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Bernadette: notes on a political journey

Announcing the screening of the new Irish documentary in The Model
‘Bernadette: notes on a political journey’
Directed by Lelia Doolan.

This new documentary from director, Lelia Doolan, Bernadette: notes on a
political journey will be screened in The Model Cinema from Wednesday,
January 25th at 8pm (screenings also on Thursday, 26th January at 8pm and
Saturday & Sunday at 3pm).

Described as the ‘Roaring Girl’ from Derry and an Irish Joan of Arc,

Bernadette Devlin-McAliskey was also patronisingly called a mini-

skirted Castro. In 1969, she won the mid-Ulster by-election, survived an

assassination attempt in 1981 and to this day remains a radical socialist


Made over a period of nine years, this documentary is the first major insight

into McAliskey’s life since 1969 and features the campaigner reflecting

movingly on her early life and her prominent role in the republican struggle.

The story of Bernadette Devlin McAliskey’s remarkable political life is told in

Lelia Doolan’s inquisitive documentary, which combines remarkable archive

footage with intimate interviews conducted with its subject over the last ten


A member of the People’s Democracy movement in Northern Ireland in the

late 1960s, Bernadette Devlin was elected MP for Mid-Ulster when she was

21 years-old and still a student, and briefly rattled the Wilson government and

the Westminster establishment. She witnessed the Bloody Sunday massacre,

and went on to co-found the Irish Republican Socialist Party, only to leave it

soon afterwards.

She survived an assassination attempt while campaigning for the H-Block
hunger strikers in the early 1980s and her family suffered harrassment for
years beyond that. The archive footage presents her as a firebrand with a


The Model, home of The Niland Collection, The Mall, Sligo +353 (0)71 914 1405

gift for public speaking, derided as ‘Castro in a miniskirt’ by one opponent.
Now into her sixties, she remains just as articulate and uncompromising,
critical of the Good Friday Agreement while still deeply passionate about –
and engaged in – community politics. Doolan’s film acknowledges a unique,
formidable figure in the Irish civil rights movement. This is an engrossing,
humbling and possibly divisive documentary.

‘The patronising media quips about “Castro in a miniskirt” are particularly
delicious.’- Donald Clarke, THE IRISH TIMES ****

Buy tickets online for this screening at the reduced price of €7.00 at

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