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Aug 26 2021

Rosaleen McDonagh: This is the best moment of my life

Aosdána member on surviving Covid-19, racism against Travellers and reclaiming power through writing

‘This book is like my final session with a therapist,” Dr Rosaleen McDonagh says with a smile. “It’s like it’s all been wrapped up now.”

Traveller, playwright, academic, social worker, feminist, member of Aosdána, disability activist and now published author with a new play about to premiere on the Abbey stage: McDonagh is well used to labels, but usually of a more scathing kind.

The fourth of 20 children, she was born into a Traveller family in Co Sligo. Her cerebral palsy meant she was destined to have a different upbringing to her 19 siblings, and periods in residential schools in Dublin from the age of four saw her world split in two; at home, with the family she loved, immersed in Traveller culture, and “away” in the world of settled people and their alien customs, rules and frequent cruelties.


Read the full article on the Irish Times website.