Ol’ Dear is a new kind of super hero – mad, blind, and pissed off.

Waaaaay back in 2006 – long before Scorsese’s Irishman – I made a proposal to the Irish Film Board for a short film about Old Timer Gangstas.

Ol’ Dear is set in Dublin in the immediate future, year 2013. Gasoline prices have made automobiles almost nonexistent, wind turbines are ubiquitous, supplies rationed, huge piles of garbage ring the city’s periphery, everybody is continuously plugged in, service from the service industry is non-existent, and stereotypical giant holographic billboards grace the sides of buildings. Ol’ Dear, our eponymous disenfranchised and anachronistic heroine and her posse of equally marginalized cronies are out of patience. With nothing to lose at this stage in their lives, ‘they take up arms against the oppressor’ and become ‘freedom fighters’, leading the self-styled Hand Bag Revolution.


Overwhelmed by the forces of the status quo, at the age of 87, Agnes O’Connor, a mild mannered retired hairdressers bookkeeper, grandmother of eleven and soon to be great-grandmother, decides to take radical action – she became, at least in her own mind, a freedom fighter.

Agnes is rebellious because she is tired;
tired of not being seen as an active contributer to society,tired of being taken for granted,
tired of nobody listening,
tired of her old age pension barely covering her subsistence,tired of the pollution and desecration of the forests and wa- ters of the world,
tired of imagining the suppurating world her grandchild will grow up in,
tired of ineffective public transportation,
tired of the rich getting richer while the poor grow ever poorer and exponentially in number,
and tired of a few bossy nations telling us what to eat and see and believe.

Against conventional logic, Agnes is taking action.


Some Questions

I have often wondered when confronted by unyielding indifferent and at times brutal might, what of non-violence? What would Gandhi do today? Many would say that non-violence is the better and more noble way, to say nothing of being politically correct, but does non-violence change any- thing? Is it not true, that the dominant and unyielding powers that be, these ‘violators’, only understand violence? Is violence an appropriate response to volatile and life oppressing circumstances, real or imagined? Do the means get justified by the ends?

The starting premise for the film is what if the ‘ordinary’ people of Nelson Mandela’s and Jimmy Carter’s generation decided they had enough, what sort of action would they take? and would they have to be mad (or desper- ate?) to try and resist the seemingly unstoppable global forces at this stage of their lives? and if they do take action like I am suggesting, are they ‘freedom fighters’? ‘terrorists’? or merely loonies? and perhaps most interestingly, how much sense would drastic action initiated by their generations hand make to larger society?

If Agnes O’Connor – mild mannered and retired hair- dresser’s bookkeeper – is ready to take action, in- cluding condoning and us- ing violence, then what hope have we?