AS WE go to press the 1969 Festival has not yet reached the half-way mark, and so any evaluation or even any prophecy would be at best purely speculative, a judgment with but half the evidence heard. Yet some productions have a definite interest in their own right and may providc a foundation on which to build a subsequent, more complete assessment. The Festival, it can bc argued, is more than the sum of its parts, but every part contributes to the Festival as a whole.
DETECTIVE SERGEANT" Lugs " Brannigan is probably the most famous policeman in Ireland today. He is admired by most young Gardai as an example of what they, minus his features, would want to be. I remember a young Guard telling me that he had , just heard that Brannigan had put six people in St. Vincent's Hospital an hour earlier. The young garda seemed to think this an exemplary achievement. The force admires him for his fearsome reputation in Dublin and his image as a good, fearless cop.
On September 4 the death of Ho Chi Minh, President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, was announced in Hanoi. Cu Bac (the revered Uncle) Ho was one of the elder statesmen of the twentieth century, a man who contributed significantly to the course of modern history and, by his actions more than his words, to the development of revolutionary socialist ideology.
EVERY YEAR the Cork Film Festival is praised or condemned on the basis of the feature films screened. It is sometimes forgotten that the main objective of the Festival is to furthcr an interest in the short film as an art form. This year the gcneral standard of the sixtyone short entrics was very high indeed but, as usual, thc features were the talking point and tended to overshadow the real purpose. Too much publicity is givcn to so-called" controversial" features and not enough to the main objective in which Cork succeeds so admirably.
A DICTIONARY definition of the noun" project" tells us it is a " scheme" or a "design." Spelt with a capital' P,' it becomes the name adopted by a group of young Dubliners to describe what is certainly a comprehensive scheme and one of ambitious and praiseworthy design. Project has had its ups and downs, its successes and disappointments, but now, three years after its inception, it remains one of the most stimulating and dynamic artistic forces in Irish life today.
WHILE THE Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association has constituted one of the main factors in the civil rights movement it would be inaccurate to say it is synonymous with it, The movement begins in effect in October of last year with the famous Derry march. At this point the civil rights ideal reached a sufficient number of people and moved them sufficiently towards direct action to earn the title of movement. The Association, however, has a much longer and lesser known history. The idea of an association of civil rights for Northern Ireland was first considered as far back as 1962.
Peadar O'Donnell was born in Donegal, in 1893, and was educated locally and at St. Patrick's College, Dublin. He became a school teacher in Donegal but in 1918 gave up teaching to become organiser of the I.T. and G.W.U. He joined the I.R.A. and at the Truce was Ole. 1st Northern Division. He took the Republican side in the crisis of the Treaty and was elected to the Executive of the I.R.A. He was in the Four Courts when it was attacked on 28th June, 1922.
A 200 FOOT STEEPLE was perhaps the only distinguishing characteristic of the little town of Freiberg, situated some 150 miles north-east of Vienna in what is now Czechoslovakia. It was here on the 6th of May in 1856 that Sigmund Freud was born, the first child of the second wife of an unsuccessful wool merchant who, it is said, resembled Garibaldi.
SINCE OCTOBER 1968 there has been a great deal of-usually loosetalk about the Irish problem in British politics. The essence of that talk has been that, the problem of Home Rule and independence for Ireland having been a wrecking agent in British politics for nearly half a century from the time Gladstone fell on the Home Rule issue in 1886, the Civil Rights crisis of the 1960s might yet provide the material for yet another Anglo-Irish explosion in our own time, the consequences of which none of us could foresee, but which would certainly be appalling.
WHEN CAPT. O'NEILL called the General Election for February 24th it was not to trounce the parliamentary opposition, but rather to assert the dominance of himself and his class within the Unionist party. The previous election had taken place in 1965 and another was not legally due until 1970. The Unionist party held 37 of the 52 seats on the dissolution, the remainder was divided as follows: 9 Nationalists, 2 Northern Ireland Labour, 2 Republican Labour, 1 Liberal and One National Democrat.