Mel Gibson’s message marks 20 years of ‘Braveheart’

Hollywood star Mel Gibson who is now a Freeman of Trim, will send a personal video message to the Co Meath town to mark the 20th anniversary of the Oscar-winning film Braveheart.

Mel Gibson’s message marks 20 years of ‘Braveheart’

Gibson has readily agreed to the personal link which will be broadcast on a huge 60m outdoor screen which will be erected to show the 1995 film to 1,200 people on the grounds of Trim Castle on August 1.

Although the actor was bestowed with the Freeman of Trim honour in 2010 by the then town council, he only received the official certificate in recent weeks.

Gibson is a huge supporter of event organisers the Sean Lawlor Artists Trust which was set up to help artists in dire financial straits and in need of medical care and attention.

The organisation was founded by actor and playwright Sean Lawlor who played Malcolm Wallace in the movie but who lost his battle with cancer in 2000.

Other guests expected to turn out at the event on August 1 include Braveheart actors Brendan Gleeson and Peter Hanly, comedian Deirdre O’Kane, Fair City’s Dave Duffy, and Lin Anderson, author of a definitive book: Braveheart — from Hollywood to Hollyrood.

Based on the 13th century Scottish independence fighter William Wallace, Braveheart won five Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Makeup and Best Sound Effects Editing.

Hundreds of locals played extras in scenes shot near Trim Castle and other locations in Meath including Bective Abbey and St Nicholas’ Abbey on the grounds of Dunsany Castle. Battle scenes in the $50m film were shot in the Curragh in Co Kildare.

In recent years President Michael D Higgins — who was minister for arts when Braveheart was filmed — unveiled a special commemorative plaque in Trim.

Local councillor and chair of Meath Tourism Noel French said the film has “hugely” added to tourism in the town.

“Braveheart has had a huge impact on Trim and even on a daily basis, I see tourists getting their picture taken at the plaque. It’s boosted the town’s profile on an international level.”

Ahead of the event, organisers are hoping to re-assemble the hundreds of extras who took part in the film shoot in Meath. All proceeds from the event will go to the Sean Lawlor Artists Trust and local charities.

Tickets for the movie can be obtained from Braveheart20 at eventbrite.ie.

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