Monday 20 November 2017

Snapshot of time gone by in store for filmgoers

Ken Sweeney

Ken Sweeney

Priests shopping with their housekeepers, a range of groceries which have long since left the shelves and children left to their own devices swinging out of shopping trolleys.

A fascinating snapshot of a time gone by is to be screened by the Irish Film Institute.

'Ciall Cheannaigh' features what was the most glamorous place to be seen in Ireland during 1969 -- Cornelscourt Shopping Centre in south Dublin.

Made by the Guinness Film Society, Mike Lawlor, the film's producer and director, explains the mysterious attraction of the then out-of-town Dunnes Stores.

"People forget back then you only had small shops, then suddenly Cornelscourt Shopping Centre opened. It was the biggest thing that ever hit Ireland, like Dundrum Shopping Centre to the power of 10. It was that exciting, I used to live near Tallaght but drove all the way over to Cornelscourt to do my shopping," Mike Lawlor told the Irish Independent.

Sunniva O'Flynn, curator of The Irish Film Institute, said it brilliantly captured an Ireland that has long gone.

"For anybody who lived through this period, there will be a huge recognition factor because it features all the products you don't see anymore.

"The film opens as the store opens, and follows a day in the life of the shopping centre. Watching it, you notice how things have changed enormously. For instance, I don't think they had changing rooms so you can see women sneaking on skirts while standing in the middle of the shop."

One member of the public who has requested a DVD of the film is former supermarket boss Ben Dunne, who once worked at the Dunnes Stores. "I've seen a little clip and I have to say I'm fascinated by this," he said.

'Ciall Cheannaigh' is being screened at The Irish Film Institute on Monday, January 25, at 1pm and at the same time on Saturday, January 30, along with 'Water Wisdom' made in Waterford during 1962 to persuade small farming communities to co-operate in providing themselves with piped water.

Irish Independent

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