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SEVEN WOMEN (2016)

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Everyone has heard of the seven men who signed the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, but we never hear about the women who were caught up in the extraordinary events of Easter 1916. Some of them were literally airbrushed out of history. This riveting documentary reveals the astonishing stories of seven women who were at the heart of the Easter Rising.

TEXT BY STEPHEN ROOKE / THURSDAY 4TH FEB 2016 (10 MONTHS, 1 WEEK AGO) / 0 COMMENTS / 569 WORDS / 4303 VIEWS


The official release date for Seven Women is March 2016

Everyone has heard of the seven men who signed the Proclamation of the Irish Republic in Easter 1916. But we never hear about the women who were caught up in the extraordinary events of Easter week. Over two hundred women fought or served with the rebel forces. Most of them have been forgotten, and some were literally airbrushed out of history. But many of these females left vivid and evocative accounts of the conflict. So too did several of the civilian women who were caught in the crossfire. Produced by leading Irish TV history producer Tile Films, this documentary reveals the incredible stories of Seven Women of 1916. The documentary is presented by acclaimed Irish actress Fiona Shaw (Harry Potter, The Butcher Boy), and features a stunning ensemble cast including Emma Lowe (Brooklyn, Fair City) as Constance Markievicz, Mary Ryan (Corp agus Anam, Breakfast on Pluto) as Mary McLaughlin and Nichola MacEvilly (The Bill) as Margaret Skinnider.

The 1916 Proclamation promised that in the new Ireland, men and women would be treated equally: “The Irish Republic… claims the allegiance of every Irishman and Irishwoman,” it declared. “The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens”. But as the Rising got underway, it was apparent that women would not be equal. The men expected them to play a supporting role - providing meals, tending the wounded, and carrying messages around the city. Eamon de Valera refused to allow female fighters into Boland’s Mill, believing that they would not stand up to the fighting as well as men. But he later came to regret his decision: “The result… was that the garrison there did not stand up to the siege as well as in other posts.” Yet some women did take an active part in the fighting, like the spirited Margaret Skinnider, who was badly wounded while setting fire to a British outpost.

What were the thoughts and feelings of these women when they came face to face with death and destruction in Easter 1916? And what about the other women - the ordinary civilian females trapped in the midst of the conflict as the fighting intensified and the city went up in flames? This presenter led documentary tells the story of Easter 1916 through the eyes of seven women (and a girl): the passionate rebel leader Constance Markievicz (Emma Lowe), the ace sniper Margaret Skinnider (Nichola MacEvilly), the actress Helena Molony (Sorcha Ní Chéide), the teacher Louise Gavan Duffy (Katie McCann), the courier Leslie Price (Aoife Kilbane), the nurse Aoife de Búrca (Sarah Lafferty), the civilian eyewitness Elsie Mahaffy (Anne Brogan) and the teenager Mary McLaughlin (Mary Ryan).

Each of the characters is portrayed by a leading actor, who gives a stylized “interview” directly to a reporter about their experiences, as if she was being filmed in the aftermath of the conflict. These sequences are intercut with evocative archival footage and still images and drama reconstruction. Graphic maps are used to pinpoint the different locations, transporting the viewer into the heart of the action. Leading historians including Prof. Senia Paseta, Dr. Fearghal McGarry, Dr. Lucy McDiarmid, Dr. Lindsey Earner-Byrne and Pádraig Yeates add context and offer penetrating insights into the monumental events of the Rising and the motivations of the women.

Seven Women is a powerful, unforgettable and long overdue portrayal of the women of 1916.
 


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  • Irish Independent review "Seven Women"
    Tuesday 22nd Mar 2016
    http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/tv-reviews/seven-women-   Check out the review of "Seven Women" from the Irish Independent.  If you missed the programme, you can catch it on the RTÉ player at  http://www.rte.ie/player/ie/show/seven-women-30003935/10548709/ » read
  • "Seven Women" and "A Terrible Beauty"
    Monday 14th Mar 2016
    Tile Films are excited to announce that as part of RTÉ's Reflecting the Rising, "Seven Women" and "A Terrible Beauty" will be playing on the big screen, Easter Monday at the LightHouse Cinema. ... » read
  • Seven Women Broadcast date announced
    Tuesday 8th Mar 2016
    Tile Films are excited to announce the broadcast date for our 1916 documentary "Seven Women", which airs on Sunday 20 March at 9.30pm on RTÉ One!  Not to be missed! » read

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