Kevin Hughes

  • Arrow Nov 8 2022 - Nov 18 2022

The new film DEAR MOTHER written and directed by Kevin Hughes will be showing from the 8th to the 18th of November in the Butler Gallery, Kilkenny.

The film is set during the Irish Civil war in 1922 and tells the tragic true story of John Murphy and John Phelan who were executed on 29th of December 1922 in Stephens Barracks, Kilkenny. We are only a few weeks away from the 100th anniversary of their deaths.

The Irish Civil War is a dark stain on our history and it is important that stories like this are told and reach as large an audience as possible to raise awareness of some of the tragic and at times horrific events that took place during the war.

The film is 24 minutes long and explores the relationship between one of the condemned men John Murphy and his prison guard Tom and before his impeding execution they slowly begin to understand each other and become friends.

Source: The film is inspired by an actual letter written by John Murphy to his mother a few hours before his execution. What comes across through his words are an acceptance and registration to his fate and a deeply held faith in God. It is the simple sincere language that inspired Kevin Hughes to make DEAR MOTHER.

Theme: This is a film about our basic empathy for each other. No matter what the ideology and differences between people that common understanding of what life is connects us. When we are put in a position to participate in an horrific act we have to suppress empathy but no matter how hard we try, it will emerge from the darkness into the light and we will have to deal with it one way or another.

The production: The film was shot in Kilkenny with local talent and crew.

Some of the film was actually shot in the very location where the two men were imprisoned and the exact yard where the executions took place. This adds a great deal of authenticity to the film, making the film there had a profound effect on the cast and crew.

Kevin Hughes is an award winning filmmaker living and working from Kilkenny. He has over 40 professional film credits to his name and has worked on projects ranging from major documentaries, feature films and short drama films. He has travelled around the world as a documentary filmmaker but now works from Kilkenny on a number of other drama projects he has in development.

Kevin believes there is an abundance of amazing untapped talent in regions like Kilkenny seeking project to work on to exercise and develop their creative skills.

During the pandemic last year he made another drama film set in 1921 at the height of the War of Independence for the Decade of Centenaries called The REBURIAL OF JACKIE BRETT. This film which was in a number of international film festivals.

This initiative is part of the Kilkenny County Council Decade of Centenaries Programme 2022 and is supported by the Commemorations Unit of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media.

Wallslough Studios Ltd, Wallslough House, Kilkenny, Ireland, R95 W0V8
087 9000197 - [email protected] -


John Rice, Éanna Grogan, Brendan Corcoran
Jack Murphy, Georgina Brennan-Styne Michael Somers, Jane Brennan and Sarah Kennedy

Written, Produced, Edited, Shot and Directed by Kevin Hughes

Based on actual events that took place in Ireland 1922.
Camera Operator: Brendan Comerford
Tiarnach Doheny
Location Sound:
Richard Doyle
Michael Browne
Clare Gibbs
Production Assistants:
Mallaigh Slattery
Historical Consultant:
Larry Scallan, also John Joe Cullen
Line Producer:
Damien Donnelly
Executive Producer:
Jacqueline Kennedy,

Shot on Location in Gáirdín an Ghorta & James Stephens Army Barracks, Kilkenny Ireland. All rights reserved Wallslough Studios Ltd. 2022.

Supported by Kilkenny County Council and funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Community Strand of the Decade of Centenaries Programme 2021.

Cast in order of Appearance:
Tom: John Rice
Free State Officer:
Brendan Corcoran
Lynch: Jack Murphy
John: Éanna Grogan
Phelan: Michael Sommers
Mother: Georgina Brennan-Stynes
Daughter 1: Jane Brennan
Daughter 1: Sarah Kennedy

Firing Squad:
Jude Stynes, Michael Boland, Phil Cody Dave Lougheed, Eoin McMahon and Tadhg McMahon.

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