The wheels have been set in motion to create a film based on Leitrim’s 1916 Easter Rising hero Sean Mac Diarmada.
It is very early days in the procedure, but to kick start the brave project Leitrim County Library have funded the development of a film outline about one of the main organisers of the Easter Rising.
Writer and Producer Kevin McCann said, “Leitrim County Library agreed to work with me to try to tell the story of Seán MacDiarmada through film.” The ambitious project will enlist the help of Dr. Gerard MacAtasney, author of many books including ‘Seán MacDiarmada: The Mind of the Revolution’.
Gabrielle Flynn said, “Leitrim County Library is delighted to be able to sponsor this treatment proposal to make a film on Sean Mac Diarmada. Sean MacDiarmada’s role in the 1916 rising has always been underestimated, perhaps because of his modest character. It is now time to give him due appraisal and acknowledge his place in Irish history. As Gerard MacAtasney has concluded in his book on Sean MacDiarmada: The Mind of the Revolution “Perhaps now he can take his rightful place as one of the most important figures in modern Irish history”.
The development of the story outline is just step one on a long journey towards a possible film production about Mac Diarmada, but it is a perfect start. Kevin McCann said the development will see them “study all elements and then define the story, the angle and what characters and events will be the focus of the film.” After the story is defined, the next step will be to fund the writing of a 120-page plus screenplay. If that is successful, then the even harder work of getting a film produced, may take place. McCann said, “Financing and producing a film is far from a guarantee, but this is a great step towards it.”
Kevin McCann of Macanna Teoranta production company in Belturbet, Co Cavan produced a DVD for Leitrim County Library called ‘Leitrim during the troubles,” and he said “while visiting Kiltyclogher I began to learn about Seán MacDiarmada, Bulmer Hobson and others.” McCann noted that there is unanimous support in making a renewed effort to tell the story of Sean Mac Diarmada.
He said Sean Mac Diarmada “believed in uniting the people of this island, all creeds and colours; and he was a courageous activist for that cause. He is recognised as the chief organiser of the Easter Rising along with Thomas Clarke and therefore a central figure in Irish History. Along with 14 others, he was sentenced to death for leading the most significant event in recent Irish history, the Easter Rising.”
Before his execution in Kilmainham Jail, Mac Diarmada wrote a last letter to his brothers and sisters. His closing words were “I die that the Irish Nation may live. God Bless and guard you all and may he have mercy on my soul. Yours as ever, Seán. “
Concluding Kevin McCann said “He was a man of belief and we owe him. We are looking forward to working on this story and making efforts to get the film made for the Centenary commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising.”