History_Film_and_Education_Text

Political and Historical Perspectives

Post-screening discussion

Sinn Fein activist Eoin O'Broin discusses The Enigma of Frank Ryan with the film-making team at the Belfast Film Festival, 3 June 2012.


A recording of History Ireland’s Hedge School on Frank Ryan

On 26 February 2012, following the second screening of The Enigma of Frank Ryan at the Irish Film Institute, Tommy Graham hosted a History Ireland hedge school on the life and legacy of Frank Ryan.

The panel consisted of historians Brian Hanley (UCD), Leeann Lane (DCU), Fearghal McGarry (QUB) and David O’Donoghue. Contributors from the floor include Manus O’Riordan, who has written widely on Ryan and Irish responses to the Spanish Civil War, and Maeve Clissmann, whose parents, Helmut and Elizabeth, are portrayed in the film. Among the issues discussed are Ryan’s relationship with Rosamond Jacob, the ideology of Republican Congress, Ryan’s motivations for fighting in Spain, and just what Ryan may have been doing in Nazi Germany during the Second World War.

This debate is also available to download from History Ireland at iTunes.



Review of The Enigma of Frank Ryan, from the International Brigade Memorial Trust


Review of The Enigma of Frank Ryan, from the Irish Political Review


Review of The Enigma of Frank Ryan in the Irish News (2 May 2013)

  • Sinn Fein official Jim Gibney reflects on the legacy of Frank Ryan.