The story of the Irish Marist brother who founded the Glasgow Celtic Football Club is going to go public on the screens.
Online news outlet catholicireland.net revealed in an article that the British Film Institute is backing a major feature movie about Andrew Kerins, known by his religious name as Brother Walfrid, and the Irish community in Scotland of his time.
“Brother Walfrid and the east end of Glasgow are very much central to the story,” stated award-winning Scottish novelist Andrew O’Hagan, who is working on the script after the film’s director – Peter Mullan – selected him.
“Without going into detail, it’s the story of an Irish family around the Saltmarket area during the years running up to the establishment of the club,” he added.
“It’s the story of church members, the local clergy and the Irish immigrant community beginning to organise themselves socially and politically, it’s a story that has never been told.”
The film will cover the 40 years from when the first Irish famine survivors arrived to Glasgow in 1846 until Br Walfrid created the Celtic FC in 1887.Its focus will also be on how they formed a community around Irish Catholic parishes in the city.
“This team formed by Marist Brothers would go on to European glory, but that 40 year period has never been documented in a way that would satisfy me,” stated Andrew.
Br Walfrid was from Ballymote in County Sligo and joined the Marists in 1864. He studied teaching and became headmaster at the Sacred Heart School in Glasgow.
In 1888 he founded the Football Club to help raise money for the poor in the east end of Glasgow.
He was sent to London’s East End in 1893 where he organised football matches for fundraising and established a charity called “The Poor Children’s Dinner Table.”
Br Walfrid died on 17 April 1915, aged 74, back in Dumfries, Scotland.
“This is a story about self-respect, it’s an austerity movie about how to triumph over hard times so it couldn’t be more timely in a way,” said Andrew.