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Sep 15 2022

Meeting Martin Naughton

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Galway's acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Christian O'Reilly tells us about his latest work, No Magic Pill, inspired by Spiddal's Martin Naughton. The play opens in Galway later this month.

I have wanted to tell this story for 27 years. It started when I replied to a job ad in the DCU newsletter, which had been placed by the Centre for Independent Living (CIL ). I was invited to an interview at the Royal Dublin Hotel. Soon, the door was pushed open and a bearded man in a wheelchair rolled in. A fishing hat sat on his head, a cigarette hung from his lips and he wore a smile on his face. ‘Shake the thumb,’ he told me. This was my first introduction to Martin Naughton.

I soon learnt that CIL was a disability-rights organisation founded by and for disabled people. My perception of disabled people as passive and dependent was shattered by the angry, militant gang of wheelchair-users I met through CIL.

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Read the full article on the Advertiser website.