Deoch and Dorais

Translates as 'one for the road' or perhaps 'name your poison'

Jimmy Laffey

Photograph of "the film set"
Gerry Costello
Photograph of "the film set"
Gerry Costello
Photograph of "the film set"
Gerry Costello
Photograph of "the film set"
Gerry Costello

Much of the documentary film “Deoch and Dorais” which translates as ‘one for the road’ or perhaps ‘name your poison’ was filmed in Costello’s pub here in Skehana and in particular this was the setting for the ‘Speakeasy’. The filming occurred during the summer of 2015 and it had it’s first screening on TG4 on December 28th. 2015

John Costello first occupied a tenancy of 23 acres 2 roods and 33 perches in Skehanagh in 1879 that also included a dwelling house and some out-offices. Some years prior to this its previous occupier, Thomas Monahan, relocated to the nearby townland of Clooncurreen. John Costello quickly set about establishing a licenced premises that would later expand to include a bottling facility, an undertaking operation and a grocery business. Little would John, or his descendants, have ever dreamed that almost 140 years later that very same counter, fireplace and shelving would form the backdrop for a gangster movie, Deoch an Dorais, set in 1920s and 1930s New York, would was filmed in Costello’s, almost exclusively, Produced by Megamedia, Furbo, it sets about telling the true story of an Irish emigrant, Mike Malloy (1873-1933).

It examines the legend of Mike Malloy (nicknamed “Rasputin of the Bronx” or “Durable Mike Malloy”), an Irish emigrant to New York at the time of prohibition. Malloy was the unwitting subject of insurance fraud when a policy was taken out on his life by an Italian-American New York gangster and speakeasy owner, Tony Marino. However, despite repeated attempts to collect the policy by killing Malloy in a manner that would suggest a natural death – from poisoning him with drink and food, to hitting him with a car and dumping his soaking body overnight in freezing weather – Marino and his accomplices were unable to collect.

The documentary film is presented by All-Ireland winning Donegal captain Anthony Molloy (a distant relative of Durable Mike Malloy), who also reflects on his own struggle with alcoholism and the larger story of Irish emigration to the United States of which Malloy was but one of many examples. Incorporating contemporary footage of New York and interviews with a range of scientific and academic commentators (including historian J.J. Lee), Deoch an Dorais also includes reenactments of the events from the 1930s involving Malloy, Marino and his co-conspirators (including undertaker Francis Pasqua); the scenes in Marino’s speakeasy offer a convincing rendering of the period, with the lighting particularly impressive. Under Paddy Hayes assured direction, Deoch an Dorais is an engaging and thought-provoking account of an extraordinary story.

This page was added on 24/07/2017.

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