Aug 26 2021
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.
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