The Limerick Post - Saturday, 8 May, 2010

Regeneration film sparks debate

By Column Coomey

Community workers
in Southill and
Moyross view it as
missed opportunity

WHAT is referred to as an 'artistic' film aimed at depicting the changes associated with regeneration in Limerick, has angered some residents in the areas it portrays.

The 44 minute long documentary, due to be screened at a number of international film festivals, and recently shown to an invited audience at the Belltable, was seen as no different from other recent TV productions in that it followed the same path.

Community workers from the Southside and the Northside expressed the opinion that artist Nicky Larkin's film 'Beyond The Roundabout,' portrays areas such as Moyross and Southill in a very negative way.

Tracey McElligott, a Moyross community worker, described the project as a missed opportunity to voice the concerns of residents.

She said: "The project did not follow the brief of documenting the affects of regeneration, it just shows the reasons why regeneration is here".

In response to this the director said, "It is an artistic response to a period in a time of supposed great change in the city. That was my only brief".

Patricia Boylan of Carew/ Kincora estate management, commented: "It gave a very dark view of these areas and wasn't a true reflection. I don't think it was very fair as it didn't give a broad view from both sides".

Mr Larkin said that many people believe that the film asks more questions than it answers, and it does not exist to promote either side of the argument.

At this screening, community activist Cathal McCarthy of Weston Gardens, distributed information expressing his disappointment with the production.

"When Nicky first contacted me I thought it was great opportunity for residents in regeneration areas to have their grievances heard".

Mr McCarthy says that he was present when Mr Larkin was shooting in many Regeneration areas, but was disappointed with a preview of the film he was shown in March.

"He said he was given a grant to make a film about regeneration from the residents point of view, but that's not what I saw".

He also felt that the film was negative: "When I was speaking to him, he lambasted the TV documentaries of Donal McIntyre and Paul Williams, but in the end, he focused on the same things they did".

During the production of the film, Mr McCarthy claimed he was asked by Mr Larkin to find a young man wearing a hoody to pose with a gun.

"If somebody from outside of Limerick watched this, they would be lost. The excuse that this is art isn't going to wash".

In defence, Mr Larkin answered: "There are very strong opinions on all sides involved, and it would be impossible for such a piece to please everybody. Each individual interpretation of a piece of art will always be different; that is surely one of the most fascinating things about art?"

Nicky Larkin's film Beyond the Roundabout can be watched online at

Related Articles:

"WE WANT A PLAYGROUND!" (Beyond The Roundabout - Behind The Secnes) by Cathal McCarthy

Beyond The Roundabout? by Darren Maher