Irish Film Company Begins Filming Documentary
Irish Film Company Begins Filming Documentary; CVB's Tom Riford Serves as a Civil War Brigadier General During Filming; Smithsonian Channel Series About "Irish Brigade"
(Hagerstown, MD): Award-winning Keith Farrell is the writer and director of "Fag an Bealach," a two-hour series to be shown on the Smithsonian Channel, and also in Canada and Ireland. The realistic documentary takes a dramatic approach to one of the more famous Civil War units, made up of Irish immigrants.
Several battle scenes were filmed in Washington County, and in Franklin County. The CVB's Tom Riford was an extra in one of the scenes shot in the Maryland Theatre. "I got to be a Brigadier General," said Riford.
"Fag an Bealach," is old Gaelic for "Clear the Way," and it was the Irish Brigade's battle cry.
Other filming sites were at the Miller House on West Washington Street, and also at the Jonathan Hager House in Hagerstown's City Park.
According to director Farrell, "A hundred-and-fifty-thousand Irishmen fell for the Union. Twenty-thousand fell for the South."
According to Tile Film's website, the first episode begins and ends at the Battle of Antietam, when the actions of the Irish Brigade helped swing the battle in the Union's favor.
The documentary crew spent a lot of time in Washington County, and elsewhere, interviewing historians including Dennis Frye, and the Director of the National Museum of Civil War Museum, George Wunderlich.
The documentary includes the discovery of the remains of an Irish soldier at the Antietam National Battlefield.
The film will also include the Irish Brigade's actions at the battles of Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Spotsylvania and Seven Pines.
The American producer is Russell E. Richards of Historical Entertainment. "Historical actors from across the country have been selected to appear in the documentary. This will be a very well-done historical interpretation of actual events from our nation's history."
The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau is helping with financial support for the documentary, and also providing assistance with permits, hotel rooms, and other arrangements. The Clarion Hotel and the Super 8 are being utilized by the film's crew and actors.
The award-winning Historical Entertainment is a member of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau. For more information about Hagerstown and Washington County, see: www.marylandmemories.com.
The site of America's single bloodiest day is in Washington County. The Battle of Antietam had over 23,000 casualties in a single day. For more information about Antietam, see: www.marylandmemories.org/anb.html. Washington County is home to five national parks, eight state parks, over 30 county and city parks, over 30 museums and is ranked first in the State of Maryland in the Retail Opportunity Index.
The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization whose mission is to help attract visitors to Hagerstown and Washington County. The CVB helps to create vibrant growth for the local economy by promoting, developing, and expanding the local visitor industry. Washington County is part of the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area (www.heartofthecivilwar.org), and the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area (http://hallowedground.org). Washington County is also part of the Quad-State Tourism Coalition, a four-state tourism group along I-81. For more information, see: www.quadstate81.com. The Hagerstown-Washington County CVB was recently awarded the Maryland Cultural Heritage Tourism Award by Governor Martin O'Malley.