Saint Joseph's College presents Irish film producer and film on transformation of Northern Ireland, Oct. 17

"The Boys of St. Columb's" film shows groundbreaking effects of education in transforming Northern Ireland

Join Irish film producer Maurice Fitzpatrick at Saint Joseph's College on Monday, Oct. 17, for a free viewing and discussion of "The Boys of St. Columb's," the story of the first generation in Northern Ireland to receive a free secondary education as a result of the groundbreaking 1947 Education Act. The revolutionary law enabled worthy students from working-class and farming families to attend high school, which had a particularly emancipatory impact upon the Catholic minority.

The film shows how the political and social conditions in Northern Ireland dramatically altered as a result of the mass education of its population, culminating in that nation's Civil Rights Movement of the late 1960s (which drew its inspiration from the Civil Rights movement in America) and helping to create a Catholic professional class.

The film profiles St. Columb's diocesan school in Derry as a lens to understand the effect of the 1947 legislation and the shift from the dark post-war years into the more liberal 1960s. Perhaps the only school in the world that has produced two Nobel laureates, politician John Hume and poet Seamus Heaney, St. Columb's other notable graduates in post-World War II contributed significantly in the fields of politics, education, religion and the arts. Several of these prominent graduates are interviewed for the film.

Fitzpatrick will answer questions after the screening. The film starts at 7 p.m., in the Viola George Auditorium of Harold Alfond Hall at the Standish campus. The event is co-sponsored by the Cultural Affairs Committee, the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Office of Student Activities. 893-7723.

September 30, 2011
Contact: Charmaine Daniels at (207) 893-7723 or e-mail