Rebels to Reels is the true story of combat cameraman Dan McGovern, originally a Monaghan man, who filmed the immediate aftermath of the atomic bombings on the ground in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Earlier, in the wake of Pearl Harbor, Big Mack became official photographer to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt before training the very first combat cameramen of WW2 for the then US Army Air Forces.
This is a highly researched, three-part biography and is also the story of how McGovern and his cameramen later filmed throughout Japan in defeat only to have their historical footage of devastation and human suffering suppressed by the US government for decades.
The book contains McGovern’s eyewitness accounts and also a brief background to that conflict. The son of a policeman of the Royal Irish Constabulary, he experienced first-hand how the Irish Republican Army waged its guerrilla war against British rule in Ireland. As a boy, he even had close associations with the nemesis of the IRA – the infamous Black and Tans.
This was written y another Monaghan native Joe McCabe and he spoke to Sheila about the history of the man and why he wrote this book: