Film brings Irish celebration to a close

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SHEFFIELD Irish Festival closes on Friday with a screening of a documentary about the plight of Irish men who have fallen on hard times after working all their lives on the Britain’s roads and building sites.

The film, Rise Up you Gallant Sweeneys! focuses on a group who emigrated from Ireland as young men to find work during Britain’s post-war construction boom.

Many became itinerant workers, travelling the length and breadth of the country as ‘McAlpine’s Fusiliers’, working long hours for poor pay in bad conditions.

After falling on hard times in later life they return home in a raucous road trip exploring the Ireland they each left a lifetime ago.

Director Julie Cassidy-Gosling will be on hand to talk about her work and there will be an Irish music in the main Showroom bar.

Kevin Meagher, chairman of Sheffield Irish Association, said: “After the celebration and high spirits of St Patrick’s Day the film is a poignant way to close our festival.”

n Rise Up you Gallant Sweeneys! is showing for one night only at 7.30pm. Entry is free.