William McCann

I first encountered Daniel O’Connell in 1985, on a student exchange that brought me from Brown University in Rhode Island to University College, Cork (UCC).  As was then and is today, one cannot stroll far in Ireland without falling under the shadow of an O’Connell statue or street sign, yet none of my new friends could describe him or his deeds beyond that, “he was a great man.”

I loved Cork and UCC, studying Irish literature under inspired professors including poet John Montague, but at an advisor’s insistence I enrolled in an Irish history class, and was soon intrigued by The Liberator.  His larger-than-life personality, courtroom antics, wit and sheer courage astonished me, and I was amazed that his story was not more widely known.  It seemed that his achievements, although still honored, had first become blurred in the wake of the great famine and then eclipsed by the heat of independence, civil war and “the troubles.”  Some years and many biographies later, I started to craft a screenplay that would tell his remarkable story.

Why a film?  No person’s story can be told in 2 hours, but O’Connell’s life was, in a word, big.  Dashing, bold, vibrant, he seized every moment and usually turned them to his advantage.  His times were revolutionary, and he embodied and articulated the dreams of a people long denied freedom, while staying true to a faith that must renounce violence.  It’s a compelling, important and visual story.    

I could go on, but I’d rather you read the script.  To contact me and request a copy, please email Info@TheLiberatorMovie.com

Pax Christi tecum.