Athlone Film Club celebrates St Patrick's Day with Irish music, movies, and craic

Looking for something different to do on St Patrick's Day? Well in the spirit of the day, Athlone Film Club is having an evening of Irish film followed by a traditional music session.

The club is screening Jigs in Reels on Tuesday March 17 at 7.30pm in the Dean Crowe Theatre folowed by O’Donoghues Opera, both featuring Ronnie Drew. Following these two short films there will be music in the bar with Alan O'Neil leading the session.

The two films to be screened are a delightful and nostalgic look back to an Ireland that existed in the 1960s.

Fleá Ceoil, the first of the short films in Jigs in Reels(1967 ) was made in the town of Kilrush in County Clare. It captures the resurgence of interest in traditional Irish Music in the 1960s when Irish folk singers like Dolly McMahon who appears in the film, were seen as part of a world-wide boom in folk music. Beautifully filmed by Bob Monks, Fleá Ceoil is remarkable in its close attention to the small details that distinguish this vibrant musical community. The film was directed by Cork-born Louis Marcus, one of Ireland's most important and prolific documentary documentary directors. It won a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and other prestigious awards in Russia, Spain and Belgium.

The second film, O’Donoghue’s Opera (1965 ) is a fitting tribute to the late Ronnie Drew. It is Ireland's first musical film. A mock opera made in 1965, which ran into financial difficulties before it was properly completed - but has since gained cult status. Extraordinarily, it remained unseen until veteran filmmaker Tom Hayes brought out the out-takes to Sé Merry Doyle who oversaw its painstaking restoration. The hilarious film stars Ronnie Drew and his band of bohemian merry makers, the Dubliners. Based on the ballad 'The Night that Larry was Stretched', sung by a young Johnny Moynihan, Drew finds himself caught in a hangman's noose as a reward for his dubious career as 'the best burglar in all Ireland’. This tongue-in-cheek film has the flavour of an Irish spaghetti western and captures the spirit of Dublin camaraderie like no work before or since: the Guinness, the music, the wit, and the grit, it's all there in abundance.

So for Irish movies, music, and of course Irish craic come along to the Dean Crowe Theatre, St Patrick's Day. There will be pre-screening complimentary wine in the bar at 7pm and Guinness will be available on tap in the bar following the film. Members can bring a friend for free. Musicians bring your instruments.

For further information contact [email protected].

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