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Seven Sig-Nidge-tories

Tom Vaughan-Lawlor to play Padraig Pearse in new 1916 drama

In the programme, we see the leader of the 1916 rebellion in the dock, in a trial that he was never afforded in real life.

TOM VAUGHAN-LAWLOR, best known for his role as Nidge in Love/Hate, stars as rebel leader Paidraig Pearse in a new 1916 drama called ‘Trial of the Century’.

In the programme, we see the leader of the 1916 rebellion in the dock, in a trial that he was never afforded in real life. Pearse was court-martialled and executed by firing squad in May 1916, along with fourteen other leaders of the Rising.

The three-part drama, due to be aired on TV3 this spring, was  filmed in Green Street Courthouse in Smithfield. The court itself was the venue of several noted trials such as those of Wolfe Tone and Robert Emmet in 1803, John Mitchel in 1848 and other Fenian leaders.

It was also used during the troubles from 1970 to 1990s as the home of the Special Criminal Court.


In the first episode, the British prosecution presents its case against Pearse, and the Rising’s leader mounts his defence in the second.

In the final instalment, viewers get to eavesdrop on the deliberations of a jury who have the responsibility to convict or acquit Ireland’s iconic patriot.


The jury will be made up of both well-known public figures and ‘ordinary’ Irish citizens.

Other well-known names that feature in the three-part special include Mark Huberman as George Gavan Duffy, Andrew Bennett as lead prosecutor Sebastian Banks, Aoibhinn McGinnity as mum Catherine Foster, Denis Conway as Pearse’s senior counsel and Anthony Brophy as Eoin MacNeill.

Read: Step inside the 1916 tour bus and see if you’re up for the fight>

Read: Rare personal papers shed light on private lives of 1916 signatories>

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