Liam Lynch Film This web page gives details of those involved in making the film and behind the scenes information.
The Dying Days Film This blog post outlines some background to the inspiration and ideas for the film.
The Liam Lynch Monument This blog post outlines some background to the monument and also has a collection of photographs.
We are were so lucky to have many talented local amateur actors interested in taking part. Deirdre Collender had built up many contacts over the years in her involvement in drama. We were also lucky to have two young professional actors, Pearse O’Donoghue and Jordan McGuinness taking on key roles. From left to right; Pearse O’Donoghue, Jordan McGuinness, Pat Power and Brian Pattwell. There are some interesting connections between some of the actors and the role played by their ancestors during the Civil War.
Brian Pattwell who plays the role of Liam Lynch. Brian gives a superb performance as Liam Lynch, infusing the role with integrity, gravitas, and a sense of duty to the cause above all. Brian had to do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to the acting as he is involved in almost every scene. Brian was very generous of his time over several days of filming. He is primary school teacher, and gym instructor. No stranger to the stage, he has played leading roles in local productions of Bloodbrothers, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and One Man Two Guvs’.
Shane Collender is cast as Lt Laurence Clancy, responsible for the capture of Lynch, and who has a poignant final conversation with him. Shane works with Deloitte, and is based in Dublin. He has played leading roles in local productions of Bloodbrothers, (with Brian Pattwell), The Crucible and The Shaughran, and is a graduate of the Gaiety School of Acting, part time course, and The Irish Film Academy, Acting for Camera course. Some relatives of Lt Clancy commented that “Shane had the same cut about him as Larry”. Sometimes you get lucky with the casting.
Aoife O’Mahony plays the part of Bridie Keyes. Bridie Keyes was the fiancee of Liam Lynch. Their last meeting took place at Graigavalla on Good Friday 1923. Aoife works as a Children’s Fitness Instructor and has had a number of performances on stage locally. She was Shelby in Steel Magnolias and was also in Cheshire Cats, The Graduate, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
Pat Power plays the part of De Valera. During this time, De Valera did not have any power over the Executive, and although he was invited to speak at the meeting in Bleantis, he did not have any voting rights.Pat works at Haleon, in Dungarvan, and has been cast in many local productions, from serious plays to pantomimes. He was cast as the RIC District Inspector Gilbert Potter in Díoltas, a docu-drama filmed by John Foley in 2019.
Pearse O Donoghue is Tom Barry. Tom Barry was Officer Commanding the 3rd West Cork Flying Column. By February 1923, Barry increasingly argued with Liam Lynch, the Republican commander in chief, that the war should be brought to an end, as there was no hope of victory. Pearse is from Cork, and is a professional actor and musician. His recent productions include the musical All Shook Up, and a new play entitled The Pink Water.
Jordan McGuinness plays the role of Todd Andrews. Todd Andrews was only 21 at the time that Lynch asked him to be his Adjutant, and he accompanied him on this final journey. His Memoir “Dublin Made Me” gives a great account of that exceptional period of our history. Jordan is from Mayo, and a professional actor. He trained at the Gaiety School of Acting. He has previously been onscreen in the RTE documentary Crimes and Confessions and a part in the feature film, The Winter Lake. Todd Andrews was captured at a remote farmhouse between Modeligo and Ballinamult in the days following the shooting of Lynch.
Here is a short clip where Gerard Shannon talks about Todd Andrews who accompanied Liam Lynch on his journey south in the last weeks leading up to when Lynch was shot on the 10th of April 1923.
Michael Drummy is Tom Derrig. Derrig was also a member of the IRA executive, a signatory of the anti-treaty proclamation, and a member of the IRA army council. After the fall of the Four Courts, he was briefly captured before going on the run in Co. Dublin, Co. Wicklow, and Co. Wexford. Finally captured at Raglan Road, Dublin, in April 1923, he lost his left eye in a scuffle as he was arrested. Within weeks he was moved to Mountjoy jail and from there to the Curragh, where he conducted classes in Irish, commerce, and economics for his fellow inmates. Hostile to the treaty, he held several senior positions in the anti-treaty forces, including assistant adjutant general. Michael is well known for his stage work in the local drama scene. He has been cast as the baddie and the dame in local pantos, was Fagin in Oliver Twist and more recently in Crotty the Highwayman. He is manager of David Walsh’s Office Supplies.
Joe Kelly is Austin Stack. Stack was an Irish republican and politician who served as Minister for Home Affairs from 1921 to 1922. He was a Teachta Dála (TD) from 1918 to 1927. Commandant of the Kerry Brigade of the Irish Volunteers he made preparations for the landing of arms by Roger Casement. Stack was arrested and sentenced to death for his involvement in the Rising; however, this was later commuted to penal servitude. for life. He was released under general amnesty in June 1917. He was captured in 1923 and went on hunger strike for forty-one days before being released in July 1924. Joe Kelly is a Pharmacist, owner of Kelly’s Pharmacy in Abbeyside. He has made memorable guest appearances in the local Pantomime and has been on stage in Plaza Suite, and The Crucible, among others. He has also appeared in a number of short videos.
Will Condon plays the role of Frank Aiken. Aiken was in command of the Fourth Northern Division of the IRA. He was with Liam Lynch when Lynch was shot on Knockmealdown Mountains on the 10th of April 1923. He retrieved crucial IRA papers from Lynch before having to leave Lynch behind on the mountain. He succeeded Liam Lynch as IRA Chief of Staff on the 20th of April. Aiken soon issued a letter ordering a suspension of offensive operations from 30 April. He was one of the longest serving TDs (for Louth Constituency) from 1923 to 1973 and a founder member of Fíanna Fáil. Will Condon works as a biomedical Engineer for a Medical Device Company. He has been on stage in The Lonesome West, and an original play called The year of 21. He owns the Halfway House, (used during the filming) where he facilitates regular music sessions.
Brendan O Brien, Declan O Brien and James Quinlan are the Free State Soldiers. They are all members of a re enactment group called BattleGroupCentre. They regularly do re enactments of World War 1 and World War 2, German, and Bundeswehr, and the War of Independence. Brendan runs the Ballymacarbry/Nire Historical Society. Declan is from Ballymacarbery and part of local reenactment club The Barrick Busters. Lee Martin was a Free State Soldier also. Lee works with Waterford City and Co Council, and this is the first time he has been involved in drama.
The Mercedes Truck is a replica of an l 3000, and has starred in Valkyrie with Tom cruise , BBC’s adaptation of Christopher and his kind , the last witness. We are very grateful to Brendan O’Brien for access to the truck which helps to bring the film to life.
Mark O Rourke is Tom Crofts. A member of the anti-treaty army executive, he was OC of the Cork No. 1 Brigade of the anti-treaty IRA, and later divisional adjutant. At Béal na Bláth he and Liam Deasy organised the ambush party that killed Michael Collins. Crofts succeeded Deasy as OC of the 1st Southern Division in January 1923, and with Tom Barry successfully pressed for a ceasefire. Thereafter he remained politically active, though he did not seek public office. Mark was born and bred in Skibbereen, and still goes back there regularly. He has been involved with a number of shows with Take a Bow Productions, in Guys and Dolls and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and has taken part in A Wing and a Prayer – Gavin O Leary’s Radio Play. Mark works with Sharptext Cork Ltd.
Paudie Halpin – is cast as the local Publican, sympathetic to the cause of the “Irregulars”, and seizes an opportunity to prevent the soldiers from doing their duty. Paudie gives a very convincing turn as the affable barman, Johnny Maher, who was his Grandfather. Paudie is a Carpenter/Builder. Paudie has been a very important supporter of the film behind the scenes. In particular he gave us access to the building used in much of the inside scenes.
Michael O’Riordan is Jack O’Meara. Jack O’Meara was a veteran of World War 1. He joined the US Army in 1915 and fought in France during most of 1918. From Ballinamult originally, he joined the flying Column led by George Lennon. Michael O’Riordan’s great grandfather, John Riordan was a member of the West Waterford Brigade Flying Column, a Training Officer, and an architect of the Piltown Ambush. On the Anti Treaty side, he fought from Waterford Gaol during the siege of Waterford in 1922. Interned by Free State Army from 1923 to 1924 he went on hunger strike to protest at the the awful conditions. Michael lives in Dungarvan and works with TQS. This was his first venture into the world of acting.
Emma Conroy is a Cumann na mBan Volunteer. The Cumann na mBan played a vital role behind the scenes during both the War of Independence and the Civil War, bravely going where no man could go, carrying despatches and weapons. A role they pushed to the very limits. Emma is a third year student in College, studying Early Childhood Care ad Education. This is her first time taking part in Drama.
Kevin Kiely plays the role of Sean Hyde, a close associate of Michael Collins,after the Treaty he became an assistant to Eoin O’Duffy and was wounded in an ambush by anti-Treaty forces in February 1922. When he recovered from his wounds he switched sides and became involved in the Civil War on the anti-Treaty side. Kevin is from Dungarvan is a Primary School Teacher in Dublin. He trains Shelbourne FC under 17s and this is his first time taking part in a drama.
Dolores Lyne is the Bean An Tí. The Bean An Tí’s were crucial to the success of the local Volunteer force, providing safe shelter, nourishment, and laundry service to these Volunteers who lived on the run. Dolores is an artist, originally from Killarney and now based in Galway. She will be exhibiting a collection of art based on the locations where Liam Lynch stayed during the War Of Independence and the Civil War during 2023. She painted and created the set for the Breakfast Scene and the Closing Scene in Nugent’s Pub. She is a grand niece of Liam Lynch.
Paul Coffey is Bill Quirke. During the Irish War of Independence he served with the Tipperary Brigade of the IRA as an Intelligence Officer. He became Commanding Officer of the Second Southern Division. Paul is a secondary school teacher with an active interest in theatre. He has been on stage in Stags and Hens, The Crucible and Lady Windermere’s Fan.
Matt Houlihan is cast in the role of Bill Houlihan (his grand uncle) who was the Volunteer scout who warned those at the breakfast with Lynch that the Free State Soldiers were closing in. This is the first time Matt has been involved in any drama, and he enjoyed reprising the role of his granduncle with whom he spent a lot of time.
Tony Whelan plays the role of Dr Lucey who was with Liam Lynch in West Cork. Tony is also the location manager for the duration of all the filming.
Padraig O’Dwyer is a volunteer. One of the important tasks of the Volunteers was to scout the area to protect the Executive who needed to hold meetings. Volunteers were all very active in their own areas. Padraig is a Secondary School Teacher. He has always had a keen interest in Drama and has been involved in a number of shows – Aladdin, Bonnie and Clyde, All Shook Up and Oliver Twist, to mention just a few.
Eoghan Breathnach is a Volunteer. Eoghan was double jobbing on the day as an extra and as assistant camera man. He is currently studying TV Production at Nemeton and SETU.
Deirdre Collender plays the part of Nan Lehane. Lynch stayed in Lehane’s house in Goirtí Fliuch outside Balllingeary in February and March 1923 before traveling on to the IRA Executive meeting in Bliantas in Co Waterford. Deirdre also directed the drama for this film. She An active member of a number of local Dramatic clubs since 2008, both on stage as an actor and as a director. Played the title role in “Stella by Starlight”, by Bernard Farrell. Acting roles in “Cheshire Cats” by Gail Young and “Red Roses and Petrol” by Joseph O Connor.
Tim Hannon is a Volunteer. He is currently doing a Degree in IT in University of Limerick. During Covid, he had a small part in Katrino Costello’s film documentary, “The Burren”, and has a keen interest in History and Politics. He is from Clare.
Lilian Gorey is a Volunteer. A Tipperary woman, living and worked in Waterford for many years. Has a big interest in Irish History both national and local level.
Ger Walsh was a local man, warning the IRA men that Free State Troops were in the area. Ger is form the Nire Valley and his his grandmother Ellen (Brazil) Walsh and grand aunt Peg( Brazil) Hally were both active in Cumman na mBan with their family home in Knockaun regularly used as a safe house.