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Sean Scoil Documentary celebrates the determination of the Tracton Community

By Tara Maher

Sean Scoil (Old School) centres around a local community that saves an old school from demolition.The short film is produced, directed and edited by filmmaker Lorraine Hogan. The short documentary celebrates how the Tracton community saved an old school from demolition. It showcases how the community transforms the 1836 building into state-of-the-art community and arts centre, helping the cultural life of a rural parish in Minane Bridge, County Cork. The documentary features a musical performance from Liam Ó MaonlaÍ and interviews with local community members Paddy O’Brien, Helen O’Dowd, Eileen McGough and Lorraine Hogan.

Sean Scoil is a thirteen minute documentary and features interviews both in English and as Gaeilge.

In July the film was screened for the first time locally at The Traction Community Centre. The Screening event was featured as part of the Official Arts Festival which over 150 people attended. It was such a success that the documentary was screened twice due to the huge turn out from the community.

“The response from my community about the film has been so incredible that I thought I would reach out to you if you are interested in a story that celebrates Irish Heritage, Culture and Community. I feel that Sean Scoil could inspire all communities in Ireland.” Lorraine said. For the, it was a heart warming experience to share this film with the special individuals in the community that inspired the film.

Mr. Barney Whelan, chairperson of The Cork Film Festival, The Everyman Theatre and Oilean Arts Centre was the guest speaker on the night and praised Lorraine Hogan on the execution of her short film, ‘Lorraine Hogan is a multi-disciplinary artist, born in Cork, raised in the UK and now back home…an emmigrant’s child. Her viewpoint on Irish culture is therefore quite special, embracing the Irish language as she does. With only two shorts uncovered so far (Muirdhreach and Sean Scoil), shows a wonderful sensitivity to the themes she interprets, reflecting her approach to other media she has worked with. Her latest offering, “Sean Scoil”, a story about community endeavour, documents the impressive foresight and hard work involved in reviving an abandoned National School. It is a wonderful example of the power of film to document, to help us understand our recent past and to cherish what we have. The concept, planning, implementation, production, and final result are outstanding. This movie finishes with so many starting points. It captivated the audience, elicited feelings of pride, triggered nostalgia, and sparked both tears and lengthy discussions.

The women in the film, Eileen McGough, Lorraine Hogan and Helen O'Dowd

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