Creative Centenaries Screening to Highlight Irishmen's War Effort at Tower Museum

Creative Centenaries Screening to Highlight Irishmen's War Effort at Tower Museum

A special film screening and talk on the First World War and the role of GAA members will take place at the Tower Museum in Derry on Friday March 27.

The Green Fields of France, a poetic documentary exploring the role of Irish men who fought and died during the First World War, will be followed by a talk from Donal McAnallen on the role of Ulster GAA members who fought during the conflict.

The event is being organised by the Nerve Centre’s Creative Centenaries project in conjunction with Derry City Council’s Museum Service. The project brings together information and resources about the Decade of Centenaries and the work of the creative and cultural sector in commemoration.

Education Officer with Derry City Council’s Museum Service, Margaret Edwards, said the film was a poignant reminder of the many lives lost in the Great War.

'This event offers a fascinating insight into the role of the GAA in the First World War. The extent of the Irish contribution to World War I is so often overlooked in the history books or regarded as controversial.

'I would encourage anyone with an interest in Irish history to come along and find out more about some of the prominent Irish figures who fought during the conflict, including Irish poets Patrick McGill, Francis Ledwidge and Thomas Kettle.' 

Over 300,000 Irishmen fought during the First World War although their involvement has long been a sensitive issue. The work of poets such as Ledwidge and Kettle offers a unique insight into the mind-set of men from Ireland fighting across the Western Front, and these figures are given voices by John Banville, Peter Fallon and Frank McGuinness in the film.

Niall Kerr from the Creative Centenaries project said the event was a chance to explore the significant role played by Irish men during the First World War.

'The film is a chance to relive some of the personal experiences from Irishmen on the frontline while the talk from Donal will open up an interesting discussion on the role of Ulster GAA members during the conflict - men who have often been overlooked or forgotten by history.'

Donal McAnallen will follow the screening with a discussion on the GAA’s Forgotten Gaelic Volunteers project, outlining the work of the organisation’s nine month research project to identify members of the organisation from Ulster who fought and died during the war.

The event takes place at the Tower Museum on Friday, March 27 at 1pm and is free to attend.

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