The first full length Irish feature film with sound is set against the background of the War of Independence.
On 19 January 1936 'The Dawn', was screened for the first time in a special showing for film correspondents from the press.
'The Dawn', made by Hibernia Films was produced and directed by Tom Cooper and was shot in and around Killarney, county Kerry. The film tells a tale of romance and tragedy during the War of Independence. The cast comprised of 250 amateur actors from the local area.
Actor, dramatist, playwright and storyteller, Eamon Kelly, remembers the making of 'The Dawn' in Killarney on the programme 'Just Up Your Street' broadcast on 5 September 1991. Although he was too young to play a part in the film, he describes how his bicycle did make an appearance. Kelly also talks about the screening of the film in Killarney and how the audience spent the whole film identifying people and places of familiarity.
'The Dawn' was produced and directed by Tom Cooper.
Eamon Kelly (1914-2001) was born in Glenflesk, Co. Kerry. Before becoming an actor he trained as a woodwork teacher. He was a member of the RTÉ Players for 20 years and while there became known as the "Seanchaí" for his regular appearances on 'Fleadh Cheoil An Radio' and 'Rambling House'.