Mobs Cheanada picks up two IFTA nominations

Time to get those glad rags on!

The IFTA nominations were announced today and it was a good day for people west of the Shannon and I think its fair to say its one of the best line-up of nominations in a number of years. Among the nominees is Mobs Cheanada a series I edited which has been nominated in two categories, the Special Irish Language award and the award for Best Documentary Series. The show was directed by Dathai Keane and the nominations mean that Dathai has been nominated for the last five years in a row and that every series he has ever directed has been recognized by the academy. Thats quite an achievement but one that is richly deserved. I had a lot of fun editing this as Dathai is an old friend and the gang at ABU are all good mates of mine, so it was a pleasurable way to spend a couple of months. You can see clips from the series here.

Best of luck to all the nominees but special mention must also go to my buddy Mark Henry who was nominated for his audio post production work on Love/Hate. Hopefully we will have something to celebrate on Feb 11th.

Here is the Press Release

The Irish Film and Television Academy is delighted to announce the shortlist of nominees in 40 strongly contested categories for the 9th Annual Irish Film and Television Awards, which takes place on Saturday 11th February 2012 at the Convention Centre Dublin (CCD).

Nominations are announced in categories across film and television, celebrating the highest standard of Irish talent over the past twelve months. All IFTA’s categories have been shortlisted by Members of the Irish Film & Television Academy’s fourteen chapters alongside a select Jury panel of industry experts from around the world.

Reflecting the Irish film and television industry’s continuing development of its creative, original and entertaining output year-on-year, IFTA received 337 titles submitted for consideration in the 2012 Awards.
Academy CEO, Aine Moriarty stated that:

“The Irish Film & Television Awards is Ireland’s showcase to the world of what our small but outstanding film and television community has to offer: excellent and challenging feature films and dramas; entertaining television and engaging factual content. The Irish industry consistently delivers world-class standards of work that is watched by a global audience. Ireland’s economic struggles have been well documented, but against this pressure it’s heartening to see how Ireland’s hard-working creative community continues to punch above its weight and really deliver.”

The features nominated for Best Film at IFTA 2012 are; the period drama Albert Nobbs; Irish psychological thriller Charlie Casanova; black comedy The Guard, and rural drama Stella Days. Screenwriters for all four of the Best Film contenders – John Banville & Glenn Close, John Michael McDonagh, Terry McMahon and Antoine O’Flaherta – have been nominated for Script Film whilst McDonagh and McMahon join fellow debut director Rebecca Daly (The Other Side of Sleep) and IFTA winner Thaddeus O’Sullivan (Stella Days) in the category for Director Film.

In the feature film acting categories, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy star Ciaran Hinds receives an IFTA nomination alongside The Guard actor Brendan Gleeson. Michael Fassbender has been nominated for his performance in Steve McQueen’s drama Shame and Martin Sheen, an Irish citizen, has also been nominated for his role as Irish priest Fr. Daniel Barry in the Irish production Stella Days. Sheen’s Stella Days co-star Marcella Plunkett has also been nominated with Antonia Campbell Hughes (The Other Side of Sleep) shortlisted for the first time in the Lead Actress category following her Rising Star nomination in 2011. Newcomer Aoife Duffin is also nominated for her performance in Behold the Lamb. IFTA winning actress Saoirse Ronan has been IFTA nominated for her lead turn in Hanna. Albert Nobbs star Glenn Close and The Guard actor Don Cheadle have both been shortlisted in the International categories for their performances in these Irish features.

The shortlist for Supporting performances sees Brendan Gleeson receive his second IFTA nomination this year for his role in Albert Nobbs, alongside his The Guard co-star Liam Cunningham, The Debt actor Ciarán Hinds and Bridesmaids star Chris O’Dowd. Maria Doyle Kennedy (Albert Nobbs), Brenda Fricker (Albert Nobbs), Fionnula Flanagan (The Guard) and Amy Huberman (Stella Days) are shortlisted in the Supporting Actress Film category.

In the Television Drama categories, RTÉ crime drama Love/Hate leads the overall shortlist with nominations in 10 categories including Best Drama, Director Television Drama for David Caffrey, Writer Television Drama for Stuart Carolan (who received the IFTA in 2011 for his work on the first series) and acting nominations for cast Tom Vaughan Lawlor, Denise McCormack and Aidan Gillen. Aidan Gillen receives a second IFTA nomination this year for his performance on the HBO epic Game of Thrones, filmed on location in Northern Ireland, which has also received nominations for Best Drama, Director Television Drama for Brian Kirk and Actress in a Lead Role Television for Coleraine star Michelle Fairley.

TG4’s Irish language series Corp + Anam has received four IFTA nominations including Best Drama, Writer Television Drama for Daire Mac Con Iomaire, Lead Actor Diarmuid de Faoite and Actress Maria Doyle Kennedy; with Showtime epic The Borgias also shortlisted in Drama, with the series’ creator, director and writer Neil Jordan receiving two further nominations.

In television acting, Brendan Coyle earns his first IFTA nomination for his performance as Mr. Bates in the BBC drama Downton Abbey, whilst more Irish talents working on international television projects feature strongly across the shortlist. Ruth Negga has been nominated for her Lead performance in the BBC biopic Shirley, in addition to a nomination in the Supporting Actress TV category for her performance in the modern sci-fi series Misfits. Ruth’s Misfits co-star Robert Sheehan is also nominated for his work on the second instalment of the E4 series. Chris O’Dowd, Bronagh Gallagher and Eva Birthistle are nominated for their television acting performances, whilst Television Drama Director Daniel O’Hara and Drama Writer Ronan Bennett are nominated for their work on Being Human and Hidden respectively.

Ireland’s MasterChef debuts strongly at the IFTAs with nominations in three categories, including Entertainment Programme, and the Irish Academy’s newly introduced Television Craft categories. Comedy series Hardy Bucks, Mrs Brown’s Boys and The Savage Eye are shortlisted with MasterChef for Entertainment. TV3’s Head Chef and The Apprentice join RTÉ’s Celebrity Bainisteoir and ICA Bootcamp in becoming the very first nominees for the IFTA Reality Programme category.

In the popular Children’s/Youth category OMG! Jedward’s Dream Factory, fronted by Ireland’s renowned Grimes twins, has been nominated alongside a modern take on Oscar Wilde’s classic The Importance of Being Whatever, the original animated series Punky and the Emmy nominated The Amazing World of Gumball.

Other shortlisted titles include Ireland’s Secret Millionaire; wartime documentary The Belfast Blitz; a look at Rory McIlroy’s Major Breakthrough and The Frontline’s Presidential Debate.

The full list of IFTA nominees is below.

The 9th Annual Irish Film & Television Awards will take place at Dublin’s CCD on Saturday 11th of February 2012, broadcasting on RTÉ One at 9.30pm. IFTA 2012 will be hosted by Irish actor Simon Delaney.

For further information and all the latest IFTA updates visit:
http://www.ifta.ie
http://www.facebook.com/iftaonline
http://www.twitter.com/ifta

NOMINEES FOR THE 9TH ANNUAL IRISH FILM & TELEVISION AWARDS

FILM CATEGORIES

BEST FILM

Albert Nobbs- Alan Moloney, Bonnie Curtis, Julie Lynn and Glen Close (Parallel Film & TV Productions)
Charlie Casanova- Terry McMahon (Source Productions)
Stella Days- Jackie Larkin& Leslie McKimm (Newgrange Pictures)
The Guard- Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe, Chris Larke, Flore Fernandez Marengo(Element Pictures)

DIRECTOR FILM

Rebecca Daly – The Other Side of Sleep (Fastnet Films)
John Michael McDonagh – The Guard (Element Pictures)
Terry McMahon – Charlie Casanova (Source Productions)
Thaddeus O’Sullivan – Stella Days (Newgrange Pictures)

SCRIPT FILM

John Banville & Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs (Parallel Film & Television Productions)
John Michael McDonagh – The Guard (Element Pictures)
Terry McMahon – Charlie Casanova (Source Productions)
Antoine O’Flaherta – Stella Days (Newgrange Pictures)

ACTOR IN A LEAD ROLE IN A FEATURE FILM

Michael Fassbender – Shame (Momentum Pictures)
Brendan Gleeson – The Guard (Element pictures)
Ciarán Hinds – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Focus Features)
Martin Sheen – Stella Days (Newgrange Pictures)

ACTRESS IN A LEAD ROLE IN A FEATURE FILM

Aoife Duffin – Behold The Lamb (Dumbworld Productions)
Antonia Campbell Hughes – The Other Side of Sleep (Fastnet Films)
Marcella Plunkett – Stella Days (Newgrange Pictures)
Saoirse Ronan -Hanna (Focus Features)

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A FEATURE FILM

Liam Cunningham – The Guard (Element Pictures)
Brendan Gleeson – Albert Nobbs (Parallel Film & Television Productions)
Ciarán Hinds – The Debt (Universal Pictures)
Chris O’Dowd – Bridesmaids (Universal Pictures)

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A FEATURE FILM

Maria Doyle Kennedy – Albert Nobbs (Parallel Film & Television Productions)
Fionnula Flanagan – The Guard (Element Pictures)
Brenda Fricker – Albert Nobbs (Parallel Film & Television Productions)
Amy Huberman – Stella Days (Newgrange Pictures)

GEORGE MORRISON FEATURE DOCUMENTARY AWARD

Bernadette; Notes on a Political Journey- Lelia Doolan, (Digital Quilts)
Knuckle- Ian Palmer, (RISE Films)
Men of Arlington- Enda Hughes, (Hotshot Films)
Off The Beaten Track- Dieter Auner, (Ikandi Productions)

SPECIAL IRISH LANGUAGE AWARD

Corp + Anam – Paddy Hayes (Magamedia)
Mobs Cheanada – Dathai Cathal Watters (Abú Media)
Ray McAnally – M’Athair – Brian Reddin (Dearg Films)
Seacht – Colin O’Donnell (Stirling Film & Television)

ANIMATION

23 Degrees 5 Minutes – Darragh O’Connell (Brown Bag Films)
The Boy in the Bubble – Kealan O’ Rourke (Igloo Films)
The Last Train – Alex Sherwood (Giant Creative)
Origin – James Stacey (Souljacker)

PHILIPS SHORT FILM AWARD

The Boy In The Bubble- Kealan O’ Rourke (Igloo Films)
Cluck- Michael Lavelle (Tilted Productions)
Downpour- Claire Dix (Zucca Films)
Foxes- Lorcan Finnegan (Lovely Productions)
The Shore- Terry George (All Ashore)

INTERNATIONAL CATEGORIES

INTERNATIONAL FILM

Bridesmaids (Universal Pictures)
Drive (Eclipse Pictures)
Senna (Universal Pictures)
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Focus Features)

INTERANTIONAL ACTOR

Don Cheadle – The Guard (Element Pictures)
Leonardo DiCaprio – J Edgar (Warner Bros Pictures)
Ryan Gosling – Drive (Eclipse Pictures)
Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Focus Features)

INTERNATIONAL ACTRESS

Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton, We Need To Talk About Kevin
Kirsten Wiig, Bridesmaids

TELEVISION DRAMA CATEGORIES

BEST DRAMA, IN ASSOCIATION WITH BAI

Corp + Anam – Paddy Hayes (Magamedia)
Game of Thrones – Mark Huffam (Generator Entertainment)
Love/Hate – Suzanne McAuley/Steve Mattews (Octagon Films)
The Borgias – James Flynn (Octagon Films)

DIRECTOR TELEVISION DRAMA

David Caffrey – Love/Hate (Octagon Films)
Neil Jordan – The Borgias (Octagon Films)
Brian Kirk – Game of Thrones (Generator Entertainment)
Daniel O’Hara – Being Human (Company Pictures)

WRITER TELEVISION DRAMA

Neil Jordan – The Borgias (Octagon Films)
Stuart Carolan – Love/Hate (Octagon Films)
Ronan Bennett – Hidden (Origin Pictures)
Daire Mac Con Iomaire – Corp + Anam (Magamedia)

ACTOR IN A LEAD ROLE TELEVISION

Diarmuid de Faoite – Corp + Anam (Magamedia)
Aidan Gillen – Love/Hate (Octagon Films)
Chris O’Dowd – The Crimson and the White Petal (Origin Pictures)
David Pearse – Trivia (Grand Pictures)

ACTRESS IN A LEAD ROLE TELEVISION

Maria Doyle Kennedy – Corp + Anam (Magamedia)
Michele Fairley – Game of Thrones (Generator Entertainment)
Ruth Negga – Shirley (Prospect Cymru Wales)
Aisling O’Sullivan – Raw (Ecosse Films / Octagon Films)

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE TELEVISION

Brendan Coyle – Downton Abbey (Carnival Productions)
Aidan Gillen – Game of Thrones (Generator Entertainment)
Robert Sheehan – Misfits (Clerkenwell Films)
Tom Vaughan Lawlor – Love/Hate (Octagon Films)

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE TELEVISION

Eva Birthistle – Strike Back (Left Bank Pictures)
Bronagh Gallagher – The Field of Blood (BBC Scotland)
Denise McCormack – Love/Hate (Octagon Films)
Ruth Negga – Misfits (Clerkenwell Films)

CRAFT / TECHNICAL CATEGORIES (FILM / TV DRAMA)

COSTUME DESIGN (FILM / TV DRAMA)

Joan Bergin – Camelot (World 2000 Entertainment)
Consolata Boyle – The Iron Lady (Eclipse Pictures)
Eimer Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh – Neverland (Parallel Film & Television Productions)
Lorna Marie Mugan – Treasure Island (Parallel Film & Television Productions)

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY (FILM / TV DRAMA)

Seamus Deasy – Neverland (Parallel Film & Television Productions)
Suzie Lavelle – The Other Side of Sleep (Fastnet Films)
Seamus McGarvey – We Need To Talk About Kevin (Artificial Eye)
Robbie Ryan – Wuthering Heights (Ecosse Films)

EDITING (FILM / TV DRAMA)

Dermot Diskin – Stella Days (Newgrange Pictures)
Tony Kearns – Charlie Casanova (Source Productions)
Úna Ní Dhonghaíle – Dr Who (BBC Film)
Isobel Stephenson – Love/Hate (Octagon Films)

M.A.C MAKE-UP & HAIR (FILM / TV DRAMA)

Lorraine Glynn / Lynn Johnson – Albert Nobbs (Parallel Film & Television Productions)
Dee Corcoran / Tom Mc Inerney – Camelot (World 2000 Entertainment)
Ailbhe Lemass / Lorraine Glynn – Neverland (Parallel Film & Television Productions)
Joni Galvin / Eileen Buggy – Stella Days (Newgrange Pictures)

ORIGINAL SCORE (FILM / TV DRAMA)

Brian Byrne – Albert Nobbs (Parallel Film & Television Productions)
Darragh O’Toole – Ballymun Lullaby (Pulp Productions)
Stephen McKeon – Legends of Valhalla: Thor (Tidal Films)
Ray Harman – Love/Hate (Octagon Films)

PRODUCTION DESIGN (FILM / TV DRAMA)

Tom Conroy – Camelot (World 2000 Entertainment)
Stephen Daly – Love/Hate (Octagon Films)
John Paul Kelly – The Guard (Element Pictures)
Anna Rackard – Stella Days (Newgrange Pictures)

SOUND (FILM / TV DRAMA)

Albert Nobbs – Brendan Deasy, Niall Brady, Michelle Cunniffe, Steve Fanagan (Parallel Film & Television Productions)
Game of Thrones – Ronan Hill & Sound Post Production Team (Generator Entertainment)
Love/Hate – Brendan Deasy, Mark Henry, Fiadhnait McCann (Octagon Films)
The Guard – Robert Flanagan, Michelle Cuniffe, Niall Brady (Element Pictures)

CRAFT & TECHNICAL CATEGORIES (TELEVISION)

DIRECTOR TELEVISION

Liz Gill – A Story With Me In It (Animo)
Gary Keane – The Writing in the Sky (Real Films)
Lynda McQuaid – MasterChef Ireland (Screentime Shinawil)
Kieron J Walsh – The Savage Eye (Blinder Films)

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY TELEVISION

Richard Kendrick – Two for the Road (Yellow Asylum Films)
Michael O’Donovan – The Writing in the Sky (Real Films)
Peter Robertson – Waterways (Tile Films)
Kieron Skyne – Departure Day (RTÉ)

EDITING TELEVISION

Ailbhe Gaffney – MasterChef Ireland (Screentime Shinawil)
Mick Mahon – The Writing in the Sky (Real Films)
Emer Reynolds – Broken Tail (Crossing the Line Films)
Ray Roantree – The Ashes of 9/11 (RTÉ)

SOUND TELEVISION

Horslips – Rotha Mór an tSaoil – Sam Horgan (Gaijin Productions)
MasterChef Ireland – Trevor Cunningham (Screentime Shinawil)
Punky – Emma Butt (Monster Animation and Design)
The Writing in the Sky – Killian Fitzgerald (Real Films)

TELEVISION CATEGORIES

CHILDREN’S / YOUTH PROGRAMME

OMG! Jedward’s Dream Factory – Noleen Golding (Tyrone Productions)
Punky – Gerard O’Rourke (Monster Animation & Design)
The Amazing World of Gumball – Anne Tweedy & Peter Lewis (Boulder Media Limited)
The Importance of Being Whatever – Martina Niland & David Collins (Accomplice TV)

CURRENT AFFAIRS / NEWS

Prime Time Investigates: The Home Care Scandal – Adrian Lydon (RTÉ)
Prime Time Investigates: Carry On Regardless – Bill Malone (RTÉ)
The Frontline: The Presidential Debate – Michael Hughes (RTÉ)
State Visit to Ireland of Queen Elizabeth II – John O’Regan (RTÉ)

DOCUMENTARY SERIES

The Meaning of Life with Gay Byrne – Roger Childs (RTÉ)
Mobs Cheanada – Dathai Keane, (Abu Media)
The Tenements – Jane Kelly (Big Mountain Productions)
Waterways – Stephen Rooke (Tile Films)

DOCUMENTARY

Father Ted; Small, Far Away – The World of Father Ted – Faye Hill (Hat Trick Productions Ltd)
The Blood of the Travellers – Liam McGrath (Scratch Films)
Ray McAnally – Brian Reddin (Dearg Films)
The Irish of 9/11 – Maurice Sweeney (Motive Television)

ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAMME

Hardy Bucks – Mike Cockayne
MasterChef Ireland – Larry Bass (Screentime ShinAwiL)
Mrs Brown’s Boys – Brendan O’Carroll & Justin Healy (BBC)
The Savage Eye – (Sideline Productions)

FACTUAL PROGRAMME

Secret Millionaire – Ronan O Muirthile (Animo Television)
Story of Ireland – Mike Connolly (BBC NI)
The Belfast Blitz – Andrea McCartney (Hardy Pictures)
The Only Viking In The Village – Anne Heffernan & Bernadine Carraher (Mind the Gap)

REALITY PROGRAMME

Celebrity Bainisteoir – Fiona Looney (Kite Entertainment)
Head Chef – Billy McGrath (Sideline Productions)
ICA Bootcamp (Independent Pictures)
The Apprentice – Larry Bass (Screentime ShinAwiL)

SPORTS

Eamon Coughlan – Man on a Mission – (Motive Television)
Frank O’Farrell – The Shadow of Busby – Sean Doyle (Zoogon)
Pilgrims – The Irish at Cheltenham – Maurice Sweeney (Motive Television)
Rory’s Major Breakthrough – Stephen Watson (BBCNI Sport)

Mobs Cheanada preview from the Indo

Colm, Dathai & Bob shooting in Canada

UPDATE: Watch clips from the series here

This is the text of an article that appeared in The Irish Independent two months ago now about the series “Mobs Cheanada” which was about to start at the time.

They were the bank robbers, drug barons, gangsters and murderers whose crimes formed the dark side of the Irish diaspora. They included Canada’s most notorious family, the Black Donnellys. For years they were at the centre of mayhem in Ontario and were eventually massacred themselves by vigilantes.

The story of the refugees who left Ireland for America during the Famine and afterwards is a familiar one. Poverty-stricken and oppressed, some clawed their way up to the highest ranks of politics and the law; others became notorious criminals.

The legacy of the dispossessed Irish who flooded into Canada, however, is not as well documented, but Daithí Keane, writer and director of a TV series on the other side of the Canadian dream, plans to change all that.

Last November, Keane accompanied an Abú Media film crew to Canada to chart some of the more colourful stories of the Irish immigrants for ‘Mobs Cheanada’.

The series, which features interviews with ex-gang members, families and the law, highlights the story of the disreputable Black Donnellys, murdered by their own neighbours, as well as the careers of bank robber John Hamilton, John Dillinger’s right-hand man, the legendary Stopwatch Gang, an Irish-Canadian bootlegger and drug lords.

“This is the dark side of the Irish emigrant story. It’s not all about people who went on to become successful in the police force or in politics,” says Eileen Seoighe, a producer with Abú Media. “I found the story of the Black Donnellys very intriguing. It is so Irish — land is at the centre of the story. It was a major issue in Ireland and it travelled across the Atlantic.”

Adds Keane: “The Black Donnellys had come from an experience of horror, so they arrived in Canada with a driving determination to survive.

“They would do that any way they could, even if it meant stepping outside the law. They came from a society where the law was an oppressive force, not necessarily just, and they saw it as something that was used to keep them down.

“The story of the Donnellys was hushed up for years. It’s only in the last generation that the people there have talked about it,” concludes Keane, who points out that the vigilante committee which murdered several family members had its roots in a Peace Society set up by the local Catholic priest: “It’s as Irish a story as you get.”

The Black Donnellys

The horrifying massacre of an Irish immigrant family remains one of the most infamous events in Canadian history. The story of the Black Donnellys encapsulates the volatile mix of poverty, social tension and violence that characterised the lives of many 19th-century Irish immigrants to Canada.

It all started with a squabble over land — James Donnelly, who is believed to have emigrated from north Tipperary around 1842, squatted on a 100-acre plot near the small village of Biddulph, an hour from Toronto.

On June 25, 1857, a fight broke out between Donnelly and Patrick Farrell, the man to whom the plot had been rented. Donnelly killed Farrell with a heavy hand-spike used for moving logs. “It was almost like a crowbar — he would have wielded it two-handed, and eye witnesses described him hitting Farrell across the temple with it, killing him,” says Daithí Keane.

Donnelly was convicted for the murder and sentenced to death, but this was later commuted to a seven-year prison sentence.

In 1873, Donnelly’s son William set up a transport company in competition with another passenger line, sparking a feud characterised by arson attacks, the destruction of coaches and the killing of horses. The Donnellys were blamed for most of the violence and, eventually, a local vigilante group decided to take them on.

On February 4, 1880, a gang of about 35 men attacked their home. James Sr and his wife Johannah were both killed, along with their son Tom and Donnelly’s 21-year-old niece Bridget. The mob then moved on to William’s house, where they shot his brother John after mistaking him for William.

No one was convicted of the murders.

Ben Kerr

Known as the King of the Lake Ontario Rum-Runners, Ben Kerr, whose mother is believed to have come from Fermanagh, had a respectable middle-class background. However, he went on to have career as a notorious bootlegger, while his mysterious death on Lake Ontario in 1929 was clouded in rumour.

In 1920, the American government prohibited the sale of alcohol. An illicit trade in smuggling alcohol across the border sprang up. Kerr is believed to have begun running alcohol across Lake Ontario in 1920.

By the mid-1920s, efforts to enforce Prohibition in the United States had intensified, so Kerr started operating in the dangerous winter months.

“Lake Ontario has some of the most treacherous conditions of any inland waterway in Canada. Many bootleggers would have died in the 1920s in storms, which can blow up very quickly. It was very dangerous, as rival gangs of bootleggers would hijack booze from one another,” says Keane. In 1925, following a shoot-out with the Coastal Guard, Kerr was captured. After paying a hefty bail he absconded and moved his operation to the lake’s northern shores. But in February 1929, Kerr and his partner, Alf Wheat, went missing.

Their bodies were later washed ashore, but whether they died as the result of an accident or following an attack remains a mystery.

John ‘Red’ Hamilton

John ‘Red’ Hamilton was an Irish-Canadian bank robber and right-hand man to the notorious John Dillinger. Dillinger and Hamilton, whose family hailed from Omagh, became the most wanted bank robbers in the US. In the 1930s the duo were Numbers One and Three respectively on the FBI’s Most Wanted list.

Hamilton met Dillinger while serving a prison sentence for robbery. Dillinger was paroled in May 1933, but some months later helped several jailed friends, including Hamilton, to escape, sparking a string of bank robberies across the American Mid-West.

Hamilton later shot and killed a policeman in Chicago who, acting on a tip-off, asked him for identification.

In 1934 he went on to carry out another bank robbery in Chicago, during which another policeman was shot dead. Although Dillinger was officially charged with the murder, several witnesses indicated that Hamilton was the killer.

He accompanied the gang on a string of armed robberies until April 1934, when he was believed to have been fatally wounded by a bullet as he and the rest of the gang escaped in a car. He reportedly died on April 30, 1934, but not everybody believes it, says Keane: “According to Ed Butts, the author of a book on Hamilton’s life, the family maintained that Hamilton actually survived and returned to Canada, where he lived in seclusion on an island for the rest of his days.”

The Stopwatch Gang

Paddy Mitchell, Stephen Reid and Lionel Wright formed the colourful Stopwatch Gang. One of North America’s most notorious criminal gangs — some of their exploits formed the basis of the film ‘Point Break’ — they were dubbed the Stopwatch Gang by the press because of the large stopwatch that Irish leader Mitchell wore around his neck.

The aim? To complete each heist within two minutes. In their heyday, from the late 1970s to the early 1980s, they robbed more than 140 banks in the US and Canada and landed on the FBI’s Most Wanted list.

The gang were known for being polite towards their victims, and for making use of diversionary tactics such as hoax phone calls about bomb threats to tie up police resources.

“They wore elaborate disguises, sometimes masks representing dead US presidents such as Nixon and John F Kennedy, and at other times dressing up as characters from Star Trek,” says Keane.

The first and most spectacular of their heists occurred at Ottawa Airport in 1974, when they stole six gold bars worth $750,000. In 1977, Mitchell was apprehended, convicted of the gold heist and other crimes and imprisoned, escaping on three occasions.

He later moved to the Philippines, but in 1994 was recognised and fled the country for the US, where he undertook one last robbery. However, he was tracked down and sentenced to 65 years in prison. He died of lung cancer in a prison hospital in 2007.

The West End Gang

Known originally as ‘the Irish Gang’, the West End Gang, dominated by Irish-Canadian criminals, grew out of the tough Montreal neighbourhoods of Griffintown and Point St Charles, where the earliest Irish immigrants had originally settled. Along with the Montreal Mafia and the Hells Angels, the West End Gang has dominated crime and the drugs trade in Montreal in recent decades.

The man often credited with establishing the West End Gang as a major force was Frank ‘Dunie’ Ryan, whose father was a native of Co Tipperary. While still in his early 20s, Ryan, who was born in Montreal in 1942, robbed a bank in Massachussetts and spent time in jail.

On his release, he returned to Montreal and entered the drugs trade in the 1970s, constructing an extensive drugs network that stretched into the US. The self-proclaimed ‘King of Montreal’ is believed to have amassed “a personal fortune of over $100 million at the height of his power”, says Keane.

In November 1984, Ryan was shot dead in a motel in Montreal. “There are different theories as to what actually happened. One version of events is that he was killed by two gangsters trying to extort money from him, but another source believes his murder was the direct result of an internal power struggle within the West End Gang.”

‘Mobs Cheanada’, which follows the award-winning programmes ‘Mobs Mheiricea’, is produced by Bríd and Eileen Seoighe from Abú Media and written and directed by Dathaí Keane. The show is broadcast on TG4 Tuesday, February 22 at 10pm for six weeks

‘1916 Seachtar na Cásca’ launched by Brian Cowen


Here is an article from iftn about TG4’s new series directed and edited by my mate Dathai. I was lucky enough to work on this show, I did the colour correction, not what I usually do but Dathai asked me to help him out. It was really a privilege as the show is one of the greatest things TG4 have ever done.

UPDATE: WATCH CLIPS FROM THE SHOW HERE

It starts next wednesday and seriously I cannot recommend something higher.

An Taoiseach Brian Cowen TD this week launched ‘1916 Seachtar na Cásca’, a new series profiling each of the 1916 Proclamation signatories. The 7 x one hour series starts on Wednesday, September 22nd.
‘1916 Seachtar na Cásca’, directed by Daithai Keane (Mobs Canada) is narrated by the Emmy winning Irish actor, Brendan Gleeson (Into the Storm) and looks to tell the story of each of the seven signatories of the 1916 Easter Proclamation. Each programme in the series outlines the individual circumstances and chain of events that led each man towards his respective role in the Rising, one of the most defining moments in 20th century Irish history.

This is the first major television series on the 1916 Rising since the 50th anniversary in 1966 and goes in search of the men, their backgrounds and their families. Audiences will learn that one signatory was crippled by polio at the advanced age of 28 whilst another spent eight years studying for the priesthood and yet another spent 15 long years in a British jail before 1900, convicted of Republican crimes.

The series is produced for TG4 by Abú Media and was produced by Pierce Boyce (Clontarf). The script was written by Aindrias Ó Cathasaigh and the series’ music was composed by Ronan Browne (Gangs of New York). This project received funding from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s Sound and Vision scheme as well as benefitting from the Section 481 support schemes for audio-visual production.

Producer Pierce Boyce and director Dathaí Keane joined with TG4 Ardstiúrthóir Pól Ó Gallchóir in presenting a DVD copy of the series to An Taoiseach this week (pictured). ‘1916 Seachtar na Cásca’ will start its broadcast on TG4 from next Wednesday, September 22nd at 9.30pm.