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There's Something About Shinrone

Story by Laura Ryder

Monday, 15th July, 2013 12:47pm

There's Something About Shinrone

A film premiere celebrating what’s special about Shinrone will take place on Friday, July 19.

“There’s Something About Shinrone” will be shown in Shinrone Community Centre at 8pm and all are welcome to attend.

Written and directed by Steven Goldsmith, the short film touches on what Shinrone is renowned for: its 1960s RTE documentary; concerts by musicians Arlo Guthrie, The Waterboys, Nancy Griffith and more and of course the infamous Barack Obama connection (his Kearney ancestors are buried in the village).

However the story “There’s Something About Shinrone” tells is that despite these recognised connections, what makes Shinrone special are the people who call it home.

The film came about through Offaly County Council’s per cent for art scheme and following a public meeting it was decided the 1967 RTE documentary on Shinrone would be a good starting point to make a film about the village of today.

Facilitating the process arts officer Sinead O’Reilly said it was fascinating.

“It was really interesting and refreshing to see that everyone was keen on a project that would involve many people in the community and have a far recahing impact, particularly for those not living in the area anymore,” she said.

A steering committee involved in the film included then Cathaoirleach of Offaly County Council Peter Ormond, Marie Maher, Hazel Greene and Cyril Stanley.

That group worked with filmmaker Steven Goldsmith and cameraman Declan Barrett to see the project to fruition.

As well as interviews and appearances by many of the village both young and old, the film also depicts Shinrone’s beautiful architecture and setting.

“The 1960’s RTE film attempts to capture a microcosm of rural Irish culture,” Mr Goldsmith said.

“This new film takes that effort as a starting point, striving to explore local residents’ impressions, memories and attitudes about their community in an effort to capture the authentic voice of Shinrone.

"This is not meant to be a documentary, but rather an exploration of the deeper heart of the Shinrone community, asking the question: ‘What makes Shinrone special?’. I would like to sincerely thank the people of Shinrone for their participation, in particular Peter, Marie, Hazel and Cyril for organising the days of filming and Declan Barrett, of course, for great camera work.”

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