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Ennis woman leading the dance in Jimmy’s Hall

JIMMY’S Hall, Ken Loach’s latest film, casts an eye back on an Ireland in the firm grip of unbending conservatism and an Ennis woman plays one of the lead roles. Simone Kirby plays the love interest of Jimmy Gralton, who set up a dance hall in 1930’s Leitrim, before being deported from his home country on a flimsy pretext. Another Ennis actor, Denise Gough, also has a smaller part. Speaking from London, Simone explained the story and how Gralton became a victim of the prevailing powers of the time. “The real Jimmy Gralton was deported from Ireland back in the ’30s. I’d never heard of him, we never learned about him in school or anything so it was news to me that anyone had been deported from Ireland. Basically, he had opened a dance hall on his father’s land and the Church were unimpressed, because education and dances had always been under their control. Suddenly, there was this dance hall …

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