The story of Vietnam soldier Corporal Patrick Gallagher's life will be brought to the screen in an exciting documentary to be made by film maker Kathy Raftery in 2023.
Through her mother, Raftery learned the story of Patrick 'Bob' Gallagher, one of the 58,000 names etched on the Vietnam War Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. Originally from Ballyhaunis, at just 23 years old, he displayed exceptional valour and was honoured with a Navy Cross, the second-highest military commendation in the US.
Before embarking for Vietnam, he took a visit home to Ballyhaunis, a visit still remembered by many. And here's where the story is unique. Raftery isn't telling a typical war story; she's crafting a narrative that's profoundly Irish and deeply human. Instead of focusing on American and Vietnamese perspectives, she's bringing us to the rural town of Ballyhaunis and sharing the story through the cherished memories of the local community.
Kathy will be partnering with the St Patrick's Dramatic Society to film the story. This collaboration is part of her creative style, bringing texture and depth to her work while giving St. Patrick's Dramatic Society the opportunity to explore their talents in a new creative format - expanding from stage to screen!
The project will document the hidden facets of the Vietnam War, exploring Irish emigration and the 'visit home' moments that resonate with so many. It's a poignant tale that transcends borders, whilst being being firmly anchored in place.
Please note that the details of events listed above are provided by the relevant Local Authorities.