Putting on his Executive Producer’s hat, Gabriel Byrne is part of the team bringing the new documentary Land Without God to screens in 2019.

The film is written, co-directed, and narrated by Gerard Mannix Flynn, a friend of Gabriel’s for many years.

From the synopsis:

An intimate portrait of a family coming to terms with decades of institutional abuse and the impact it has had and is still having on their lives.

The film examines the legacy of Institutional abuse by the Irish Church and State over the last century. The story follows writer, Gerard Mannix Flynn, together with generations of his family who for the first time, speak openly together about their childhood traumatic experience of being removed from the family home and community and being incarcerated in children’s homes and industrial institutions run by religious catholic orders.

Land Without God is a collaboration between three artists: Gerard Mannix Flynn, director/producer/writer Lotta Petronella, and Maedhbh McMahon, an artist, scenographer, and costume designer who is part of Mannix Flynn’s FarCry Productions.

Mr. Flynn announced the film on Twitter:

He noted Gabriel’s involvement as well:

Mannix and Gabriel have been friends and colleagues for many years. They appeared on stage together in The Liberty Suit in Dublin back in 1977, and later shared the screen in Gabriel’s first film, Excalibur, in 1981.

More recently, in 2011, they collaborated in New York City on Mannix Flynn’s play James X. They also worked together on the Irish Marriage Equality Campaign in 2015.

Gabriel and Mannix, NYC, 2011

From the film’s Presskit:

Land Without God is utterly unique: an account from the inside of what Ireland’s history of incarcerating women and children has done to one family. Catholic Ireland locked up one child in every hundred in its “industrial school” system, while women were incarcerated in Magdalene laundries and mother-and-baby homes. A culture that took pride in its veneration of the Family actually tore real families apart. Yet the trauma experienced by these families has also created a deadly silence: stigmatised and criminalised, they became voiceless. Land Without God is thus extraordinary in its mixture of deeply intimate revelation and sweeping public history, as Mannix Flynn takes us on a personal voyage into the dark side of a State. Rarely in any work of art have the outsiders been brought so movingly inside the frame. Haunting, poetic, devastating and moving, Land Without God is a film full of terror and pity.

–Fintan O’Toole, Irish Times Journalist

Land Without God is in post-production now and is set for release in 2019. A beautifully designed website for the film is up and running now, and it is packed with more details and insights, so be sure to check it out. And you can follow the film on Twitter for updates, too.

Gerard Mannix Flynn

Finally, I keep up with Mannix on Instagram, where he publishes pics on a regular basis. In addition to chronicling his activities and the everyday life around him, he includes intriguing and evocative images of Dublin and Ireland–often places not on the beaten path, as they say–and his pics of these hidden and forgotten corners, along with more recognizable places, are often haunting and always memorable.


  1. 2019, a wonderful year waiting for us with releases of lots of Gabriel’s projects, so we gonna stay tuned.❤️



  3. Stella, I cried when I read about this documentary and then I was angry at how Church+State tore families apart. I cried because it reminded me of the Residential School system here in Canada who tore children away from their parents to assimilate them “and beat the Indian out of them” as was said by proponents. My school didn’t have a cemetery , did yours? Children died and were physically, sexually and emotionally abused. It was also an unholy coalition of Church and State that destroyed Indigenous families over generations. What courage it must take for Mannix Flynn and his co-producers, including Gabriel, to make such a personal film about this dark side of Irish history.

    • The United States did the same–and on a grand scale, too! We still are …

      I am in awe of these creative people who have the energy and the stamina to take on this issue. I remember when Mannix and Gabriel were in NYC to bring us JAMES X. That was in 2011. Think how much has happened since then! And yet, they stay true to their goals and their vision and that is so inspiring. I hate the subject matter, but I am truly thankful for this examination of it and this search for the truth and for justice. I wish them all the best with this project! <3

  4. TeresaO Connor

    As a Survivor of the Magdalene Laundry Sundays Well Cork, I would love to attend the Film. Where could I purchase tickets please? And Thank You.

    Clara Offaly

    • Clara,

      The film-maker Mannix Flynn tells us that the showing at Dublin International Film Festival this month (February) is already sold out, but the film will be released in Ireland later on.

      So stay tuned! There should be theaters and times available soon.

      Stella <3

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.