‘MAGPIES ON THE PYLON’

Kerry Travellers Health & Community Development Project is pleased to Invite You to ‘MAGPIES ON THE PYLON’ an award-winning Drama written and performed by Michael Collins on Thursday, 28th November 2013 at 10.30 am – 1.00 pm in Siamsa Tire, Tralee.

Magpies on the Pylon is a powerful & emotional play addressing the issue of suicide in the Irish Traveller Community.  It is set in a small bedroom belonging to Jim, a Traveller father who struggles to cope with the suicide of his 23 year old son. The audience accompanies Jim on an emotional journey as he goes through memories of his son, his anger at God, and his fears for the wellbeing of his other children and his wife.

According to the findings of the All-Ireland Traveller Health Study, the suicide rate is 6 times higher in the Traveller Community compared to the general population.

As a member of Traveller Community and an advocate of Traveller human rights for over 20 years, Michael Collins wrote this play as a means of breaking the taboo about suicide that pervades Irish society. Collins has acted on stage in the Abbey and Olympia theatres in Dublin, as well as in numerous films and is instantly recognisable as Johnny Connors of RTE’s Glenroe, who he played for over 10 years.

“One of the most important messages that I hope people walk away with, whether Traveller or settled, is that they are not on their own, there is help out there, and one of the most important things the need to do is talk to somebody,” he said.

The Play will be followed by a facilitated panel discussion on mental health and suicide awareness.

Entrance is free but places are limited and need to be booked in advance by contacting Mary Kiernan, Health Team Co-ordinator at 087 7068091 or Siobhan O’Connor, Project Administrator at 066 7120054.

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