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John Boorman interview March 2, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Always liked John Boorman’s stuff, though, to my shame I have never seen Excalibur. But in a wide ranging interview with Jason O’Toole in Hot Press there is this:

Back in the days of the Troubles, did you receive any death threats from the IRA because you’re English?

One night there was a knock on my door and it was the Official IRA guys! And they said, ‘We would like to use your land for training purposes?’
(Laughs) So, I said, ‘Do I have a choice?’ And they said, ‘Yes. We’d only want to do it if you approved’. And I said, ‘Well, I’d rather not’. And they moved on.
Was that your only contact with the IRA?
The only other connection was making Zardoz. I needed a lot of guns and I wanted to import them from London and there was strict prohibition about importing weapons, even though these weapons wouldn’t fire bullets (laughs). It was a big problem. It almost toppled the production. And then one of the carpenters came up to me and said, ‘The lads above can get you all the weaponsyou want!’ (Laughs)


How did you solve the problem?
I went to the government. Justin Keating was the Minister at the time and I told him and he sorted it out and I got the weapons. Anyway, I could’ve got them from the IRA (laughs)! My dealings with the IRA were, on the whole, rather positive!

He’s some interesting thoughts on how Ireland has changed in recent decades amongst other things.


1. deiseach - March 2, 2017

I haven’t read the wide ranging interview, so perhaps I am missing the context, but is that not a really stupid question? Were either of the IRA’s in the habit of issuing threats to people for the crime against the Irish people that was being English?


2. Jason O'Toole - March 3, 2017

No, it’s not a stupid question. I’ve interviewed several Brits in the past who told me they were under threat here during the Troubles. While Victoria Smurfit told me her parents were warned by Garda that she was under threat of being kidnapped by the IRA.


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