Director Neil Jordan and author Patrick McCabe on bringing 'The Butcher Boy' to the cinema screen.

Neil Jordan and Patrick McCabe co-wrote the screenplay to ‘The Butcher Boy’.  Neil Jordan was anxious to do justice to  McCabe's book which he says is,

One of the best pieces of fiction I’ve read in the last 20 years.

He considers the ‘The Butcher Boy’ a masterpiece to be ranked alongside works by Flann O’Brien and James Joyce’s ‘Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man’.

As seen in some of his previous films such as ‘Interview with the Vampire’ and ‘Michael Collins’, Neil Jordan does not shirk from a challenge. But he understood, in bringing ‘The Butcher Boy’ to the cinema screen, he would have to approximate the book’s power. The biggest challenge he saw in making the book into film was to ensure the audience had sympathy for the central character, Francie Brady.

Pat McCabe could not believe anyone would film his book and was astounded when he heard Neil Jordan of all people wished to direct the film version. While it is based to some extent on Pat's life growing up in Clones,

It’s all made up, it’s all lies basically.

It was hugely important to Pat McCabe that the Clones dialect and rhythms of speech found in his book were retained for the film, however unintelligible these were for the movie moguls in Warner Brothers. To assist them, he wrote a glossary of  terms, which helpfully defined 'bogman' amongst other equally baffling colloquialisms.

The Monaghan premier of 'The Butcher Boy' packed out two screenings in the Diamond Screen, Cineplex, and was met with great local acclaim.

This episode of ‘Kenny Live’ was broadcast on 21 February 1998. The presenter is Pat Kenny.