Updated: 21/03/17 : 06:15:28
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Mountbatten takes to silver screen in Sligo

Special Report

LOUIS MOUNTBATTEN is the central figure in a new film currently showing in Sligo.

None of the silver screen events deal with his 1979 assassination by the IRA in the north sligo village of Mullaghmore.

Instead, ''Viceroys House'' deals with the final days of British rule in India.

The lavishness and opulence of that lifestyle is underlined by the fact that 500 Indian domestic staff worked in the house.

The film attracted an all-star cast, with Hugh Bonneville of 'Downton Abbey' playing Mountbatten and Gillian Anderson as his wife, Edwina.

Anderson herself is an author but best known to Irish audiences for the spooky series, ''The Fall'' in which she plays a senior Irish police officer.

Less Impressed

In the years after India, Mountbatten was a regular annual summer visitor to Mullaghmore.

His role in India has featured in several books, films and even songs.

Singer Al Stewart ('Year of the Cat') even suggested in one of his songs that British premier Winston Churchill was less than impressed.

His lyrics included: ''.....Churchill said 'how could you have gone and given India away.'

''Mountbatten just frowned and said 'some of these things just slip through your hands'....'' noted the song, ''Post World War Two Blues.''

Chance Meeting

A chance meeting between the film's maker and Prince Charles helped shape the final product for the silver screen.

Gurinder Chadha had originally planned to base her film around the book ''Freedom at Midnight'' because it included interviews with Mountbatten himself.

Prince Charles, Mountbatten's nephew, suggested she should seek out another lesser-known book.

Chadha finally found the book, ''The Shadow of the Great Game'' but it still took years to take the project to its final script.