Hollywood wooed for O’Connell film in Kerry

Hollywood could again be on the way to Kerry to make a movie about one of the country’s greatest 19th century figures.

The idea of telling the story of Daniel O’Connell The Liberator on the silver screen was put to leading director Steven Spielberg and actor Daniel Day-Lewis when they attended the premiere of Spielberg’s film Lincoln, in Dublin, at the weekend.

The pair met Arts and Heritage Minister Jimmy Deenihan who made the suggestion.

The Kerry-based minister, a long-time admirer of O’Connell, said afterwards he was hopeful his proposal might come to reality.

Mr Deenihan also said Spielberg had heard about O’Connell — who was born at Carhan, Caherciveen, and lived in Derrynane House, also on the Ring of Kerry.

The minister also gave the famous movie-maker a book about O’Connell who helped win Catholic emancipation and who has influenced many other international leaders.

Derrynane House, which is well conserved, is currently a State-run visitor centre and could provide an authentic backdrop for a film on O’Connell.

Kerry has been the location for several major films, including Ryan’s Daughter, directed by David Lean, in the Dingle Peninsula in the late 1960s, which was also the location for Far and Away, starring Tom Cruise, some years later.

In the 1990s, the film version of John B Keane’s play, The Field, with Richard Harris in the lead role, was widely acclaimed.

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