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Barry Barnes, Mimi Carroll, Padhraig Parkinson & Peter Coonan in Tom Collins’ ‘Aithrí’

TG4 – Easter Saturday 20/4/19 @ 8.55pm

Irish language feature film ‘Aithrí’ to premiere on TG4 this Easter


Derry based film maker Tom Collins’ star-studded, Irish language feature film, ‘Aithrí/Penance’ is to have its television premiere on TG4 this Easter.

Shot in Derry & Donegal and inspired by a short story from Pádraic Ó Conaire, ‘Aithrí/Penance’ tells the story  of priest EOIN O’DONNELL, played by ‘Love/Hate’ star Peter Coonan, who recruits impressionable teenager ANTAINE to fight the British in 1916. Fifty years later violence travels full circle when seasoned gunman Antaine returns seeking vengeance.

The stellar cast includes Barry Barnes (Reign of Fire, Michael Collins), stage legend Barry McGovern (Braveheart, The General), Gerard McSorley (Omagh, Veronica Guerin, Michael Collins), Mimi Carroll (An Klondike/Dominion Creek, I, Dolours), Terry Byrne (Game of Thrones, Veronica Guerin). Tony Devlin (Hart’s War, Band of Brothers) and Dara Devaney (Murdair Mhám Trasna, An Klondike), alongside rising star Diona Doherty (Derry Girls, The Butchering) and newcomer Padhraig Parkinson.

Produced by Derry based DeFacto Films and Edwina Forkin’s, Zanzibar Films, ‘Aithrí/Penance’, is produced and directed by Collins and co-written with Greg Ó Braonáin. Collins’ previous credits include ‘Kings’, ‘An Bronntannas’ and ‘An Béal Bocht’.

Speaking after the announcement of the TG4 screening, Tom Collins says:

‘The screening  of the film on TG4 offers the audience a chance to engage with a story about characters in an extraordinary situation, as they deal with the historic roots of today’s partition’.

Pól Brennan of ‘Clannad’ fame composed and arranged the atmospheric soundtrack. The renowned cinematographer Ciarán Tanham was Director of Photography and ‘Aithrí’ was edited by Dermot Diskin.

Producer Edwina Forkin of Zanzibar Films says:

“Great to see Tom Collins’ epic film ‘Aithrí/Penance’ come to life. We are indebted to the people of Donegal and Derry who worked with us to bring this story to screen and provided the amazing back drop to this wonderful script. Thanks to our financiers and wonderful cast  and crew for their commitment and support.”

Shot in Derry and Donegal the film is supported by TG4, BAI, Fís Éireann (Irish Film Board), the Irish Language Broadcast FundNorthern Ireland Screen and Section 481.

TG4 Commissioning Editor, Máire Ní Chonláin says:

TG4 is delighted to be screening the TV premiere of ‘Aithrí’ this Easter. This was a very ambitious project, with a wonderful cast and crew. Taking inspiration from Ireland’s challenging history and giving stories a contemporary twist has always been part of TG4’s ‘Súil Eile’, or alternative view on Irish life and this gripping film achieves that admirably”.

Áine Walsh, Head of Northern Ireland Screen’s Irish Language Broadcast Fund said:

“Following screenings at film festivals in London, Chicago and Galway I am pleased that TG4 viewers will now get the opportunity to enjoy ‘Aithrí’, an ambitious period thriller with a great cast.  Irish language drama production is always challenging, even more so when multiple locations and time periods are involved, as in this project. Northern Ireland Screen and the ILBF were delighted to support the development and production of this film alongside our partners.”

Michael O’Keeffe, BAI Chief Executive, said:

Aithrí has been well received by cinema and festival audiences alike and we are very pleased that it will now be enjoyed by TG4 viewers over the Easter weekend. The BAI has provided funding support for this feature length drama under Sound & Vision, a BAI Broadcasting Funding Scheme.”

Screen Ireland, Chief Executive James Hickey adds:

“Investment and support for Irish language content is a key part of Screen Ireland’s slate and we hope TG4 audiences enjoy this film from award-winning Derry filmmaker Tom Collins.”

Aithrí/Penance’ can be seen on TG4 this Easter Saturday,  20th April, at 8.55pm on TG4.




See promo here:



More information on the storyline for “Aithrí


The only revenge is to live a good life.


Priest EOIN O’DONNELL recruits impressionable teenager ANTAINE to fight the British in 1916. Fifty years later violence travels full circle when seasoned gunman Antaine returns. seeking vengeance.


1916 – The Easter Rising. Fire-brand Father EOIN O’DONNELL is convinced that only violence will force Britain out of Ireland. He influences young, impressionable, ANTAINE to fight. When events spiral out of control, Antaine accidentally kills his mother while trying to escape the local police. Fr. Eoin realises that he had too much influence on the boy, and his Bishop sends him away to Derry, many miles away as PENANCE.

1969 – fifty years on. Experienced gunman Antaine arrives in Derry and rekindles Eoin’s guilt about his influence over Antaine as a young boy, especially as it’s echoed in Antaine’s dark influence over his current altar boy, FEIDHLIM.

Eoin now abhors violence and tries to persuade Antaine to negotiate. Failing, he realises the only way to break the cycle of violence and revenge is to undermine Feidhlim’s belief in Antaine as a hero. And for that he must sacrifice himself. Eoin informs on Antaine. As he struggles with this betrayal he says Mass, perhaps his own last rites. When Feidhlim enters the church during these prayers, history comes full circle.