Olympic opening ceremony with animals and country scenes may have Ballinasloe inspiration
No, not the opening of Eastenders, but a view of what tomorrow evening's opening ceremony will look like at one stage.
By Aoife Boylan
This year’s Olympic Games opening ceremony may have an East Galway inspiration because it is being organised by film director Danny Boyle whose mother hails from Balliansloe.
Boyle, who directed such movies as Trainspotting and 28 Days Later and who is probably most well known for his Oscar winning Slumdog Millionaire, was born in Lancashire, England, in 1956 to parents with Irish roots. His mother, Annie ‘Babs’ Meheran, was born and raised in the townland of Liscappul, three miles from Ballinasloe. Boyle’s father was born in England to an Irish family from Mayo.
Boyle’s mother emigrated to England at 19. She met his father at an Irish dance in London and they were later married. After moving to England she stayed in touch with relatives in the Galway area including the Headd family and the Ogle family.
When he was a young boy Boyle’s family would visit Ballinasloe during summer holidays, allowing him to spend time with his Ballinasloe cousins. They would also visit the Ballinasloe horse fair.
Boyle has often credited his mother with the positive influence she had on his life and work saying: “I believe people are basically good, always have. She was an amazing woman like that and I carry that always. I’m very proud of it and try to behave that way always.”
Boyle was chosen to organise the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony which will take place on Friday.
On Tuesday night, the event rehearsal took place with all inside asked to respect a covenant of secrecy so that the surprises can be enjoyed worldwide tomorrow evening. Photographs of a rehearsal taken inside the Olympic stadium show a countryside scene with a cricket match. There was also an aerial photograph showing an EastEnders titles style view of London. The scene contains a water wheel and four maypoles representing the four nations of the UK.
In June 2012, Boyle showcased the London Olympic opening ceremony preview, which promised a huge set of rural Britain consisting of "A village cricket team, 12 horses, 10 chickens, 70 sheep, a model of Glastonbury Tor, two mosh pits, and the largest harmonically-tuned bell in the world", as well as a rain-producing cloud. The intention will be to showcase the mystical landscape of Britain, both rural and urban. It will feature a mosh pit at each end of the set, one having people celebrating a rock festival and the other people at the Last Night of the Proms.