Corpus Christi pupils have had a busy year making a movie about their native city, telling the story of the Flight of the Wild Geese
Corpus Christi Primary School have had a busy year making a movie about their native city, telling the story of the Flight of the Wild Geese
Corpus Christi Primary School pupils have had a busy and creative year producing a movie entitled “The Flight of The Wild Geese” which will be shown on July 16 at the Bastille Day Wild Geese Festival in St Mary’s Cathedral.
The movie premiered at the TUS Millennium Theatre on May 30 to an audience of students, their family, along with some community members, and was met with resounding applause and a standing ovation.
Fionnuala Bromell, a Corpus Christi teacher who produced and directed the movie said, “They were absolutely taken aback, they’d obviously seen it because they edited it and saw it on a screen or on a phone, but the very first time they saw it there was dead silence.
Fionnuala said, “I think they got a bit of a shock when they saw themselves at the beginning. But full of confidence, delighted with themselves, and the families were fantastic they gave them a standing ovation on the night, it was great.”
The fifth class children in Corpus Christi tell the story of the siege of Limerick by William of Orange and his army, the Heist at Ballyneety by Sarsfield and Galloping Hogan, the role the women of Limerick played in the siege plays a large part in the production.
Other acts in the movie show the negotiations that lead to the Treaty of Limerick and the awful choice they were faced with; to stay in Limerick and join William’s army or to leave Limerick and fight for the Jacobites in Europe. These Limerick heroes would become known as The Wild Geese.
“The school has a good record in filmmaking, we won four awards in the Fresh Film Festival,” Fionnuala told I Love Limerick, continuing, “I suppose this is something good that came out of COVID, we always did a lot of shows and we got into film because we couldn’t go onstage and it’s just been a huge medium for us really.”
The Corpus Christi teacher said the group had a “fantastic time” producing the movie, visiting all the local landmarks such as King John’s Castle, The Treaty Stone, Sarsfield’s Rock, and adding “Bunratty Castle were very good to us, they took us in too”.
“We based the two camps then out in Cratloe Woods, and that was just fantastic, we had 40 boys outside, with swords in the woods, it was fantastic fun really,” she said, adding, “The children were brilliant really, they very quickly realised what had to be done for each scene; setting up the scenes, the props, what was appropriate for the various times, you couldn’t have modern things for the time.”
Fionnuala noted Dr Loïc Guyon, Honorary Consul of France in Limerick, invited the school to show the movie at this year’s Wild Geese Festival, she added the inspiration for the movie came from the work of her late brother, Declan Bromell, who also taught at the school:
“A long time ago, for Treaty 300, my late brother Declan who was working in Corpus Christi at the time had written a short play called ‘The Walls of Limerick’ and so I took that and sorted expanded it and we decided to make it into a film.”
Music plays an important role in the movie, with the Corpus Christi teacher explaining they wanted to stick with the local community theme:
“We decided every film needs a good soundtrack, so we made the soundtrack and brought it out to the community, we have an adult community choir which is made up of parents and community workers in the community. They sang with our school choir and with soloists of children in the school and past pupils who would have been in shows with me before.”
On Friday, June 2, the school and pupils were treated to a surprise guest, Limerick singer-songwriter Emma Langford who joined them to watch the movie and “was delighted with our interpretation of her wonderful song Birdsong”.
Fionnuala said, “She was fantastic, she saw a little clip of it and came over to the school, to the Millenium Theatre to see them, it was really fantastic the children were delighted and she really liked the interpretation of it being strong women of Limerick.”
The movie was written, filmed, produced and directed by teachers Fionnuala Bromell, Diarmuid Hickey, Kate Walshe, and Louise Clancy; and was made possible through the support of Alliance Francais, EI, and Humanly.