In honor of St. Patrick's Day...

Ireland, Baseball and Baltimore Come Together on the Big Screen

Ireland and baseball are the subjects of a new independent documentary film that is coming to Baltimore.

"The Emerald Diamond" tells the story of Ireland's National Baseball Team. It's a story that is equally hilarious and heartwarming and -- most importantly -- it's all true.

"Most people are surprised that anyone would make a movie about baseball in Ireland," says director John Fitzgerald. "But I think they are even more surprised when they find out it's a true story."

The film will screen at Baltimore's Senator Theatre on Monday, March 20 at 7:30pm. Both the film and the story of Irish baseball have strong ties to Baltimore's Irish community. Pitcher and Baltimore resident Brian Morris has been a member of Ireland's National Baseball Team since 2002 and Baltimore Irish punk band Charm City Saints appear on the movie's soundtrack.

"Bringing the film to Baltimore was very important to me for a few reasons. National Team pitcher Brian Morris is from Baltimore and the Charm City Saints donated their music to the film," says Fitzgerald. "I also worked in Baltimore as a production assistant on `Ladder 49' a few years ago. It was my first time in Baltimore and it's just such a great city - a real baseball town with a big Irish community. My time on Ladder 49 taught me a lot about the filmmaking process and to leave the city as a production assistant and come back with my own film is a great feeling."

Baseball in Ireland began in the early 1990s, despite a lack of fields and equipment. Ireland's National Baseball Team began play in 1996 at the European Baseball Championships. Since then, the sport has gained momentum and what began as a few friends playing pickup games in Dublin has spread throughout the country. Youth and adult leagues in Cork, Kerry, Belfast and Dublin have made baseball one of Ireland's fastest growing sports.

"The Emerald Diamond" opened to a sellout crowd of 250 people at the Burns Film Center in New York on February 25, 2006. A 20-city screening tour of the United States is being sponsored by Boru Vodka. Upcoming screenings will include Washington DC, Milwaukee, Chicago and Houston.

For more information about "The Emerald Diamond" and the screening tour sponsored by Boru Vodka, please visit http://www.IrishBaseballMovie.com.

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