The critically acclaimed hit movie The Guard features a child with very strong Ballinrobe connections in a prominent role.
Twelve-year-old Micheál Óg Lane from Ballinderreen in Galway plays the role of Eugene Moloney in the recently released film. He’s a son of Marie Lane, nee McGreal, from Springvale, Ballinrobe and a grandson of Des and Margaret McGreal from Springvale. The family have been cock-a-hoop with the success of the film and, in particular, the acclaim Micheál Óg is receiving.
“Myself and Margaret went to see it in Castlebar and we thought it was great and that Micheál was great,” Des told The Mayo News. “I’d be biased anyway but a lot of critics have said he was excellent in the role and we’re delighted.”
Marie Lane herself admits to being inundated with well-wishes and congratulations.
“I work in Merlin Park (hospital) and it is amazing the amount of people that come over praising him and asking questions,” she told The Mayo News. “You’d nearly get sick of telling the same story over and over again! But people are great, we have had so many well-wishers calling and ringing and texting.
“Pretty much all of the family in Mayo have been to see it now, some of them have gone twice already! My parents were saying that the only pity is that a lot of their generation, family and friends, aren’t around to see it because they’d love it,” she added.
The film stars Brendan Gleeson and is director by John McDonagh and has received critical acclaim worldwide. Micheál Óg Lane was spotted by a casting agent on a scouting mission in Renmore Gaelscoil, where Micheál attends. They were looking for a Galway boy with no significant acting experience and Micheál was picked after a series of rehearsals.
The attention clearly hasn’t gone to his head either, as his mother explains.
“He’s taking it all in his stride, he’s very well grounded. The movie premiere was in Galway on a Wednesday and we didn’t get home until 3.30am but all Micheál was concerned with was playing in goal for Ballinderreen U-12 hurlers on the Thursday. He did and they won too.
“He’s really enjoying it and as long as he continues to do so, we’ll be there with him.”
There has already been mention of Micheál Óg featuring in John McDonagh’s next film, due to be set in Sligo while a production company led by Stephen Fry wants to bring him to London to take part in a TV series on Sky, starring Chris O’Dowd.