A Terrible Beauty/Áille an Uafáis
93 minute HD docudrama
Directed by Keith Farrell
Produced by Dave Farrell
Music by Steve Lynch
They marched along tree lined Northumberland Road, cheered on by the citizens of Dublin. One thousand men of the “pals” brigade of the Sherwood Foresters. Poorly trained and poorly led they expected to be in France that morning. Perplexed at finding themselves in Dublin instead, they laughed and joked as they marched along buoyed up by the cheers of their fellow British citizens. Within hours almost 200 of the “pals” lay dead or wounded, their injuries inflicted by just 17 men of the rebel Irish Volunteers. This was the Battle of Mount Street Bridge, the 26th of April 1916.
This was the British army’s first major experience of urban warfare as two battalions of the Sherwood Foresters were marched into a withering fire of well defended enemy positions. At the height of the First World War, just months before the carnage of the Somme, the soldiers met their fate, not at the hands of the German Army in France, but during 5 days of street fighting against fellow British citizens in the second city of the British Empire, Dublin.
Many of the troops were only half way through their training. The young men of the Sherwood Foresters were not supposed to die on British soil. They are part of the hidden story of a forgotten conflict lost in the chaos of the First World War; their names are not remembered on any monument, their deaths unrecorded in the official war records, their sacrifice forgotten.
A Terrible Beauty...... is a dark story which does not sit comfortably with the traditional lionisedimagery of what transpired during the rising. The first hand account of the British soldier, Irish Volunteer and civilian are interwoven, giving a fresh perspective on these key events and challenging some traditional views of what took place. We have unearthed long forgotten first-hand historical accounts of both soldiers and civilians which will provide the basis for much of the narrative. This docudrama is unique, with the voices of the protagonists on both sides and the tragic civilians caught in the middle being heard for the first time.