Sé Merry’s Doyle film ‘Alive Alive O – A Requiem for Dublin’ (1999) was invited by the Irish Film Archive for a special showing at the IFI as a tribute to the late Tony Gregory TD. The film, supporrted by the Irish Film Board, charts the demise of Dublin’s indigenous street traders and the famous Iveagh Market.
It also features rare footage of Deputy Gregory relating his experience of going to jail on the street traders behalf. Sé’s first film ‘Looking On’ (1982) got the proceeding off to an interesting start. ‘Looking On’ was filmed against the backdrop of the demolition of the old tenement houses in Dublin’s North Inner City. Again Gregory was featured , protesting at how the old communities were being evicted to the new suburbs outside the city, while speculators were grabbing the new land banks available. There is also rare footage of a very young U2 playing on the volley ball roof in Sheriff Street.
The two films were well received. The poetry of Paula Meehan, the songs of Frank Harte, and the visuals of cameramen Declan Quinn and John T Davis added an emotional depth to a time before the so called Celtic Tiger destroyed the heart of Dublin. The evening was introduce by the archivist and critic Catriona Crowe. Both films are available exclusively from Loopline Film.