We've Always been

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Sidebar

22
Sun, Jul

Tools
Typography

By Estelle Shanley

A Glimpse of Irish History
Meeting Irishman Kevin McCann is memorable, an event, and he’s not easy to forget. He has that Irish way with him, beguiling, intense, interesting. He sports a red curly beard, the kind one immediately squelches the desire to run fingers through, to make sure its real, to have the experience. I’m aware, the #MeToo movement prohibits such a gesture! He immediately impresses with creative energy spewing forth in forty shades of diversity.

McCann, born in Enniskillen, in the  North of Ireland, currently lives in Los Angeles. He’s proud of his birth town, boasting that Samuel Beckett and Oscar Wilde lived there. His family  made a hasty retreat, relocating to Cavan in the south of Ireland, when a bomb exploded in a tax office near they’re living quarters. Nonetheless, he maintains close ties with the North and it has affected both his writing and political philosophy.


He’s a young man, oozing creativity, his speech peppered with tantalizing descriptions of just about everything, transforming the mundane into poetic language. A screen and documentary writer, producer, play director, a man who admits he has talent and accepts the vocation of creating new ways to express and bring to life what he sees around him. 

His current screen script The Rising took six years to complete. It highlights a significant slice of Irish history, the 1916 Easter Rebellion. Irish leaders, joined by an army of one thousand Irish men and women was no match for the British Empire, and sixteen of its leaders were executed by the British. McCann’s film depiction of the rebellion heralds the first time a screen film has been written about the attempt of the Irish to battle the British Empire, eliminating English rule in Ireland. McCann admits it was ambitious, a mighty act, and the turning point in the British Empire. The sixteen historic leaders, included Patrick Pearse, Michael Collins and Robert Emmet, all executed by the Brits. To this day ,the Irish argue whether the slaughter and the loss of life was worth the fight. Historians, both Irish and American, documenting the rebellion also share opposing views on its worthiness.

McCann reveals the rebellion was actually influenced by the American War of Independence. He quotes Robert Emmet’s declaration prior to his execution: “I wish to procure for my country the guarantee which Washington procured for America.” The rebellion fills the pages of history and despite the controversy whether it was worth the loss of life, McCann is adamant. “It did trigger a revival of  the sagging spirit of the Irish” and that emerges in music, and poetry including the work of William Butler Yeats, Seamus Heaney and countless others. 

Yet, McCann reveals that his work, The Rising,is the first film to emerge a century following the event. Why has this piece of Irish history been shunned? “There’s a sense that the loss brought shame, “ he explained, recalling that years back,sitting at a bar, raising his glass toasting the leaders of the rebellion. “Fair play to Pearse and Connolly, but they did not know what they were doing.” He admits he was ignorant and arrogant. “I had no comprehension” he added.  In effect, he was mouthing  the philosophy, held by many to this day, that the rebellion was madness, a total failure.  By holding that view, he argues, it denied the men and women of principle who fought for a free Ireland and stood up to the British and the world’s greatest Empire. It’s a story to broadcast and McCann is the man to tell it, thinking of Irish actors like Liam Neeson and Fiona Shaw. “We must tackle history and share it,” he says.

 He adheres to the philosophy that the Irish did not set out to defeat the British Empire, but to awaken the Irish. “The question is, did the leaders succeed in stirring the Irish proud Celtic spirit”? He enthusiastically announces that that’s exactly what the failed uprising accomplished. At the same time he admits that the Brits continue its rule of the six counties in Ulster. ”I am conscious of the two sides of Ireland, but two side are one community.”

Once a teacher, he utilized  documentaries and writings to teach civic duty and realism. The third oldest sibling of seven,  he admits growing up he was immersed in creativity. His father wrote scores of plays, produced several, and recently, at the age of seventy-seven, published a book of poems. In addition, his mother organized and directed a girl’s church choir for years, and McCann credits his love of writing derived within that family cocoon.

Currently he’s making the rounds to producers and potential investors, rubbing elbows with a collection of fans-of-the-script, seeking distribution funds to launch The Rising, a first in film that  tells the story of the Easter Rising.

Writing is McCann’s full time job. “It puts bread and butter on the table, but sometimes there’s no butter for the bread,”  The hash tag for his company is Macana Teoranta, “which sounds exotic,” he offers, it’s really McCann LTD. The majority of his works concentrates on the divide between the north and south of Ireland, and He’s been heavily influenced by the work of Seamus Heaney  who attended school in Derry along with Brian Friel and Phil Coulter. “Meeting someone like Heaney makes us realize there are great people on this earth.”

He has written, produced documentaries, radio programs, produced one of his father’s plays that garnered a dozen international festival awards.
“My duty as a film maker is to keep on the path to finance my film,”. In a burst of wishful thinking, he expressed hope that a Midas man or woman will telephone and tell him “just go and make the damn film.”

Commenting on the writing life, he admitted its often a selfish endeavor, but “a voyage you have to do.”

Kevin can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

July 2018

 

Save

Knute Rockne Musical!

Milwaukee Irish Fest

Advertising Rates 2018

Milwaukee Irish Fest

Shop Irish!

ARTIST
Liam Goarke
ASSISTED LIVING
Homecare Angels

ATTORNEY
Murphy & Smith Ltd
Dwyer and Coogan
Healy Law

BAGPIPERS & DRUM CLASSES

Chicalba Bagpiping

BAKERY
Doughs Guys Bakery
BANKS

Marquette National Bank
BANQUETS
Gaelic Park
Irish Am Heritage Ctr
BEAUTY SALONS
Appearances Pk Ridge
 847-825-7615
Hair by O'Hara & Friends-Hometown
BOOKS - IRISH
TheIrishBookClub.com
BLOOD TESTS - LOW COST
www.bloodtestinchicago.com
BRICK REPAIR/REPLACEMENT
Shamrock Tuckpointing

CATERERS

Unforgettable Edibles
CHARITABLE ORG
Diveheart
Irish Community Services
CAULKING & SEALING
Shamrock Tuckpointing
CHIMNEY REPAIR

Shamrock Tuckpointing

CHOIR
Irish Heritage Singers
COLLEGE GRADUATE PROGRAM
National Univ of Ireland Galway
COTTAGE RENTAL
Cottage Mary Rose
Dingle Cottage: 312-399-8793
Gurtenard Hse - Listowel Co Kerry
CRUISES

Andy Cooney
CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS

Chicago Gaelic Park

iBAM!
Irish Am Heritage Ctr
Irish Am Society Co Will
Irish Heritage Singers
DANCE SCHOOLS

McNulty School of Dance
Trinity Irish Dance
ENTERTAINERS

Chicalba Bagpiping

Harpist Lillian Reasor
847-658-2133
Kennedy's Kitchen
Paddy Homan
The Larkin Brothers
Catherine O'Connell
Joe McShane
St Stephens Green
FESTIVALS

Arlington Heights
Dublin

IAHC
Indianapolis
Kansas City
Milwaukee
FINANCIAL PLANNER

Corrigan Financial
FLORIST

Garland Flowers
FUNERAL HOMES

Blake-Lamb

Gibbon's Funeral Homes
Roberty J Sheehy & Sons

GAELIC YOUTH FOOTBALL
773-719-2847 Jerry
GARBAGE REMOVAL
Flood Brothers Disposal
GOLF COURSES
Palos Golf
GRAPHIC DESIGN

Laura Coyle 773-343-7268
GROCERIES/MEAT

Winston's
HEARING SPECIALIST
Mel Dermody
HOTELS

The Irish Cottage 1 866 CU-IRISH
HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTANT
James Fitzgerald
IMMIGRATION SERVICES

Irish Community Services
IMPORT SHOPS
Ann's Irish Gifts

Celtica Gifts 773-784-7712
Donegal Imports
Gaelic Imports
Irish Shop
Murray's Irish Outfitters
INSURANCE

Riordan Insurance Group
JEWELERS

H. Watson
MORTGAGE LENDING
Linda DeRoeck

MUSIC AND MUSIC SCHOOLS
Chgo Academy of Piping/Drumming
Comhaltas North America
MYSTERY SHOPPER
Cathy Cooney-Millar 224-944-9654

PARTY PLANNERS
That Special Event

PENNY WHISTLES
Michael Burke
PHOTOGRAPH CAPTURING
Memoirs for Me
PHYSICAL THERAPY
SPORTS-ORTHOPEDIC
Athletex
PLASTERING

William McNulty & Son
708-386-2951
PUB/RESTAURANT RECRUITER
Cathy Cooney-Millar
PUBS & RESTAURANTS

Ashford House
The Celtic Knot
Clancy's Pizza Pub
Corcorans
Emerald Loop
Fifth Province
Fiddler's Hearth
The Galway Arms
James Joyce Irish Pub
Lizzie McNeill's
Mickey Finn's Brewery
Nine Irish Brothers
O'Hare's Pub
Peggy Kinnanes
Red Apple Buffet
Six Penny Bit
Vaughan's Pub

REALTORS
Geri Ward-Linda DeRoeck
Koenig & Strey
Mary Ellen Considine  773-769-2500
RESTAURANT/HOSPITALITY RECRUITER
Cathy Cooney-Millar 224-944-9654
ROOFING
Innishowen Roofing
SHIPPING - OVERSEAS
Euroshippers
SPORTS CLUBS

Chgo Celtic Soccer Club
stbrigids.chicago.gaa.ie
ST PATRICK'S DAY
St Patrick's Day Parade
SWEATERS

Anne's Irish Knits
TABLE RUNNERS
All 32 Counties
TELEVISION-CABLE

Irish Journal 708-366-4665
THEATRE
Late Nite Catechism
TOURIST ATTRACTION
Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home
TRAVEL /TOURS
BestIrishTours.com
Gadabout Travel
Skinny & Houli Trips
TREE SERVICE

Ken's 773-600-6443

TUCKPOINTING
Shamrock Tuckpointing
VACATION RENTALS
Cottage Mary Rose
Dingle Cottage
WASTE REMOVAL
Flood Brothers Disposal
WEDDING PLANNER
That Special Event

WEDDING VENUES
Gaelic Park
Irish Am Heritage Ctr
Palos Country Club
WOOD FLOOR SPECIALIST
The Sexton Group

Advertisers

Paying For
Instructions

Who's Online

We have 178 guests and no members online