21st century man: Pitching perfect 1916 celebrations With talk about the centenary celebrations of 1916 heating up, our man imagines the perfect extravanganza for the event.
Insider Magazine 28/11/2014
There's been a LOT of chatter in recent weeks about 2016 and about the ownership of the planned events. Today, I humbly stick my head above the parapet with this pitch.
2016 Official Ceremony White Paper - Draft 1.
Written by: me. Director: Neil Jordan. Music: Clannad/Rubberbandits.
1-5 mins - O'Connell Street. Lined with triumphant citizens. A Ryanair plane swoops down over Stephen's Green and parachutes 100 Billy Barry kids in leprechaun suits from the cargo hold. As they sky-dive towards the Liffey, they hold hands and form the outline of a giant shamrock across the Dublin skyline. The first notes from 'Harry's Game' by Clannad boom across the city. Excitement builds.
6 mins - Bertie Ahern, in a high-vis jacket and hard hat, slides down The Spire onto a waiting greyhound. Ahern, bare-back, rides the greyhound over O'Connell Bridge before being fired into the crowd, buckaroo style, where he will spend the rest of the ceremony, sitting on the sidelines with Mary Harney. This is to represent how the Irish people can forgive, but never forget.
8 mins - Michael Flatley appears on the roof of the GPO, oiled up and River-Dancing furiously. Volunteers from the crowd are handed catapults and encouraged to fire mini breakfast rolls in his general direction. There is wild excitement amongst the citizenry as he gets covered head-to-toe in ketchup. In the weeks running up to the ceremony, every Irish pub from Timahoe to Timbuktu is armed with a box of green flares. At exactly 12 minutes, these flares will be let off simultaneously across the globe. Commander Chris Hadfield, specially dispatched to the ISS for the ceremony, live-tweets a picture of earth as it suddenly lights up in an explosion of even-more-vivid-than-normal green. This shot is displayed on huge screens across College Green where Christy Moore's 'Lisdoonvarna' starts playing to the multitudes, who begin to lose the run of themselves. This intensifies when Jack Charlton and Mick Byrne are lowered from the top of Trinity College on a giant inflatable hammer. 'Lisdoonvarna' cross-fades with 'Put 'Em Under Pressure'. All hell breaks loose.
16 mins - Bono and Sinéad O' Connor perform a stirring rendition of 'She Moved Through the Fair' on a currach in the middle of the Liffey, whilst Marty Morrissey sean-nós dances in a druid's cloak on the roof of Liberty Hall. Henry Shefflin appears suddenly and playfully flings Morrissey into the IFSC, which simultaneously explodes in a cacophony of fireworks displaying the logos of 200 multinational corporations and a huge dollar sign in red, white and blue. This is to represent traditional values sitting comfortably in a globalised economy.
20 mins - To the tune of 'Ireland's Call', a Tango Man in a microlight, symbolising the ghost of Ian Paisley, swoops down over the city in an explosion of orange, showering the celebrating children with miniature Deloreans. This represents our shared heritage of pure folly across 32 counties and is a timely nod to Back To The Future.
25 mins - Panti Bliss is slowly lowered in front of the GPO on a crane and reads out the Proclamation of Independence set to the backing music of 'Horse Outside' by The Rubberbandits. In a haze of exhaust fumes, 16 tricolor spray-painted Honda Civics, full of boy-racers from Wexford to Donegal, race down Abbey Street.
28 mins - Enda Kenny, Joan Burton, Gerry Adams and Micheal Martin are paraded down Grafton Street, where they are showered with rotten fruit and vegetables. This is to represent the electorate's disillusion with contemporary politics and a timely reminder to the Irish people to get their five-a-day.
30 mins - Barack Obama, David Cameron, Angela Merkel and Mario Draghi, in full GAA regalia, race out onto a filled Croke Park. They proceed to play a frighteningly intense 10 minutes of Gaelic football. "Take your points, the goals will come," quips Merkel, to uproarious booing.
35 mins - There is a brief choral rendition of Sean O'Riada's 'Mise Éire' led by the former executives of Anglo Irish Bank followed by a profound one-minute's silence in memory of the death of the Celtic Tiger led by Tommy Tiernan.
36mins - Finally, to finish, in a moment of incredible intensity, Paul O' Connell and Katie Taylor lead a truly unforgettable rendition of 'Amhrán Na Bhfiann'. A three-week party kicks off across the country.
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