Oscar-winning stars to appear in ‘Crossmaglen’

June 8, 2010

By Brónagh Murphy

Oscar-winning actor Ben Kingsley has been signed to star in the forthcoming Hollywood movie ‘Crossmaglen’, producer Arianna Eisenberg has confirmed.

Kingsley – who won a Best Actor Oscar for his role as Mohandas Gandhi in the film ‘Gandhi’ – will join a host of other top names from the industry including Brenda Fricker, who also won an Oscar award for her role in ‘My Left Foot’ and starred in ‘The Field’ and ‘Veronica Guerin’; Pete Postlethwaite of ‘In the Name of the Father’ and ‘The Omen’; and Tony Curran, from ‘Gladiator’ and ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ fame.

The star-studded cast also boasts Martin Kemp, Clare Forlani, Thora Birch, and producers are currently in negotiations to sign English actor, Idris Elba.

Initially planned for last year, the production of ‘Crossmaglen’ has experienced a number of delays but speaking to The Examiner, Ms Eisenberg confirmed everything is currently on track to commence filming in September.

Although named after the town, however, the movie will not be filmed in Crossmaglen but will primarily be shot on location in Dublin.  In spite of this, the producers have not ruled out filming some scenes in the north, and perhaps in Crossmaglen itself.

Ms Eisenberg also indicated that local people may get the opportunity to be cast as extras in the movie.  It is expected further details on this will be made available nearer the time.


The film is an adaptation of ‘Shamrock Boy’, a novel by English author, Stuart White, which centres around a fictitious IRA member Dermot McGarvey.

Set in the early 1980s, the IRA’s premiere assassin McGarvey (Tony Curran) sets out with two fellow soldiers to run a raid on British troops in a small village in the north of Ireland. The misfire of his rifle during the ensuing attack takes the life of innocent civilians and costs the life of Dermot’s friend and comrade Seamus.

The deaths of innocent bystanders result in the nationwide uproar of both British and Irish citizens. Add to this the grief of British Officer Joe Biddle (Martin Kemp) as he learns that his son David has also been killed in the attack. Joe requests and is granted a special assignment, to hunt down and capture Dermot McGarvey.

Betrayed by friends and family, Dermot is on the run and fate reunites him with a love from the past, Kathy Monahan (Claire Forlani) the daughter of Irish/American Senator Patrick Monahan (Pete Postlethwaite).  As Kathy and Dermot’s relationship develops, she attempts to garner his freedom using her fathers’ political influence.

A fugitive from friend, foe and family, Dermot and Kathy race across Ireland, followed closely behind by the IRA, the British and his younger sister Nulla (Thora Birch).

Starring Oscar winner Brenda Fricker as Aunt Kathleen, ‘Crossmaglen’ brings to light the vicious cycle of hatred, war and revenge; and in a surprising twist – redemption.