Vol. 9 No. 9 (2019): Whose Homelands? Fictions, Facts and Questions of the Irish Diaspora

The “Angel” Controversy: An Archival Perspective

Carlos Menéndez-Otero
University of Oviedo, Spain
Published June 12, 2019
How to Cite
Menéndez-Otero, C. (2019). The “Angel” Controversy: An Archival Perspective. Studi Irlandesi. A Journal of Irish Studies, 9(9), 507-526. https://doi.org/10.13128/SIJIS-2239-3978-25527


This paper looks at the controversy regarding the decision of the Irish Film Board (IFB) to fund Angel, which tore apart the Irish film industry in 1981-82 and almost made the newly-born Board derail. We rely on documents held in the Irish Film Institute Archive to offer a new, more balanced approach to this well-known issue. More specifically, we first show that it was a lack of quorum that made the decision illegal and expose the lies and half-truths that all the parties involved used to discredit each other’s position in the media. Next, we examine the Association of Independent Producers Ireland-controlled IFB policies for 1982-1983 and argue that many were geared towards making The Outcasts the flagship Irish film at the expense of Angel. We finish by reflecting that, although Angel was the only success of the IFB, it continued supporting films like The Outcasts only until 1987.


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