Saturday night film – Charlie O’Neill (1946? – 2016)

We haven’t had a Saturday night film for quite some time.

I like this one because it’s one man’s sincere tribute  to his life- long friend.  While a testament to the long-term activism of one “man of no property”  in the cause of  the common good of the people of Ireland, the film illustrates Irish country life, nature  and local history, becoming almost archetypal in its themes. You also get to see  some great landscapes.



Background info:

Charlie was a member of Saor Eire (Mark II).

Saor Eire (Mark I) was formed in 1931. Its aim was to achieve and consolidate a 32-County Republic and to secure the leadership of Irish workers and small farmers in order to overthrow British imperialism and Irish capitalism.  Peader O’Donnell, the main proponent of Saor Éire within the IRA Army Council, envisaged it as a movement based on the IRA and appealing to workers, small farmers and working class supporters of Fianna Fáil and the Labour Party.

Catholic Bishops condemned Saor Éire because  it was striving “to mobilise the workers and working farmers of Ireland behind a revolutionary movement to set up a Communist state. That is to impose upon the Catholic soil of Ireland the same materialistic regime, with its fanatical hatred of God, as now dominates Russia and threatens to dominate Spain

Free State  proscribed the IRA and Saor Éire and banned every other organisation with references to workers or labour in its name.Which soon ended the organization,

Saor Eire (Mark II)  was set up in 1967 by members of the Republican Movement and the Irish political left.  Its politics which leaned explicitly towards the international Trotskyist movement of the Fourth International. It stole weapons, robbed banks and supported People’s Democracy in Northern Ireland. After 1969, some of its leaders took part in the Burntollet march and the defence of Free Derry. By 1973 Saor Eire had “ceased to play a progressive role” and was disbanded

Saor Eire bankrobber in Liverpool


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