March 21, 2005
LEWISBURG, Pa. — Don Mullan, Irish author, peace and justice activist, and co-producer of the award-winning film "Bloody Sunday," will visit Bucknell for the U.S. college campus premiere of "Omagh," also co-produced by Mullan.
The film, which will be shown Tuesday, April 5, at 7 p.m. in Trout Auditorium of the Vaughan Literature Building, will be introduced by Mullan and followed by a question-and-answer session.
An Anglo/Irish collaboration filmed in and around Dublin at the end of 2003, "Omagh" is a feature-length drama that examines the events and aftermath of Aug. 15, 1998, when a Real IRA bomb claimed 31 lives. The bomb was intended to disrupt the peace process in Northern Ireland, coming shortly before the national referendum on the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement, establishing a power-sharing government. The film tells the story of the Omagh Support and Self Help Group as they strive to find the truth of what happened that day.
At the heart of the film is the story of Michael Gallagher, who lost his 21-year-old son Aiden in the explosion, and who has become a key spokesman and lobbyist for the Support Group. The film was made with the full cooperation of the Support Group and of the Gallagher family.
The same team of film producers (including Mullan) created "Bloody Sunday," a feature film also given its U.S. college campus premiere at Bucknell in February 2002 to a standing-room only audience at The Campus Theatre.
"As in the earlier film, Mr. Mullan's perspective on these events is extraordinary. Mullan was the liaison between the film makers and the bereaved families who lost loved ones in Omagh. His perspective and reputation, having survived Bloody Sunday as a teenager in L'Derry in January, 1972, and then writing Eyewitness Bloody Sunday almost 30 years later (which led to production of the film and the opening of a new governmental inquiry into the events of Bloody Sunday), was instrumental in convincing the families to cooperate with the making of `Omagh'," said William Flack, assistant professor of psychology at Bucknell and co-director of the Bucknell in Northern Ireland program.
"We are especially privileged to host this visit by such an acclaimed writer and peace activist and we are honored to host the premiere screening of `Omagh' on a U.S. college campus," he said.
During his visit to Bucknell, Mullan will participate in several informal discussions, including the ongoing "Writers at Work" series in the Writing Center. He also will visit with the Irish literature class, taught by John Rickard, professor of English; the advanced abnormal psychology class taught by Flack; and the 2005 Bucknell in Northern Ireland group.
Note to media: Mullan is available for an interview; contact Flack at 577-1131