Rebuilding the ‘Wall of Death’

Stephen Skrynka, Michael Donoghue and Connie Kiernan pictured at Stephens exhibition in Dublin earlier this year.  The trio are endeavouring to recreate the famous Wall of Death in Granard. Photo: Clodagh Kilcoyne
Thirty eight years after the original was destroyed, three men are embarking on a project to re-create Granard’s famous Wall of Death.

Thirty eight years after the original was destroyed, three men are embarking on a project to re-create Granard’s famous Wall of Death.

Glasgow-based artist Stephen Skrynka is teaming up with Granard natives Connie Kiernan and Michael Donoghue, the men whose story inspired the much-loved film, ‘Eat the Peach’.

Stephen has been working on the Wall of Death for years in different capacities, first hosting a theatrical production in the National Theatre of Scotland, based on the life of the world-famous Ken Fox troupe.

Earlier this year, Stephen opened an exhibition in Dublin, part of which was based on Connie and Michael’s story.

Inviting the brothers-in-law to the exhibition, Stephen approached them with the idea of recreating the popular attraction. Explaining that the film ‘Eat the Peach’ is about following a dream, Stephen told the Granard men that they needed “to rebuild that dream and build the wall up again”.

“I suggested this to them and at first the idea of revisiting that again, 38 year years later, was received with a bit of a stony silence to be honest with you,” Stephen laughed.

Connie and Michael, however, soon came round to the idea, and together, the trio have started planning for this exciting venture. While Stephen’s exhibition earlier this year concluded with professional riders taking on the Wall of Death, he revealed that the plan are different this time around.

“The plan with the new wall is that the three of us are going to train to ride it.”

It is hoped that once built, the structure will also double as a stage for theatre in the round, and will tour throughout the country as Ireland’s only Wall of Death.

Though excited about the possibility, Stphen is under no illusions that this will be an easy project. Quite the opposite.

“It’s quite a challenge,” he admitted, adding that a huge amount of work will have to be done, a lot of materials procured and enough funds raised.

With that in mind, they’re looking for the public’s help in funding a project which will, no doubt, put Granard on the map.

Though they’re gratefully receiving help from Structural Engineers Atelier One, they are carrying out a majority of the work themselves, so costs will go on the necessary materials.

To donate to the project or for more information, go to www.kickstarter.com and search for Stephen Skrynka.