The Brigade

An Abú Media Original Series - 2 x 1 hour HD Historical Documentary Series The Brigade is a large ambitious 2 part historical documentary series blending Living History elements, dramatic reconstructions and research elements to find out what life was like for a West Cork Flying Column during the Tan War or War of Independence in 1920 & 1921. These two films solely focussed on the Cork 3rd Brigade activities during the War of Independence and most notably it’s Flying Column under Tom Barry. So it’s a real local look at what was happening during the bigger conflict. West Cork was the center of the fiercest confrontations and had a huge concentration of British troops and additional ADRIC (Auxillaries) and Black and Tans. Young men are trained in the ways of the 3rd (West) Cork Brigade by retired Army officers led by ex Cork All-Ireland winning goalkeeper Alan Quirke and then must carry out re-enactments of some of the drills, training and ambushes that the West Cork Brigade did 100 years ago. Meanwhile, a group of History students from Essex University come to West Cork to research the truths behind the notorious Essex Regiment of the British Army, the Black & Tans and Auxillaries. They are aided by locals, relatives of the original column and historians. They visit the sites associated with the British forces, RIC and the IRA men to get a real feel for what life must have been like for not only the locals but the British forces of the day. Their journey is to discover the oral history truth behind the stories form the heartland of West Cork. The new Brigade of recruits are drawn from across west Cork just as the original column would have been. These are young farmers, labourers, clerks and students. They are given the chance to life like the Brigade for a week, sleeping in training camps, barns, out-houses and really living as the original men did. All digital devices are removed from them. There is no access to online, no phones, laptops, no contact with anyone outside their group. Blended with these living history elements are clips or rare archive footage of the War and Tom Barry himself and some select dramatic reconstruction of key moments in the conflict.

Cast & Crew

Showrunner – Pierce Boyce Producers – Sam Kingston, Bríd Seoighe, Eileen Seoighe Director – Conor Morrisey Director of Photography – Andrew Cummins Editor – Mick Mahon Writers – Pierce Boyce, Sam Kingston, Conor Morrissey Funded by RTÉ, Broadcasting Authority of Ireland & Section 481. Available internationally through Network Ireland Television. Contact Derry O’Brien. Email:

Conor With Recruits

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