25 April 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network

Irish Film and Television Network





A Love Divided
Feature 95
YEAR: 1998
DIRECTOR: Sydney MaCartney    
WRITER: Stuart Hepburn      
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Parallel Films Irish Film Board / Bord Scannán na hÉireann    BBC Scotland
PRODUCER: Tim Palmer    Alan Moloney    Gerry Gregg   
CAST: Orla Brady    Peter Caffrey    Liam Cunningham    Tony Doyle    John Kavanagh    Brian McGrath   Elenor Methven
LOCATION: Wicklow,Antrim
EDITOR: Ray Roantree      
DOP: Cedric Culliton      
MUSIC: Fiachra Trench

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Set in Feather-on-Sea, a small rocky peninsula in Wexford, this film is based on the true story of sectarianism that divided not just the Cloney family but the village as a whole in 1957.

Sean, a Catholic marries Sheila, a Protestant, three times in an attempt to please all. The mixed marriage is not of concern to either them or their families. Some years later when her oldest daughter, Eileen reaches school age, Sheila decides she would like to send her to the local Protestant school. The parish priest, reacts strongly and forbids such a move claiming it violates the pledge she signed on her wedding day, which stated she would bring up the children in the Catholic faith. Outraged at the priests' interference and her husbands' inability to change matters she fleas to Belfast and Scotland where she takes refuge on a farm.

Meanwhile back at home, her family and the other Protestant villagers are the subject of a boycott, initiated by the church, which turns rather vicious. Sean learns of Sheila's whereabouts and goes to Scotland to reunite with his wife. They decide to put it all behind them and build a new life in America, however they get news that the boycott has escalated further and Sheila's father has been subjected to an arson attack.

On arrival home, Sean challenges Fr. Stafford, who also under pressure from higher powers, has no choice but to end the boycott. However the wounds remained open for some time. Sheila and Sean remained isolated from the village and educated their daughters at home.

Music: Fiachara Trench

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