PBS to show Irish Documentary

Limerick native and Angela’s Ashes tour guide Mike O’Donnell in front of the Riverpoint building on the Shannon river

By Liam Moriarty, Contributor
August / September 2006

Mıxed Blessings, a new documentary, tackles the topic of a changing Ireland and how it is redefining itself. The Ireland of the past, the one of rain-swept fields, packed Catholic Mass, and thatched-roof pubs is long gone. Ireland is fast becoming a secular, urbanized and wealthy state. It is now her challenge to not only deal with the benefits of the new success but also it’s negative consequences.

The country is in the midst of a balancing act between the traditional and the new. Mixed Blessings is set in the city of Limerick, formally known as “stab city,” which is experiencing a property boom, immigration surge, small business develop-

ment and an influx of American investment. Mixed Blessings profiles the different lives and situations of five or six characters being affected by this onslaught of change. It fol- lows their trials and tribulations as they attempt to make peace and reconcile with the new face Ireland. Depicted is the sale of a Jesuit Church after its drastic drop in attendance, a Guinness representative responsible for maintaining a traditional image of the drink in the face of an interna- tional market, and the difficulties facing both the small Irish dairy farmer and Ireland’ s new immigrant population.

Mixed Blessings debuts on PBS, Tuesday, July 18 at 9 p.m. ♦

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