2 March 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
Irish Language Documentary on Clare Inventor John Philip Holland airs to TG4 Tonight at 21:30
22 Nov 2016 : Katie McNeice
John Philip Holland
Macdara Vallely (Peacefire) directs the feature length documentary entitled ‘John Philip Holland: aireagóir an fhomhuireáin nua-aoisigh’, examining the life of Holland, who invented the modern submarine.

The project was supported by the Irish language broadcast fund and was produced by Deaglán O'Mocháin (Vótaí Do Mhná ) of Dearcán Media for TG4. Martin Hasson and Michael McDaid play Henri Le Caron and John Philip Holland, both of whom are also featured in Tom Collins’ upcoming ‘Penance: Aithri.’

The documentary also engages with Holland’s younger years in Liscannor, Co. Clare and time as a Christian Brother, during which he first began to sketch a vessel which could travel underwater.

He built his first submarine on the Passaic River in New Jersey in 1878 with the financial support of the Fenian movement. This and the successive prototype, which represented a significant breakthrough in the design, are currently kept at the Paterson Museum in New Jersey.

Having won a competition to design a submarine for the US Navy in the late 1880s, Holland fought against changes to his design which compromised the safety of the vessel. He then pursued finance for his own design to produce Holland VI, which came to be the first fully functioning modern submarine.

Holland went on to design the first US, British, Russian, Japanese and Dutch submarine fleets. Although he resigned in 1904 due to safety concerns and was prevented from building further submarines, he is known abroad as 'The Father of the Modern Submarine.'

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