Conal Creedon’s documentary is inspired by the rare photograph of the Boys of Fairhill taken in 1928 and the songs of the late Sean O’Callaghan (the Fairhill poet).
On the Northside of Cork City the legend of The Boys of Fairhill is immortalised in song and story. Throughout the world where ever Irish people meet – the songs of the Fairhill poet, Sean O’Callaghan are synonymous with Cork City. O’Callaghan’s songs are bardic in tradition and heroic in nature telling the stories of the people and places in and around Fairhill in songs such as: The Boys of Fairhill, The Armoured Car, Lloyd George. So who were the Boy’s Of Fairhill?
The Boys Of Fairhill pictured in the photograph had lived through turbulent times, some of them had witnessed as many as five wars; The Boar War, The First World War, The 1916 Rising, The War of Independence and The Civil War.
Although many of these individuals came from conflicting political traditions (British Army/Irish Republican) and took opposing sides during the civil war, all political differences were put aside when it came to the sporting pursuits particular to this unique area of Cork City. First and foremost they were sportsmen, they were harrier men, bowlers, ferreters, pigeon fanciers, song-bird men and hurlers. In sport they became an inseparable band of brothers forming familial bonds that are still strong to the present day.
For well over a century the heroic exploits of legendary men such as Connie Doyle, Timmy Delaney, the Shea boys, Sean Callaghan, the Cliffords, live on in collective memory of the people of Fairhill.
These legends and living traditions of the Boys Of Fairhill have been handed down through the generations, from father to son like a baton in a relay race.
Over the decades, the families of Fairhill have come together like one large extended family weaving in and out of the various traditions creating a rich cultural tapestry.
To this day the traditions of The Boys Of Fairhill are alive and well and still living on the Northside Of Cork City.