Damhsa an Deoraí
DAMHSA AN DEORAÍ
(The Emigrant Dance)
Thousands of emigrants, driven out by the failed Irish economy of the 'fifties, worked like slaves in Britain. Abandoned by the bourgeoisie at home, they formed a huge supportive community abroad. Many found regular diversion in the Galtymore Ballroom, Cricklewood, London. The ballroom was a place to find friends, accommodation and jobs. It dulled the pain of exile.
In the next depression of the Eighties, the late F.F.Minister Brian Lenihan dismissed the emigrants plight, saying there was not room in this small island for them.
The Galtymore came back into its own - especially during Lent when dancing was banned by the Church in Ireland and the musicians themselves had to emigrate.
EMIGRANTS STILL HAVE NO VOTE IN IRISH ELECTIONS.
In 2005, after over fifty years of service, the Galtymore Ballroom was demolished.
Where will the new diaspora dance?
Narrated by Seosamh ó Cuaig.
(Gael Media, Colour, subtitled, 50 mins) (2004)
(For many years the late photographer, Paddy Fahey, brilliantly documented the life of the emigrants in London and especially in the Galtymore ballroom. Many of his images (below) are featured in Damhsa an Deoraí.)
Fáilte go Conamara
The newly restored Atlantean films
are now available on two DVDs in pristine 16:9 format.