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Statement by President Michael D. Higgins on the death of James Flynn

Date: Mon 13th Feb, 2023 | 13:29

“The death of James Flynn represents the loss of one of the key figures in modern Irish film-making.

Over the course of his career, James Flynn made a remarkable contribution to the Irish film industry, both in terms of fostering the development of films by the Irish film community itself, and in bringing so many international projects to this island.

Beginning with his work as head of development at John Boorman’s Merlin Films over 30 years ago, he went on to play a major role in the development of the Irish film industry over the following decades, as well as a leading contribution to training.

From the experience he had in Irish film from its early beginnings following the reconstitution of Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board and my appointment of Lelia Doolan as Chair in 1993, James Flynn was one of the first and most valuable people appointed by Lelia and the Board.

James filled his role at the Irish Film Board with distinction. He was one of the most knowledgeable Irish people about film with a deep insight into what was required for successful film making and his contribution helped to lay the foundations for building what it is now such a successful Irish film industry.

This included not only his time as Business Manager and Deputy Chief Executive of the Irish Film Board, but also the many years he spent as a board member of Screen Training Ireland and of the Screen Commission of Ireland.

He went on to make a significant personal contribution to the industry both in film and on television as a producer and executive producer with his company Metropolitan Film, playing a central role in so many projects including his wife Juanita Wilson’s Academy Award nominated The Door, Academy Award nominated The Secret of Kells, Angela’s Ashes, KIN and Vikings: Valhalla amongst many others. He was of course also co-producer of The Banshees of Inisherin, which is again competing in the Academy Awards this month.

James’ loss at such a young age is a huge loss to the industry and to all of us who knew him.

May I express my deepest condolences to his wife Juanita, to his children Alex and Anna, and to his wide circle of family, friends and colleagues.”