The story takes place in an Irish village a few miles from the border with Northern Ireland. When the local Japanese-owned computer factory closes, the principal employer in the area seems to become the mob that runs a smuggling operation. One day Vinnie (Stephen Brennan), one of the men thrown out of work, and his brother-in-law Arthur (Eamon Morissey), happen to see a videotape of the 1964 Elvis Presley film Roustabout, in the village bar. They see a cyclist in the film ride in a carnival Wall of Death – a high walled barrel-like tank where centrifugal force keeps the rider up in the air circling. Straight away Vinnie begins to draw diagrams, make plans, and measurements; he clears a patch of land near his house.
Vinnie’s wife Nora (Catherine Byrne – Alice More in the series ‘The Tudors’) protests and goes back to her mother with their daughter Vicky. It’s a new kitchen she wants, not a Wall of Death. The men, however, continue with the work and sinking tree posts into the ground and putting up a huge cylindrical construction. They become energetic and resourceful. Vinnie believes his Wall of Death will be a source of income – that people will buy tickets to stand on a gallery around the top of the rink and watch him and Arthur give their daring performances. Nora returns.
The film is based on actual events: a true story of two brothers-in-law Connie Kiernan and Michael Donoghue living in Granard, County Longford (Ireland). They build a wall of death in their back garden for fun. The director, Peter Ormrod, had seen a huge, wooden tank just off the road when he was looking for items for Irish television.
Font: The Vintagent