Northern Ireland news

Some of Ireland's most successful GAA players set to star in movie about Easter Rising

GAA stars are to take on roles in the movie, The Rising

SOME of Ireland's most successful GAA players are set to star in a new movie about the 1916 Easter Rising.

Former All Star-winning Tyrone Gaelic footballer Seán Cavanagh and ex-Armagh All-Ireland star Oisin McConville are among 15 GAA players who have signed up to appear in the film, The Rising.

Produced by Co Fermanagh film-maker Kevin McCann, it will be the "first movie to tell the full story of 1916 and how Ireland rose up from famine to freedom".

Liam Neeson's son Michael will follow in his father's footsteps and take on the role of a young Michael Collins in the film.

Other leading actors to star in the movie are Colin Morgan, Fiona Shaw, Brendan Coyle and David O’Hara, who plays revolutionary leader James Connolly.

The film has been in development since 2012 backed by Screen Ireland, Northern Ireland Screen, but it has just been revealed that 15 All-Ireland winners will have small cameo roles and walk-on parts.

The All-Ireland winners come from various GAA backgrounds, including football, camogie, hurling and ladies football.

Alongside Cavanagh and McConville, Dublin legends Barney Rock and Brian Mullins, ex-Meath player Colm O’Rourke, Kerry's Jack O’Shea and Colm Cooper will all have roles as well as Cork All-Ireland winner Larry Tompkins and former team-mate Dinny Allen and Donegal 1992 legend Martin McHugh and his son Mark.

Cork footballer Valerie Mulcahy, camogie star Ursula Jacob, ex-hurlers Joe Connolly and John Kiely will also have parts.

Mr McCann, who is originally from Enniskillen, said: "These GAA heroes are people with a strong connection to the spirit of Ireland and that is what the movie is all about - the triumph of the Irish spirit, sacrifice and conviction.

"It is fitting to announce this as we mark the centenary year of Bloody Sunday at Croke Park.

"Imagine a movie scene where Patrick Pearse or Tom Clarke address a secret meeting of leaders played by Jack O’Shea, John Kiely, Valerie Mulcahy and Oisín McConville.

"The Irish around the world will grip the seats of the cinema with pride."

Mr McCann said the film "views the Easter Rising as a heroic stand against the British Empire that changed Ireland forever".

"Their sacrifice and effort must be honoured in a new motion picture," he said.

But he added that while they had secured funding from a US company who "sees strong commercial potential in this true story of Ireland", further investment was needed.

"In order to get our $10million movie across the line, we require keen investors connected to Ireland who see value in telling the Irish hero story

to a global audience," he said.

"Our powerful screenplay will continue to attract talented stars, but we still face this gap in the budget.

"We want to encourage any interested parties to step forward and contact us about investment through our website www.therising.ie.

"Their involvement is the key to making this movie happen.

"The presence of these GAA legends in 'The Rising' will honour the memory of Patrick Pearse, Countess Markievicz, Seán MacDiarmada and the other heroes who resurrected the Irish spirit.

"We are all on the same side in respecting the memory of the men and women of 1916."

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