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Dundalk as it Happens

Liam Neeson helps to turn Mark Mulholland’s Dundalk-based novel into a film

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Author Mark Mulholland

Author Mark Mulholland

‘A Mad and Wonderful Thing’, the Dundalk-based novel by Mark Mulholland is set to be made into a film.

A movie deal was concluded in recent days and will be announced at The London Book Fair tomorrow.

It has been snapped up by Parallel Films and is likely to feature Irish actor Liam Neeson in some capacity.

Mark, who formerly ran The Beerkeeper pub (now The Bartender) in Park Street, released ‘A Mad and Wonderful Thing’ in Australia and New Zealand in March 2014 to rave reviews, before it became available in Europe last May.

Mark, who also had an involvement in The Spirit Store in its early days, has lived in France for the past 11 years but still used his hometown as a setting for his debut novel.

Upon its release it received rave reviews from Hollywood actors including Jeremy Irons and Liam Neeson, who said at the time: “I thought it excellent. Deeply satisfying and moving. I also think that sufficient time has passed since the Good Friday Agreement to, at last, have a novel that goes inside the head of one of the ‘Troubles’ protagonists and hear the pros and cons of the conflict (to take up arms or not) told in an original and exciting way.

“All Mark’s hard work has paid off. Ireland has a new and exciting voice.”

Indeed, little did we know at the time that Neeson was so impressed that he has now been linked to turning the novel into a film.

Mark said the Northern Irish man’s support has been superb.

“It was Liam that approached and encouraged Parallel Films to go for it.

A Mad And Wonderful Thing's book cover

A Mad And Wonderful Thing’s book cover

“Liam has been loyal and supportive to the work from the start and he has also made some wonderful comments. Liam, because of who he is, brings assurance of a big production and a guarantee of attention.”

Mark said it was “great news” that the book was being turned into a film, adding that the “right team” were behind it.

“We have had a lot of interest and had other options but Alan Moloney in Parallel Films and Liam bring elegance and gravitas to the production, and they bring know how. They also get it: they understand the fundamental thrust of the book.

“And it is great news, too, I think, for Dundalk. Our story and streetscape, our landscape and hinterland, our mythology, our people, and even our unique sound, are all to get a global airing.”

Who knows maybe the local theme will continue and Dundalk director John Moore will get involved. Either way we’ll soon be hearing the sounds of ‘de town’ on the big screen.

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