of Aalia’s long lost love returning from war. The metaphor…

Read more

Bang on a Can All-stars – A blend of sound that awakens your every sense

Just as there were beginning to be rumblings of a virus making it’s way around the world but hadn’t entirely stood still yet Culture Journal Ireland was able to squeeze one more outing in. The low-key description of The Bang on a Can All-stars, through no fault of its own, did little justice to what awaited the audience at The Glassworks in Derry where the band were appearing as part of the Maiden city music Festival. Culture Journal Ireland, along with accompanying guests had sat at the front of the venue; only to be greeted by two enormous speakers at either side of the stage. We had been reassured by…

Read more

Detroit: A film with grit in it’s teeth

A city on fire riots on the streets, a small girl gets shot by the police simply for looking out of her own living room window. No this is not a retelling of some atrocity in Northern Ireland, these are the opening sequences of Catherine Bigelow’s 2017 civil rights era drama Detroit which gives an account of the events that took place in the city of the same name in the summer of 1967. Scenes from the film are juxtaposed with news reel footage from the time, telling the audience straight away that this story is no fiction giving the film an edgier, more immediate feel, setting the audience right…

Read more

We All Want to be Normal People

It’s taken Culture Journal Ireland a while to get into this one, but with seemingly everyone talking about Normal People, for one reason or another, we felt it was about time we cast our eye across this much hyped phenomenon. Based on the novel by the same name by Sally Rooney and directed by award winning directors Lennie Abrahamson and Hettie McDonald, the series is set in a fictional co. Sligo town and in the latter stages Dublin. The two main characters played by Daisy Edgar Jones and Paul Mescal, are key two the whole thing. The two leads are likable and seem like a natural fit on screen. In…

Read more
%%footer%%