Ken Loach’s Film – Jimmy’s Hall
Director Ken Loach filmed the story of Jimmy Gralton in North Leitrim during the summer of 2013. The film is based on the story of Jim Gralton who was the only man to ever be deported by an Irish Government for his alleged communist activities, in 1933. The film will go on general release in 2014.
There were some well known Leitrim faces used in crowd scenes throughout the movie. There were lots of talented locals in the core group of dancers. Leitrim Rose of Tralee 2013 contestant and Sean Nos Champion Edwina Guckian was the Irish dancing coordinator on the set.
Jimmy Gralton was politically active during the War of Independence and, in the 1920s, erected a meeting hall on his parents’ land the Pearse-Connolly Hall in honour of the Socialist and Republican leaders of 1916. Following his deportation, Gralton lived out the rest of his life in the US, running as a candidate for the Communist Party in the Borough elections in Manhattan before his death in New York in 1945.