Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in Dublin, which paved the way for (first) the Irish War for Independence and then the partition of Ireland north and south.
Plenty of events are already slated to mark this momentous date – including a much-anticipated movie chronicling all of the events and players.
Belfast-born filmmaker Kevin McCann is teaming up with writer Colin Broderick to release the film, which will revolve around Sean Mac Diarmada, rather than the more familiar likes
of Michael Collins or James Connolly. The cast for the Easter Rising film (entitled The Rising: 1916) is beginning to come together, and features Downton Abbey star Brendan Coyle (British-born to an Irish father and Scottish mother) as well as a young lad named Michael Neeson, whose father is a Ballymena-born actor of some note.
Northern Irish actor Colin Morgan is slated to play the lead role of Mac Diarmada, while Hollywood heavyweights Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Patrick Pearse) and Fiona Shaw (Countess Markievicz) are also reportedly attached to the film.
Shane MacGowan is slated to record music for The Rising: 1916, which will be directed and co-written by McCann, who is perhaps best known for his documentary The Boys of St. Columb’s, about the high number of famous folks (Seamus Heaney, Seamus Deane, Phil Coulter ) who attended the titular Catholic school in Northern Ireland at a time of severe religious discrimination. ♦