Cáilín Ciúin star’s new stage show takes a different track

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

Michael Patric who gave a brilliant portrayal of the inarticulate, difficult Da in the hit Irish language film, An Cáilín Ciúin, will be in Galway City’s Town hall Theatre on September 18 with his new one-man show, Seán Moylan: Irish Revolutionary. It’s based on the life and memories of Volunteer leader and politician Seán Moylan (1889-1957), who as a Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North from 1932-57, played a key role in the evolution of the newly-independent country, serving  variously as minister for agriculture and education.

Michael, from Newmarket in North Cork who has also featured on RTÉ’s Smother and Frontier for Netflix, was long aware of this complex man who threw himself into the fight for Irish independence and later, after the Anglo-Irish treaty, did everything he could to prevent former comrades from turning on each other.

“I knew about him, but not enough,” Michael says.

But that was sorted when he was prompted by local historian Sheila O’Sullivan to delve deeper. Michael decided to write about Moylan who was born in County Limerick to a parents from Limerick and Cork.

“He was born in Kilmallock in the home of his maternal grandparents and his father was from Newmarket, my home town,” Michael explains.

“The young Seán spent a lot of time in Kilmallock with his mother’s people (the O’Rahillys). They were Fenians and, living there, he heard stories about their activities.”

Seán Moylan trained as a carpenter and moved to Dublin where he became active in the GAA and Gaelic League, eventually returning to his father’s birthplace and becoming involved in the Irish Volunteers.

His commitment grew after 1916, and he was determined his country would not ‘remain a province’, with its people being treated ‘as a lesser breed’, as he put it”, Michael explains.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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