Coalisland’s golden era back by popular demand

A ONE-OFF special showing of remarkable film footage offering a view of Dungannon and Coalisland life from the 1940s has been announced due to popular demand.

Leo Daly, who helped organise the original showing of the rare film footage taken by his father, Vincent Daly, said that his family had been overwhelmed by the public reponse.

“In response to numerous requests for another night’s presentation, we have arranged for a final night’s showing of the films”, he said.

The public will get another chance to glimpse the treasure trove of images at the Craic theatre on Wednesday December 5, starting at 8pm.

“In addition, people attending will have the opportunity to purchase a limited number of professionally produced DVD copies of the film footage; price £10 each”, added Leo.

“A full house is expected so people are advised to come early and avoid disappointment. As before all proceeds will go towards the refurbishment of the Holy Family Church roof.”

For four decades, Vincent Daly dedicated himself to recording historic and community events in the local district.

The footage reveals a bygone world where crowds of enthusiastic people attended AOH and Knights of Malta marches; and religious occasions such as Redemptorist missions, confirmations and communions were celebrated with religious fervour.

The nostalgic images also bring vividly to life the iconic role played by the GAA in local communities by featuring the opening of a number of local grounds including Coalisland MacRory Park and Pomeroy Park

Among the highlights is a clip capturing the excitement of crowds in Dungannon and Coalisland welcoming the homecoming of the victorious 1947 Tyrone Minor team, as well as footage showing Eamon De Valera arriving at Benburb Priory for its official opening in 1949. The future Irish president can be seen conversing with the Very Reverend Dean Quinn.

As well as recording the community’s rich cultural heritage from the vantage point of an eyewitness, Mr Daly operated a mobile cinema shortly after World War II and is credited with bringing the silver screen to towns and villages throughout County Tyrone.

His valuable footage narrowly escaped destruction when a bomb severely damaged the houses in Loughview and Mourne Crescent in the early 1970s.