An award-winning city film-maker is receiving daily threats on his life, believed to be coming from people who fear their crimes will be exposed in his new film.
Stephen P Kenny can no longer walk through the city without constant glances over his shoulder, he told Galway First yesterday, after news broke that the 26-year-old Galway director was recieving death threats in relation to his newest project, which has yet to begin filming. The film, which is entitled Blood, Sweat, and Wars, centres around the underground crime world of two traveller families in 1980’s East Galway.
The calls, which began about three weeks ago, nearly always come from a private number or a pay phone and often depict someone shouting into the phone that they will “bury” the young director if he goes ahead with the making of this film.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of the Traveller families in the area and a lot of them are behind me on this film,” said Mr Kenny, who received three threatening calls yesterday alone. “I think there are a few messers behind some of it but I think there are some people out there who fear the film could expose them.”
One of Mr Kenny’s cast members, Graham Feeley ,was also told to “watch his back” after he was spotted wearing a coat promoting the film in the city.
Based on true events that occurred in and around Galway city and county more than a decade ago, Blood, Sweat, and Wars looks at the lives of two fictional Galway families, the Longs and the Burkes, who are Galway's biggest drug suppliers of the time. Their deadly feud stems from their organsied gangs’ attempts at running the city. The film aims to give a gripping portrayal of the often unknown underground crime scene here in the 1980s, including drug dealings, bareknuckle fights, and young boys being raped and sold as escort slaves.
“I have no plans to report it to the guards,” said Mr Kenny, who admitted he does have a few saved voicemail messages if it ever came to that point. “Unless I get punched in the back of the head as I’m walking in town I’m just going to deal with this myself.”
“In the end this is as much my town as it is theirs,” said Mr Kenny. “And I am still going to shoot this film.”
Blood, Sweat, and Wars is being produced, written, and directed by Mr Kenny and stars Galway boxing legend Francis ‘Southpaw’ Barrett, Mike Tyson's former Dublin sparring partner Joe Egan, Eugene Horan, Graham Feeley, Mike O'Malley, Gerard Faherty, Mike Kinsella, and Eddie Heffernan.
Filming is due to begin in the city in January 2009. The film is set to debut at next year’s Galway Film Fleadh.