"My Ireland" will have its American debut at the YoFi Film Fest in Yonkers on November 9
"My Ireland," a new documentary film that takes a hard look at economic migration, mass evictions, and the growing homeless crisis in Ireland, will have its American premiere at the Yonkers Film Festival in New York on Saturday, November 9.
Monaghan Productions traveled across Ireland and interviewed people from all walks of life, from a homeless Dubliner, to John McGuinness, a prominent member of the Irish parliament. Director and producer, Anthony Monaghan was determined to make an unbiased film and to give Irish people a voice amidst the social injustices that are perpetuated, if not directly caused, by corruption.
Monaghan is originally from Blacksod Bay, County Mayo in the beautiful west of Ireland. At the age of fifteen, he had no choice but to leave his beloved home to find work abroad. His first job was picking potatoes in England, a place where Irish migrants were not particularly popular at the time. Since then, he traveled the world and lived in New York City for many years before settling in St. Louis where he founded a successful masonry company called Irish Construction and raised three daughters.
In 2012, he founded Monaghan Productions and independently directed and produced the internationally acclaimed documentary, "Rednecks + Culchies," which examined the substance abuse problems of the American working class from the perspective of European tradesmen.
Monaghan's new documentary focuses on his homeland. "My Ireland" exposes the corruption behind emigration, the wrongful eviction of thousands upon thousands of homeowners, and the escalation of homelessness. Monaghan says that "it's about Irish displacement - the lost homes in Ireland and how the community has been damaged." It tells a story shared by countless Irish men and women who, like the filmmaker, unwillingly left their country.
Since leaving home, Monaghan has witnessed Ireland evolve from a very poor country to a very wealthy one, but in spite of the growing GDP, people continue to pour out of Ireland in search of employment.
However, it is not just the people leaving Ireland who are losing their homes. Homelessness is on the rise as crooked banks and predatory “vulture funds” put families on the street. Even a house owned by Monaghan himself was repossessed, a family home in County Mayo where he regularly took his daughters on holiday for fifteen years. The interviewees of "My Ireland" explain that the government and many of the politicians are too corrupt, indifferent, or powerless to step in as lives continue to be destroyed.
According to Monaghan, he “wanted to understand why these injustices continue and, moreover, why they are tolerated by a people who resisted English colonization for hundreds of years. Now, we are being sold out by our own. By shedding light on the corruption behind these problems and by giving Irish people a voice, I hope to inspire real and positive change. 'My Ireland' is a film for the Irish, by the Irish!”
The world premiere of "My Ireland" took place at the Irish Film Institute in Dublin on June 23 and was met with glowing reviews. Among those in attendance were acclaimed filmmaker Terry McMahon, and Master of the High Court, Edmund Honohan.
"My Ireland" will have its American premiere at the YoFi Digital Media Arts Center this Saturday, November 9th at 6 pm as part of the Yonkers Film Festival.
You can watch the trailer for "My Ireland" here: