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Hollywood Director helps launch Gathering HIstory Project at Museum

 

He may have over $223m box office figures for ‘A Good Day to Die Hard, and is on first name terms with Hollywood’s A-listers but  Dundalk director John Moore said this week that his hometown is never far from his thoughts.

Screened at the launch of the Gathering History Louth project, in the County Museum, Dundalk, John turned the camera on himself and spoke of his love for Dundalk, it’s history and one man, Tom Murphy, who inspired him to carve out a career as an Director of blockbusters such as Behind Enemy Line, The Omen, and of course the fifth instalment in Die Hard series.

“I met one of the first big influences of my life at school there, a teacher, Tom Murphy, was the school photographer.

“I remember Tom used to have a lot of equipment and I was fascinated. He taught me the basics of film cameras and how they worked and the basics of light measurement and that always stuck with me and I owe Tom a big debt of gratitude because without his patience and his brilliance as a teacher I don’t think I’d have gotten anywhere in his career.”

The segment which is now part of the www.gatheringhistory.com project devised by Jason McGee, Harry Lee and the County Museum, Dundalk also offers an insight into life growing up in Dundalk and the warm welcome assured in this, The Gathering Year.

John Moore spent his childhood years in the Cox’s Demesne area of town before moving to the Point Road, a less populated location boasting fantastic scenery. Growing up in the shadow of the Troubles did not spoil a happy childhood. He says.

“We grew up it was wild, mostly farmland. And of course the river was a huge source of fun for kids. We were constantly building makeshift boats and rafts, trying to sail off halfway round the world.

It was a great, Dundalk always has been a great place for kids. A very safe town, even though during the 70s and 80s, the shadow of the Troubles in Northern Ireland certainly fell across the town, it never divided the town and I think it always felt like a safe place to grow up and it certainly is today.

Of course, being a Gathering project, John Moore encouraged as many as possible to return to Dundalk and Louth, citing the abundance of history in one location.

“I’d certainly encourage anyone who is thinking about it to come on up and have a look at our town. It is a very historic town. I remember, even going to school in the Christian Brothers.  Just on that daily trip to school you pass half a dozen historic sites.

“It’s everywhere you look. There’s old castle walls, there’s interesting sites from the Emergency, wonderful, wonderful Cuchulainn remains, it’s a very historic town. And, of course, when you go further out to the hinterland, you’ve got some incredibly, historic sites.”

The Hollywood Director insists Dundalk and County Louth has stayed in his heart. I always missed home, you know. Even in Los Angeles, I think fondly of it, try and get back as much as I can, try and support the town as much as possible and that’s why I’m urging anyone who’s listening, this year, in 2013, to try and get up to Dundalk and pay us a visit. You’ll get a very warm welcome.”

The Gathering History project has already attracted international star with Jim Corr of The Corrs hinting at a reunion of the supergroup in the near future.

Gathering History organisers Jason McGee and Harry Lee are delighted with the early success of the project.

“To speak to John Moore in Hollywood and for him to say straight away ‘anything for Dundalk’ was music to our ears. It is good to know that one of our first interviews features and is directed and edited by a Hollywood director. The fact that he uses the interview to thank people like Tom Murphy for getting him to California is heartwarming. What more could you ask for!”

County Museum, Dundalk Curator Brian Walsh said he is thrilled with John Moore’s response and contribution to the Gathering History project.

“When we began our early work on this project, John’s name came into our heads straightaway. He was in the middle of the Good Day to Die Hard press campaign at the time and we weren’t sure if we would get him. But thankfully in this day and age Dundalk is a close knit community. Less than 24 hours after asking his family about the possibility of the interview, he was e-mailing Harry about the project.

The Gathering History Project will continue throughout the Gathering Year. If you are from Co Louth, living abroad and would like to be a part of the project please contact info@gatheringhistory.com.

John Moore’s interview and others including Jim Corr can be viewed at www.gatheringhistory.com