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JOHN MICHAEL McDONAGH (Writer/Director) was born and brought up in Elephant & Castle, South London, by Irish parents, his mother a native of County Sligo and his father being originally from County Galway, the setting for THE GUARD.

John and his younger brother, playwright-screenwriter-director Martin McDonagh were educated in England, but made frequent visits to Ireland to visit their family. He left Salesian College, Battersea, at the age of 16.

In 2000, he wrote, produced and directed his first film, the 11-minute short The Second Death, which starred Liam Cunningham and also featured THE GUARD's Gary Lydon and David Wilmot and producers Chris Clark and Flora Fernandez-Marengo. Three years later, his screenplay for Gregor Jordan's film Ned Kelly, starring Heath Ledger as the legendary Australian outlaw, with Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush and Naomi Watts, won him award nominations from the Australian Film Institute and the Film Critics' Circle of Australia.


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