Suicide the focus of film based in Cork

An Irish film based on a story by a West Cork-born writer about young male suicide in modern Ireland, is broadcast on RTÉ tonight.

The 30-minute movie, A Day for the Fire, by author and film producer Maurice O’Callaghan, features performances by Jonathan Ryan (Patriot Games) and Jon Kenny (D’Unbelievables).

It has already been screened at festivals such as Palm Springs, Savannah, Boston, Cork, Fastnet, and at Los Angeles for the 2013 Oscar long-list.

It is a film adaptation of the award-winning title story of the 2005 short story collection A Day for the Fire and Other Stories, by O’Callaghan, a former lawyer who is best known for his 1994 film Broken Harvest.

“The story deals with the phenomenon of young male suicide which has been continuing in Ireland for some 20 years,” said Mr O’Callaghan, who hails from the Enniskeane area of West Cork.

The original story had won the Francis MacManus Short Story Award.

Mr O’Callaghan, who has directed and produced three films — The Lord’s Burning Rain

(2014), A Day for the Fire (2013), and Broken Harvest (1994), is also the author of three novels, and has been based in Dublin for many years. He is set to publish his fourth book, Skibbereen, a novel about the famine, at the end of May.

A Day for the Fire is based around the tragic story of a young man who comes home from Australia and later takes his own life, leaving his grieving, bewildered father to tell the story to a stranger in a pub.

“The film is set in a small bar in a fictional West Cork village.

“Two men meet and make conversation, and then one reveals that his son, who was about 25, and had returned from Australia, had committed suicide. The father had no explanation for why he did it,” explained Mr O’Callaghan, now in his 60s.

Beautifully shot by cinematographer Seamus Deasy, with a haunting score by Hollywood composer Patrick Cassidy, the film has played in selected cinemas in Ireland throughout 2014 and 2015 and is available to be viewed on Youtube.

The story on which the film is based was first broadcast on RTÉ radio’s Francis MacManus short story series in 2001, read by actor Patrick Bergin.

  • A Day for the Fire will be screened on RTÉ 2 Shortscreen, tonight at midnight.


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