Archives for October 2015

UNIMEI 2015 Congress in Lisbon

UNI General Secretary Philip Jennings addressing the UNIMEI 2015 Congress in Lisbon. UNIMEI is the global organisation for trade unions organising in media, entertainment and arts. Fair standards, fair digital bargaining and collective bargaining rights are the order of the day.

Irish Equity congratulates Enda Oates

Irish Equity congratulates Enda Oates in winning his IFTA last for best male performer in a soap. Enda is an stage, film, and television actor who has received acclaim for his stagework, but is also well known to Irish television audiences as the Reverend George Black in the long-running series Glenroe for RTÉ, and as Barreller Casey in the sitcom Upwardly Mobile as well as for his role in Death of a SuperheroVeronica Guerin and Ordinary Decent Criminal.

Equity calls on members to support rehearsal visits

Following the setting up of the Theatre Sub Committee, Equity have decided to recommence the old tradition of visiting actors on the first day of rehearsals. This initiative is designed to increase the profile of the union at live performance venues and to create more face to face time between the members of the union their representatives.

While we have contacted a large number of production companies and venues we are calling on members to let us know what live productions they are becoming involved in so that we can arrange a visit. Members can email this information to All information provided is confidential to the member and will not be shared with any third party. We will only use the knowledge of the production to arrange a visit without identifying any specific member of the cast.

Demonstrating why solidarity is not unartistic

Equity recently negotiated an agreement for the cast of the production “1916 The Bloody Irish”. This was a live performance that was recorded in front of a live audience for broadcast on PBS in America. Initially the production company were insisting that the cast, who were a mix of Irish Equity, Equity UK and non-union actors, sign full buyout agreements. The cast were not happy with this and called in Irish Equity to help. We visited the cast on set and have a good and constructive discussion that left everyone with a fuller understanding of their rights. This fantastic cast all took the decision to support the union in fighting their cause and the non-union actors even signed up to Equity to be part of this. Once the fight commenced the cast showed real solidarity in ensuring their agents did not sign contracts until given the all clear from Equity even though the production company threatened to withhold payment from them. They actors stood firm with the union however and the deal was done that will time expire and allow for the payment of royalties so well done all concerned !!

Brian Friel

The best known Irish playwright of his generation, Brian Friel, died on Friday (2nd October) aged 86. His first major play, Philadelphia, Here I Come!, was the hit of the 1964 Dublin Theatre Festival, and Dancing at Lughnasa in 1992 won three Tony Awards.

He was also an accomplished short-story writer and a founder of Field Day Theatre Company. In all Friel wrote 24 published plays, two short-story collections and eight published adaptations or versions, most notably from Ibsen, Chekov and Turgenev.

His most controversial play, Translations, was first staged in 1980 is about the mapping of Ireland by the Ordnance Survey in the 1830s. It proved to be a landmark in the debates about cultural identity and historical revisionism that were a feature of Irish intellectual life in the 1970s and 1980s.

Friel was born near Omagh, Co Tyrone, in January 1929. Ten years later he moved with his family to Derry. There he was educated at St Columb’s College, following which he spent two years as a seminarian at St Patrick’s College in Maynooth. Trained as a teacher at St Joseph’s College, Belfast, he began teaching in 1950.

In 2001 he presented the archive of his work to the National Library of Ireland. Elected in 1982 to membership of Aosdána he was elected a Saoi in 2006. He was Donegal Person of the Year in 2010.

His wife, Anne Morrison, their three daughters and their son survive him.