A radio docudrama featuring the witness statements of two Clare men who fought during the Easter Rising and War of Independence will be launched at Clare County Museum during Heritage Week 2016 next month.
Commissioned by Clare County Council and produced by Jason Murphy and Rita McCarthy, ‘1916: Two Clare Lives’ focuses on the experiences of Michael Brennan from Meelick, Commander of the East Clare Brigade, and Art O’Donnell from Tullycrine, Commander of the West Clare Brigade.
The 30-minute production will be played in full while the docudrama makers will participate in a Questions & Answers session in the Westropp Room at Clare County Museum on Thursday, August 25th from 8.00 pm to 9.00 pm. RTE has confirmed it also will be broadcasting the documentary on August 5th and on August 11th.
Speaking ahead of the launch event which is one of dozens of events taking place across County Clare as part of Heritage Week 2016, Clare Heritage Officer Congella McGuire said, “Much has been written and rightly so of the part Dublin and Dublin volunteers played in the Easter Rising of 1916. This radio documentary tells how the events played out in another part of Ireland, rural County Clare. It is the story of two young men, Art O’Donnell and Michael Brennan told in their own words taken from the Bureau of Military History Witness Statements.”
“Michael and Art were two idealistic young men born into nationalist families who were steeped in Irish history and lore,” said Ms. Rita McCarthy, who wrote and directed the Jason Murphy produced radio docudrama.
She continued, “They studied in Dublin, were part of the independence movement and worked closely with Sean McDiarmada, Thomas Clarke, Bulmer Hobson and Con Colbert among others. They both gave up promising careers to devote themselves to their cause and experienced the highs and lows and ultimately confusion and frustration in their journey of rebellion.”
The programme for Heritage Week 2016 will be announced shortly and is once again expected to feature events focusing on Clare’s heritage through guided walks and lectures taking place in venues around the County, including at local museums and libraries.
The 14th annual celebration of County Clare’s built, natural and cultural heritage is being coordinated locally by Clare County Council and The Heritage Council, with support from Fáilte Ireland and the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht. Heritage Week also is part of European Heritage Days, a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Union.