New Michael Collins documentary examines his early Clonakilty years

February 19th, 2021 10:10 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Filming of the documentary, The Young Fella, in Clonakilty Community College last year.

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A NEW documentary exploring the formative years of Michael Collins’ life in Clonakilty before he moved to London is set to give fans of The Big Fella a deeper insight into his early life.

Clonakilty native Sam Kingston – who was behind the popular series ‘The Brigade’ which aired on RTÉ last year – has directed ‘The Young Fella’ which is supported by Cork County Council’s commemorations committee and Michael Collins House.

Sam – who worked with Sean Phair  on the shoot –  said they filmed the documentary last year but Covid and lockdowns had led to delays.

‘The documentary follows Clonakilty Community College History teacher Kieran Doyle and several of his students as they visit local sites associated with Michael Collins including the homestead in Woodfield, Four Alls and Clonakilty.’

‘It is mainly about his early life and the people who influenced him like his brother-in- law Patrick O’Driscoll. We talks about events in Clonakilty too that were happening at the time.’

The documentary concludes at the point when Michael Collins went to London at 16 – almost the same age as the TY students in the documentary – which Sam said struck a chord with many of them being almost the same age.

‘The original plan was to release this back in October on what would have been The Big Fella’s 130th birthday but due to Covid we missed that but we are all set now for its release in April.’

Jamie Murphy, general manager of Michael Collins House in Emmet Square said ‘The Young Fella’ is something they are really excited for people to see.

‘I really think it has the potential to be a really big hit with people. As well as an engaging telling of the little-known local story of Michael Collins’ youth it will also showcase the Clonakilty area and highlight a host of local sites to wide audience, which will hopefully encourage more people to come visit the area when possible,’ said Jamie.

Jamie and his team have also launched season two of their Michael Collins House podcast which is available on the Michael Collins House app, website and Spotify.

‘The Young Fella’ will debut on the Michael Collins House Museum YouTube channel on April 16th to coincide with the centenary of the burning of his family home by the Essex regiment of the British Army.

Sam KIngston is also working on another project, a timeline of events during the War of Independence, which he will also released on YouTube.

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