Tag Archives: John Connors

From top: John Connors; Tweet from ‘Doctors for Choice’

Terry McMahon writes:

I Had the honour of hosting an extraordinary post-show Q&A with actor and writer John Connors in Clontarf last night.

The passionately articulate audience discussed class, ethnicity, gender, and mental and physical disability. It was remarkable to have uninhibited conversations about such taboo subjects.

They also touched on a subject that nobody is allowed to question anymore. Abortion.

There are many reasons why a woman or couple might feel the need for an abortion but this is also a subject that caused such rage-fueled hatred in so many egalitarian activists that they wanted John wiped off the face of the earth. Or, at the very least, stripped of his thoughts, his voice and his livelihood.

Later we talked about the avalanche of celebrities who fell over each other to be front row centre on the abortion train. They couldn’t get enough of it. Horrific stories of young girls impregnated by their scumbag fathers and rape victims left in crisis by their scumbag rapists were the only conversations allowed to be had.

Anyone who questioned if ethnicity, gender or mental or physical disability would be grounds for termination were labelled right-wing, misogynistic, fear-mongering extremists.

No doubt some will insist that it’s done. Get over it. Move on.

Then Doctors For Choice post this remarkable tweet (above). And the questions came back.

Proudly using the word “guesstimate,” they describe 900 terminations in two months. Men and women who have sworn to protect life consider 900 terminations a “privelege” (sic).

And Government leaders who let women die of cervical cancer consider themselves feminist icons. And 450 lives per month are considered products for pharmaceutical companies.

At the time, John Connors spoke up. His questions have been answered. Ethnicity, gender and physical or mental health are perfectly normal grounds for abortion. As is anything else.

We even refuse to administer pain relief to late-term aborted babies on the grounds that it may, “shame the mother.”

Where are the celebrities who brayed so loudly and so proudly back then? The ones who labelled anybody who spoke up as right-wing, misogynistic, fear-mongering extremists.

Where are these wailing accusors? These heart-on-the-sleeve liberals. These egalitarian activists. These suddenly silent hypocrites.

Terry McMahon is a filmmaker and can be found on Twitter @terrymcmahon69

Previously: Terry McMahon on Broadsheet

“I thought this morning, maybe there is something to President John Connors, because of what that would mean to young Travellers, and young working-class people from Darndale and Coolock and Blanchardstown and Ballymun…”

John Connor (middle) following the vote surge for Peter Casey (top)

The ‘Our Man In Stockholm podcast with Sweden-based, Irish journalist Philip O’Connor meets actor and human rights activist John Connors (top) to discuss Peter Casey’s second place in the Presidential election, the media’s attitude to travellers and a possible tilt at the Áras in 2025.

Our Man In Stockholm

Previously: Frankie Gaffney: The Trouble With Travellers

Top pic: Rollingnews

“I have one or two little things that are coming up. I’m writing and I’m going to direct now. I’ve directed documentaries but I’ve never directed drama. So I’m going to direct because there’s been films made about Travellers – they’ve all been inaccurate, you know…

I finally want to make the film about Travellers in this country, made by a Traveller, if I can get funding for that, but I suppose I’ll make it anyway somehow. I think once you decide to do it, you decide to do it and you make people believe you’re going to do it – then it’ll happen.

‘I have a spotlight. People listen to me.’ John Connors on his controversial award speech (The Guardian)

Previously: John’s Speech

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“There’s been a lot done to discredit the leaders of 1916 and the Rising in recent months and I think that that’s because the establishment are afraid of another rebellion.

It’s brewing, it’s brewing, because we don’t live in an equal society…We can’t stop until that’s achieved.”

Actor and Traveller John Connors speaking at Damien Dempsey’s gig in Vicar Street, Dublin, on Sunday night, before he read out excerpts of the Proclamation.

Previously: Worth The Licence Fee

Thanks Eoin Griffin

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From top: Irish Independent security editor Paul Williams and actor John Connors

Last night RTÉ2 broadcast the documentary I Am Traveller, fronted by John Connors.

The documentary included footage from a ‘Save Our Community’ meeting in Thurles, Co. Tipperary, on October 8, 2015.

The meeting, which was chaired by security editor of the Irish Independent Paul Williams, saw those in attendance discuss rural crime. It followed the jailing of seven men for the aggravated burglary of the Corcoran family in Thurles in 2013.

Two days before the meeting in Thurles, Mr Williams did an interview with Niall Delaney on Ocean FM about Travellers and crime, following the sentencing in relation to the Corcoran burglary.

From that interview…

Niall Delaney: “Paul what’s your views on this? You’re claiming that these seven are part of a wider network of family-based gangs, which is very worrying for a lot of people.”

Paul Williams: “Well they’re not just family based but they’ve very strong links with the Travelling community which is controversial I know but it’s a fact. There are two, they are using networks, they’re using them down in Sligo, the same way they use them in Mayo and different places. They have people all over the country who are related through marriage and extended  families. They identify and pick out targets and that’s what happened in Tipperary two years with the Corcoran family… You saw them when they were leaving the court, when there were these orangutans coming out. The only reason they weren’t dragging their knuckles behind them was because they were in handcuffs. And I think the visceral reaction from the public last week was extraordinary because people have become desensitised to a lot of this but, Jesus, there was some serious sense of anger everywhere. Everybody was talking about it and they’re the kind of people who are responsible for this kind of crime.”

Meanwhile…

In I Am Traveller, Mr Connors attended the community meeting in Thurles and, a few weeks later, spoke with Mr Williams about the meeting.

From their discussion:

John Connors: “I went to Thurles that time and it seemed to be, the general consensus in the room, from the settled people and the farmers, people who worked in agriculture, that this was an exclusive Travellers’… rural crime.”

Paul Williams: “No, in fact, I think you’re wrong, there was little mention, the elephant in the room yeah, there was mumbling, yeah but they were mumbling about it amongst themselves…”

Connors: “Yeah, 100 per cent.”

Williams: “But, yet again, an awful lot of people didn’t want to express that.”

Connors: “Why do you think? Do you think it’s fear? There was one particular person, a man who talked about an experience he had with a Traveller and there was a big, great laugh about it and then the farmer went on to say that this sort of criminality is ingrained in these people and I think that’s very damaging because criminality wasn’t ingrained in me, we’re never…”

Williams: “But you’re being let down by the criminal element all the time, John.”

Connors: “100 per cent, I agree. But I, but, but…”

Williams: “I think one of the things…”

Connors: “Do you not think there’s a problem with generalisation though, within the media..’

Williams: “No, I’ll tell you why…”

Connors: “The media, like, kind of run amok sometimes I think.”

Williams: “Well.”

Connors: “With stereotypes…”

Williams: “We can talk about that but..”

Connors: “With flashy headlines and sensationalism, for instance, the Corcoran burglary right? A lot of headlines described that as a Traveller gang, not travelling gang – as in travelling from Dublin down to Tipperary…”

Williams: “Yeah, it was Traveller gang, yeah. The two Joyce brothers are the main players in that gang.”

Connors: “Yeah, yeah. But there was seven people involved in the gang. Four of them were settled people, three were Travellers. What they did was horrible.”

Williams: “Were they settled now or were they settled Travellers?”

Connors:No they were settled people, absolutely not Travellers, four settled people, three Travellers – gets called a Traveller gang. Do you think that’s fair?”

Williams:I would say it’s fair because…”

Connors: “It’s fair?

Williams: “The people who run the gang were Travellers and were and they were notorious for, they were specifically involved in dozens and dozens of robberies around the country. The Travelling community have a big, big problem and it’s clear, from talking to you that, you know, that you and you’re challenging me about the media and media perceptions and what we say about you. And it’s society’s fault and it’s the guards fault, and it’s everybody’s fault and – to a degree – it is society’s fault, to a degree. But it is also your fault, as a community and ethnic group, but when is the Travelling community really going to come out? When are they going to go up and march on the streets and say we want the drug dealers, the rapists, the people who are terrorising their own people, we want them fucked out?

Watch I Am Traveller back in full here

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Tonight.

On RTÉ 2 at 9.30pm.

I Am Traveller – fronted by actor John Connors, pictured above.

The documentary will involve Mr Connors speaking with surviving members of the Connors family who lost ten members of their family in a fire at a halting site in Carrickmines, south Dublin last October.

Melanie O’Connor writes:

John Connors, aka ‘Patrick’ From Love/Hate, tackles head on the truth, myths and prejudices around Travellers in this authored documentary.

The documentary is John’s personal account of what being a Traveller means to him. He reveals what he loves about Traveller culture, as well as what frustrates him about it. He opens up about the prejudice he has experienced as a Traveller all his life – and how that hasn’t gone away, despite his success as an actor.

Previously: Worth The Licence Fee

‘It Is Your Fault As An Ethnic Grouping’

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From top:  John Connors (above) and Ryan Tubridy on the Late Late Show last Friday

You may have seen actor John Connors speak to Ryan Tubridy on RTÉ’s the Late Late Show last Friday.

Mr Connors’ appearance came ahead of his documentary, called I Am Traveller, to be  broadcast on RTÉ Two on Thursday night.

Grab a tay.

Ryan Tubridy: “I’ve heard you saying that you felt that the Travelling community were well represented in Love/Hate in a way that you hadn’t before. Is that the case?”

John Connors: “Yeah.”

Turbridy: “Did you enjoy playing that role?”

Connors: “Yeah, I did yeah. Though I think, because what it dis was for the first time it portrayed a culture realistically – we talked in our language and we had our music involved. I know that I was a pipebomb dealer making pipebombs and, you know, killing people…”

Tubridy: “So you were delighted with the representation?”

Connors: “Yeah, 100%.”

Laughter

Connors: “But you see the way I justified it in my own mind…”

Tubridy: “Go on, why?”

Connors: “Every other settled person there was killing people..”

Tubridy: “Yeah.”

Connors: “So once there’s one Traveller killing people, it wasn’t too, we had to balance it up a little bit.”

Tubridy: “So we’re all ok then?”

Connors: “Yeah.”

Tubridy: “Ok. Well you’ve made this programme, the documentary called I Am Traveller and I watched it and it packs a punch, let’s face it. And it’s, I guess, well why don’t you tell me: what is it? Or why is it called, even, I Am Traveller?”

Connors: “Well it’s called I Am Traveller because RTE called it I Am Traveller.”

Tubridy: “You didn’t decide it?”

Connors: “No, no, the original name was actually The K Word, knacker basically. And I thought that was a powerful title but..”

Tubridy: “Did you want to call it The Knacker?”

Connors: “No, The K Word. Just to show, just The K Word, to show the power behind the word.”

Tubridy: “Yeah.”

Connors: “You know what I mean? And to show that. But RTE changed that, probably shouldn’t go down that road.”

Tubridy: “Tell us, it’s a pity in some ways because it would have said, it would have packed a bigger punch, for you, cause you wanted to say it and highlight that.”

Connors: “Yeah, yeah, 100%.”

Tubridy: “And why, why The K Word?”

Connors: “Why The K Word? Because, well because knacker is a word that’s used day in, day out in Irish society, and it’s used towards Travellers and it’s a very hateful word.”

Tubridy: “Yeah.” Continue reading