Claire O'Dowd
Claire O'Dowd

21.44 10 Dec 2020


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This week on Documentary on Newstalk - to mark the 60th anniversary of the Irish Wheelchair Association Newstalk is broadcasting "A Boy From The North West". 

Producer Susan Dennehy and writer Joanna Marsden team up to tell the story of Donegal-man Jack Kerrigan. Paralysed in a diving accident in 1949, he was one of the first wheelchair users to participate in Irish society and one of the members of Paralympics Ireland's first team in 1960. It is a poignant account of what it was like to be a wheelchair user in Ireland in the 50s & 60s. 

“The first dance I ever attended in a wheelchair was entirely against my will. I had been very fond of ballroom dancing, and I thought it would be sad for me, and embarrassing for the girls I used to dance with if I were to appear, like a skeleton at a feast...”

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Containing original footage of the first Paralympic Games (held in Rome in 1960) as well as a powerful interview with Oliver Murphy, the only surviving member of the first Irish Paralympic team, this documentary gently reveals how The Games changed the way wheelchair users saw themselves forever.

Tune in to 'A Boy From The Northwest' Sunday, December 13th, at 7am and then again next Saturday, December 19th, at 9pm or find the podcast on Newstalk.com/podcasts

Jack’s memoirs are read by Mikel Murfi and original music is by Andrew Synott. The programme was made with the support of the BAI, Sound and Vision Grant.


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A Boy From The Northwest Bai IWA Jack Kerrigan Producer Susan Dennehy Sound And Vision Wheelchair Association

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