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Mountrath Unlocked - BIFFL (2021)

  • Documentary
  • 53min

Set in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, the film examines the social and economic fabric of Mountrath in Co Laois and its tight-knit community. With testimonies from young and old alike, including a couple of characters in a pub, it shows how life is like in this bustling midlands town which could very well be anywhere across the island of Ireland. It addresses issues such as work ethics and immigrants, and shows too how the town coped and evolved when a motorway opened and took business away from the high street overnight.

When COVID-19 arrived, it hit the town like a hammer blow; in previous times, most businesses managed to pull through, but this was different with staff being let go and uncertainty and vulnerability hanging over everyone. But it was not just economic life that was affected; social contact was severed almost overnight and people became aware of mental health issues. Mountrath became a ghost town. On the upside, nature thrived and “every house in the town is now painted”. While people no longer stopped for a chat, they became more connected, went back to basics and became appreciative of the small things in life.

A terrific, moving COVID-19 diary.





Bonus Content

Mountrath Unlocked Q&A


Q&A with Maurice O’Carroll and Festival Director Geoff Thompson.

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