5 July 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
New RTÉ Doc Looks at the ‘Boys of St. Columb’s’
2010-02-09 :
‘The Boys of St. Columb’s’, a co-production from Cavan’s Maccana Teoranta and London’s West Park Pictures broadcasts on Tuesday, February 9th and examines a group of talented students who attended St.Columb's College in Derry in and around the same time.

In 1947, a British Act of Parliament granted free secondary education to Northern Irish children for the first time and this film tells the story of these schoolboys from this first generation who were born into social division and low expectation.

This new era of education changed their country forever and lead them to become some of the most important figures in Irish culture in recent history. Some of these students include politician and nobel laureate John Hume, poet and nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, essayist and author Seamus Deane; author and social activist Eamonn McCann; songwriter and producer Phil Coulter, Singer/Songwriter Paul Brady and Ambassador James Sharkey, all of whom feature in the documentary.

Seamus Deane said of his school experience that “It was the first generation coming through. And my parents actually recognised that a cohort of Catholic kids going to school was what was going to break the Northern Irish state..”

The documentary is written and directed by Tom Collins (Kings, Dead Long Enough) and edited by Brand Thumin (Death of a President, Handsworth Songs), it was filmed by John T Davis (Hobo, The Uncle Jack) and Donal Gilligan (Omagh), with animation by BAFTA nominated John McCloskey (The Crumblegiant) and narration by IFTA nominee Stephen Rea (Nothing Personal). Maurice Fitzpatrick is writer and co-producer. Funding was provided by BCI, RTÉ, BBC and NIS and the project is produced by Kevin McCann (Testin Time, Teddy Boy) and executive producer is André Singer (Wheel of Time).

‘The Boys of St. Columb’s’ will screen on RTÉ 1 on Tuesday, February 9th at 10.15 p.m.

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