How to defuse a Bomb Daytime Cinema
28th February 2017
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
James O'Keeffe Institute
Places remaining: 26
In 1975, Irish immigrant Denis Mulcahy of the NYPD bomb squad and Pat Mulcahy of Rockchapel – gathered a group of family, friends and neighbours to start a scheme offering children from Northern Ireland a chance to temporarily escape the violent turmoil of their daily lives. From modest beginnings, Project Children ultimately brought over 20,000 Catholic and Protestant children to suburban US for summer-long visits where they forged unexpected friendships and found they had more in common with the ‘enemy’ than they thought.
The film features choice footage from a ’70s American TV film made about the scheme, plus contributions from Bill Clinton, Martin McGuinness and the now-adult children, whose personal stories are positioned within the wider political story of how Washington struggled to deal with Northern Ireland and Irish-America’s complex relationship with home.
“I’m young enough to only remember the last decade of The Troubles,” says director Des Henderson, “a decade in which things seemed to get progressively worse in Northern Ireland before they got better. As tough and unnerving as it was to grow up in Mid-Ulster, it must have been nothing compared to growing up in the urban centres of Belfast and Derry during the ’70s. It was these same images that prompted a group of friends from New York to intervene in the lives of vulnerable, impressionable kids to try and coax them away from violence and as Bill Clinton remarks in the film “not be educated in the foolishness'”.
Dinner & Dessert will be served at 1pm on the 28th of February and Paddy Mulcahy will then introduce a historical background to the documentary followed by the film. Cost of dinner €10.