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It's Hamlet for Travellers... fights, love and revenge

IT'S got all the classic movie ingredients - love, betrayal and revenge - and King of the Travellers is tipped to be a smash hit when it is released next year.

The new movie includes scenes of a Traveller wedding and bare- knuckle fighting. The €1m movie was financed by the Irish Film Board, TV3 and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

The main character is played by John Connors, an actor from a settled Traveller family from Darndale in Dublin. It also stars Peter Coonan from the Love/Hate television series and renowned actor and playwright from the Traveller community Michael Collins.

Producer Cormac Fox, of Vico Films, told the Herald: "It is a universal tale of a man seeking revenge for the killing of his father.

"I suppose aspects of it are a bit like Hamlet set in the Traveller community.

"It was brilliant working with the Traveller community. More than 100 took part in a wedding scene we shot in a social club in Inchicore.

"We couldn't have done it without Michael Collins, who helped so much in the making of the film."

The movie was shot on locations in Tallaght, Rathfarnham, Blessington, Kilconnell and Ballinasloe.

It is planned for cinema release next year and will be available later on DVD. The film will be broadcast at a later date on TV3. Mr Fox said the new film generated interest among American industry representatives at the Galway Film Fleadh. There has also been interest in releasing the film in the UK.


Associate producer TJ O'Grady-Peyton (28), of Stalker Films, said: "It really was brilliant working with everyone. I made many new friends."

The film's director Mark O'Connor, a native of Killiney, Co Dublin, now living in Peru, told the Voice Of The Traveller magazine he did not set out to portray Travellers in any particular way when he was writing the screenplay. "There's good and bad in the Traveller community and also in the settled community," he said.

He said he was beaten up in a row with young Travellers when he was just 15, needing eight stitches. But, he added: "I ended up fighting the brother of the lad who hit me. I was impressed how the brother wanted a fair fight and shook my hand afterwards."