Past Events

DOUBLE BILL FILM SCREENING “Alive Alive O – A Requiem For Dublin” & “Looking On” – Followed by a Q&A with Director Sé Merry Doyle

Over the years the ICC has presented many of the films of Ireland’s most celebrated documentary filmmaker Sé Merry Doyle who, in recent times, has worked closely with the ICC as a Creative Consultant and helped to establish ICC’s online platform, ICC Digital.

Here, in this double bill “Looking On” and “Alive Alive O – A Requiem For Dublin”, we bring you two of Sé’s most powerful films, which so superbly compliment each other. Both films focus on a subject very close to Sé’s heart, the destruction of Dublin’s North Inner Community and the demolition of hundreds of homes and tenement dwellings. “Looking On” was Merry Doyle’s very first film, which he made in 1982. In 1997, Sé once again returned to the same subject to make his most personal film to date, “Alive Alive O – A Requiem For Dublin”. What inspired him was observing the arrest of a Street Trader, who was selling goods she bought that morning from the early morning markets. This inspired Sé to make a film about the ongoing erosion of street markets in Dublin despite the fact that a statue was being erected to the trading legend – Molly Malone, on Dublin’s richest street. The result was a film which gave a voice to a vanishing community, while depicting a city fighting to retain it’s soul in the midst of rampant speculators who wanted these communities driven to the outer suburbs.

The screening of both of these poignant films is particularly vital right now in 2022, when the housing crisis throughout Dublin and Ireland (also in the UK), has reached a peak and when homelessness, poverty and community displacement is continuing to rise.

Sat 10 December 2022

Doors 6.30pm, Starts 7.00pm

Tickets: £8

‘Looking On’

A young Bono and U2 performing on the roof of the community hall in Sheriff Street.

A young Bono and U2 performing on the roof of the community hall in Sheriff Street. Photograph of U2 by Christine Bond

‘Looking On’ was made in 1982, against the background of the demolition of the Dublin tenements that were the setting for many of Sean O’Casey‘s plays. As people were being dispersed to new suburbs outside the city, a group of people decided to protest and organise a summer-long festival to celebrate their culture. The film features rare footage of the demolition of Georgian Dublin, of the houses in Gardiner Street and Summerhill. The Director, Sé Merry Doyle, captured this film as he is stood among the rubble of half-demolished houses, and as the young Irish Socialist T.D., Tony Gregory, proclaimed his plans for new housing, decrying the vandalism of people’s homes and his city.

The film includes rare footage of a young ‘U2’ performing on the roof of the community hall in Sheriff Street.

(A Loopline Film Production; made in 1982. Length: 35 minutes).

Photograph of U2 by Christine Bond

 ‘Alive Alive O – A Requiem for Dublin’

Sé Merry Doyle’s Alive Alive O – A Requiem For Dublin’, was premiered at the Irish Film Institute by Ronnie Drew and has had prestige screenings worldwide. The film  chronicles the dispersal of Dublin Street Traders, whose Patron Saint was Molly Molone, who gave us the famous street call ‘Cockles and Mussels, Alive Alive O’. Through the spirit of ‘Molly Molone’, the film demonstrates how an extraordinary culture and community has become increasingly fragile, with the closing of marketplaces, the scourge of heroin and a city that has sold its soul. Shot in stages over many years, there are poignant scenes of Dublin’s female street traders, (‘The Mollies’) being harassed off of the streets by police and we witness the last days trading of the famous ‘The Iveagh Market, set up by the Guinness family to alleviate poverty in the city.

‘In this powerful and moving award winning film, the poems of Paula Meehan, the songs of the late great Dublin Street-Singer, Frank Harte and old photographs and film clips are all gelled and woven so beautifully together’ – The Sunday Times

Photographs by Derek Spiers

Here is a link to watch a trailer   Alive Alive O – A Requiem to Dublin

  A Loopline Film Production. Made in 2001. Length: 58 mins:

Film Director Sé Merry Doyle will do a Q&A following these screenings. He will be interviewed by Dr Michelle Paull, Senior Lecturer and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, St Mary’s University.