Limerick author’s tale of ‘toxic’ Irish bank to be adapted into screenplay

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

THE book reads like a thriller charting impending financial doom and now it is to be made into a film.

THE book reads like a thriller charting impending financial doom and now it is to be made into a film.

Funding has been granted to adapt Anglo Republic - Inside The Bank That Broke Ireland, written by Simon Carswell, from Limerick, into a screenplay for a potential film.

The Irish Film Board has stumped up €16,000 as a script development loan to scriptwriters Eugene O’Brien and Neal Rowland, who have an extensive catalogue of film and television work in their arsenal, and are now working on adapting Carswell’s tale of the ultimately toxic bank from its humble beginnings to crippling downfall.

The book has experienced huge success and was the second best-selling non-fiction title in Ireland last year and Simon - finance correspondent with the Irish Times - is delighted with this development, praising the scriptwriters as “very talented”.

“They are still working through it, they are at a very early stage and are trying to get a structure around it that could work in a film format,” he explained.

“I guess if you look at it, the events leading up to the collapse of the bank were dramatic and anyone who has lived through that or followed those events you could see how intense they were and there was kind of a natural drama in what happened there.

“I think that Neal and Eugene can see that. The way the book is structured lends itself well to building a drama and the frantic attempts to try and save the bank as markets turned against them,” added Simon, originally from Raheen in Limerick.

The author said he is “pleased” with the response to the book, which sold in the region of 18,000 copies in Ireland before it made the jump into paperback in May of this year.

“I am pleased that there was such interest in it, particularly after so many of these so-called ‘crash-lit’ books had been published,” he explained.

“I think that the book benefited from the passage of time, it wasn’t the first out but one advantage was that you could get the whole story of the rise, fall and collapse of the bank and tell that in full.

“I could dig a bit deeper into the story and examine what happened in full with the benefit of hindsight, and looking back and seeing the full story. Readers really wanted to know why that the was case, especially considering what this bank has done to the country,” he added.