A West Cork documentary exploring the War of Independence will air this Thursday on RTÉ One at 10:15PM. ‘The Brigade’ explores the lives of ordinary West Cork men and women who fought against British Rule in Ireland. The two part documentary is proudly supported by Cork County Council through its Commemoration Committee and has also received funding from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
The Documentary, conceived by Clonakilty local Sam Kingston, follows two groups. The first is a set of volunteers recruited in Clonakilty who train as a flying column in locations in Kilbrittain, Enniskeane and Kilmichael, learning what it was like to live on the run, marching across the rugged countryside and living in barns. The second group is comprised of history students from the University of Essex, who spend a week travelling around West Cork to learn the history of the conflict from local historians and descendants of the Irish combatants. They also learn about the actions of the notorious Essex Regiment of the British Army who were based in West Cork – a side of history not taught in British schools.
The award winning production company Abú Media spent most of the sizeable production budget in and around Cork and the series engages with a number of local people from West Cork for the filming. Abú Media have attached major international distribution agent Kew Media to sell the finished product worldwide.
Commenting on the programme, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Christopher O’Sullivan highlighted how Cork County Council is proud to support such work,
“We have a huge wealth of cultural heritage throughout Cork County and thanks to people like Samuel Kingston, local historians and volunteers such as those who have taken part in ‘The Brigade’ we can continue to improve our understanding.
1919 to 1921 marks the centenary years of the War of Independence, which affected the lives of everyone in Ireland. The towns, villages and hinterlands of Cork County were hugely important in these formative years of Irish Statehood and I’m proud of Cork County Council’s support in initiatives that bring these stories to life.
These stories are important, not only to us, but to all countries that have a colonial history. This documentary gives us the opportunity to share what we have learned as a nation on the international stage.”
Sam Kingston is in receipt of further support from Cork County Council for a production on the influence of the town Clonakilty on the young Michael Collins as he was growing up.