RTÉ to broadcast ‘Two Clare Lives’

RTÉ to broadcast ‘Two Clare Lives’


Michael Brennan
Michael Brennan

A radio docudrama featuring the witness statements of two Clare men who fought during the Easter Rising and War of Independence will be broadcast by RTÉ this Thursday (August 4th) ahead of special Heritage Week 2016 airing at Clare County Museum later this month.

Commissioned by Clare County Council, produced by Jason Murphy and written/directed by Rita McCarthy, ‘1916: Two Clare Lives’ focuses on the experiences of Michael Brennan (Commander of the East Clare Brigade) from Meelick and Art O’Donnell (Commander of the West Clare Brigade) from Tullycrine, Kilrush.

RTÉ will broadcast the documentary this Thursday (August 4th) at 4.00 pm and on August 11th on Radio 1 Extra. 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 as part of Heritage Week 2016.

Art O'Donnell. Pic: Clare County Library
Art O’Donnell. Pic: Clare County Library

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 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 Centenary of the 1916 Rising is the central focus of a number of other Heritage Week (August 20-28) events which include a lecture on an Irish Rebel Autograph Book from Frongoch Internment Camp and an audiovisual celebration of people from Clare involved in the rebellion.