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Saol George Lennon
history and heritage |
Friday September 02, 2011 10:55 by Deise
TG4 to show documentary of War of Independence veteran and Vietnam War protester.
Comac Morel’s new Irish language documentary “Ó Cogadh go Síocháin - Saol George Lennon” for TG4 Ireland explores the extraordinary life of George Lennon.
Ivan Lennon, from Rochester, NewYork, growing up in knew his father George as a pacifist and protestor of
the Vietnam War. He had adopted Zen Buddhism in 1967 and became one of the founders of the Rochester
Zen Center. In 1991 he died and was cremated, without ceremony, in accordance with his wishes.
Little did Ivan know what he would unearth when he delved into his fathers earlier life. After many years
and numerous research trips back to the country of his birth, Ivan to his astonishment discovered, as the
author of “Rebel Heart: George Lennon Flying Column Commander” Terence O’Reilly states, “George
Lennon was one of the most unusual figures of Ireland’s struggle for independence.”
At 20 George was the youngest commander of a flying column during Ireland’s war of independence. The
activities of Lennon’s column resulted in nearly a thousand British troops being deployed to Waterford,
along with over two hundred RIC and Royal Marines.
He fought for the anti-treaty side during the Civil War but when it became clear that the anti-treatyites had
lost the war and that a guerilla campaign would prove ruinous for Ireland, causing the ordinary people to
suffer, he voluntarily laid down arms and was left in peace by the pro-treaty forces. He began a path that
would take him far away from the country he fought for, and very far from the path of violence.
Regarding his involvement in the I.R.A., the younger Lennon says, “It was something that I never heard
him talk about.” Before he died, George had become as much a proponent for peace as he had been a
"Saol George Lennon" is directed by Cormac Morel and edited by Nicola Leddy and was produced as part of works by the students of the Higher Diploma in Television Production run by Nemeton. It will be broadcast on TG4 on Sunday 18th September at 9.30 pm.
If you’d like more information about the life of George Lennon, or schedule an interview with Ivan Lennon,
please call Joe Kelly at (310) 392-1605 or email Joe at email@example.com