The National Land Bank and the Bracknagh Cooperative Society

Working to Prevent a Land War – The National Land Bank and the Bracknagh Cooperative Society.’          

This event focuses on the background to the 1921 Pathe film commissioned by the Bracknagh Cooperative Society. The film dealt with the Society’s  plans to raise funds by selling turf in America. The film referenced the exhumation of the ‘Ballynowlart Martyrs’ in 1917 and the ‘Cattle Drives’ on the ‘Ballynowlart Estate’ some four years earlier. The film was never completed and was stored in a number of seemingly disconnected sections in the Pathe archives.

However, the biggest gap in Pathe’s records concerns the reason for the establishment of the Bracknagh Cooperative Society and the fact that it had recently purchased the Ballynowlart Estate with a loan provided by The National Land Bank. This fact probably explains the presence of Desmond Fitzgerald (the Dáil’s Director of Publicity) and Kevin O’Higgins in the film. 

The film was made at a time when the Dáil was aware of the fact that the system of land distribution switch operated under British legislation had effectively ground to a halt, and that land hunger could lead to violence and lawlessness, and not only undermine the legitimacy of the Dáil but undermine the struggle for independence. The Bracknagh Cooperative Land Society was a successful example of the Dáil’s efforts to manage the transfer of land and build its legitimacy.

On Saturday December 3rd starting at 10.00 a newly edited version of the film will be screened in Rathangan Community Centre. 

The screening will be preceded by a talk on the background to the film Declan Aungier will perform his newly composed soundtrack to the film. There will also be an exhibition of stills taken from the film.

For further details see Creative Rathangan Meitheal Facebook Page.  
To book a place email