On the night of 26 April 1781, a gout ridden, middle-aged Englishman boards a Packet Boat in Liverpool bound for Dublin. His arrival is shrouded in secrecy and he is immediately spirited away to the home of one of Ireland's most powerful men. There he is kept in virtual seclusion to ensure no one discovers the purpose of his visit, as almost certainly, if it becomes known, it will provoke riots.

Who is this threat to Dublin's civil order: a spy, a political agitator, a fugitive from justice? In fact it is James Gandon, an obscure London architect who has just been commissioned by a small cadre of Anglo-Irish aristocrats and Protestant Powerbrokers to build a new Custom House for Dublin - the biggest and most controversial project of the day.

The film features other Gandon buildings like the Four Courts, bombed during the civil war, Emo Court donated to the nation by its last owner Choumley Deering Harrison and a rare interview with former Taoiseach of Ireland, Charles J Haughey in his Gandon mansion, Abbeville.

In this unique and important film, we see the first ever examination of the turbulent life and times of the architect James Gandon from today's perspective. The Custom House catapulted Gandon to fame as Ireland's finest architect and plunged him into the heart of a British colony on the brink of rebellion.

'James Gandon - A Life' is a film that illustrates in sweeping tones the influence and fall of the Protestant Nation's dreams for Ireland.

  Quotes: "Having hooked you as neatly as a thriller with Gandon's cloak and dagger arrival in Dublin the film tracks back in time to his beginnings in London... We discover a man of relatively humble origins whose precocious drawing skills win him an apprenticeship to the celebrated architect William Chambers." - The Sunday Times

Click >>> HERE <<< to read the full review.

Custom House
26 shots

The Burning
17 shots

Georgian Dublin
4 shots

Grand Tour
15 shots

3 shots

Emo Court
16 shots


Director: Sé Merry Doyle
Producer: Bernadine Carraher
Photography: John T. Davis
Editor: Sé Merry Doyle
Script: Jimmy Duggan
Narration: Michael O'Connor
Music: Niall Byrne
Location: Ireland
Format: Super 16mm / Digi Beta
Running Time: 1 x 60mins
Year Made: 1996

Transmission: RTE

  Sales Company:
Loopline Film, 106 Baggot Lane, Dublin 4, Ireland
t: +353-1-6676498 / 6627
f: +353-1-6676604

e: info@d1079532.cp.blacknight.com/htm
  Suggestions for broadcasters: This film has a potentially wider audience as it captures Ireland in the 18th century, a time when it is trying to emulate America in its efforts to break away from the Empire.

The architectural side of the story is also very strong as we see Ireland's most famous buildings almost destroyed in the War of Independence. The film could sit well with broadcasters and educational channels in the UK, America, Australia and New Zealand. The film is currently being re-edited to suit interests of a wider international audience.
  James Gandon - A Life
Medium Quality Clip
High Quality Clip (2Mb)
Top Quality Clip (3.3Mb)

The Four Courts - Corporate
Medium Quality Clip
High Quality Clip (1.2Mb)
Top Quality Clip (2Mb)

If you experience any problems with picture or sound quality please download the latest (Mac or PC) version of Quicktime.
  'James Gandon - A Life' is a Loopline Film with and (Office of Public Works).
Hidden Treasures | Alive Alive O - A Requiem For Dublin | James Gandon - A Life
Emo Court - The Story Of A House | Essie's Last Stand | Ahead Of The Class | Farmleigh - The Story Of A House
O'Donoghue's Opera | Imprint - Navigating the World of Books / Writers In Profile | A Good Age

John Henry Foley - Ghost Of The Empire | Hallowed Ground - The Quest For The Secrets Of Newgrange
The Quiet Man - Milestone Or A Millstone? | Outside Looking In - Irish Art In Question   
L o o p l i n e---F i l m ,---9---L a d---L a n e ,---D u b l i n---2 ,---I r e l a n d