Wednesday 29 January 2020

'Sexed-up' drama was 1916 low point: Ó Broin

Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin Picture: Tom Burke
Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin Picture: Tom Burke
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

A Sinn Féin TD has described RTÉ drama series 'Rebellion' as a low point of the 1916 commemorations.

Eoin Ó Broin said the €6m production, which is one of the most expensive in Irish television history, was a "sexed-up period costume drama".

Speaking at the Parnell Summer School in Wicklow, he said it demonstrated "an inverse relationship between cost and quantity".

Brian Gleeson, Charlie Murphy and Niamh Cusack were among the cast of the five-part series which re-enacted events around the Easter Rising.

It reached audiences of over 600,000 viewers in January and has since been sold to Netflix.

RTÉ also recently secured funding for a follow-up called 'Rebellion: Two States'. It will be set during the War of Independence.

"In this centenary year, as we reflect on 1916 and its relevance today we face a stark choice. Do we grasp this unique opportunity to reflect on the failure of our past and recent present, to challenge the status quo, to undermine the traditional way of doing things?" Mr Ó Broin asked.

"To open up new realms of possibility, new ways of doing things, better ways of doing things.

"Or, just like RTÉ's 'Rebellion', do we reduce that pivotal moment in our nation's history to a vacuous moment of cultural and intellectual consumerism?"

He also criticised the formal State events which took place on Easter weekend.

The Dublin Mid-West TD said there were "sterile and depoliticised State commemorations" in O'Connell Street, Kilmainham Gaol and Glasnevin Cemetery.

"Exclusive ticket-only events with no room for the multitude and designed to bolster rather challenge the status quo," he said.

Mr Ó Broin added that it was ironic to see TDs and Senators being "shuttled from Leinster House to the GPO in a VIP bus for fear of rubbing shoulders with the multitude".

Irish Independent

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