Tag Archives: Terry McMahon

Debbie Deegan (above), founder of To Children With Love; two Russian orphans her charity has sought to help. Pics by Terry.

Terry McMahon writes:

Filmmakers are asked to do some dodgy stuff. People get excited by the idea of having their story captured on camera, their life and their legacy, their fantasies made real. Some folks are driven by ego, some by vanity, some by a desire for fame, and the really dumb ones think they might even rich out if it.

Having five insane kids, an exhausted missus, and a relentless bank-manager means I have to say no to most requests. But, sometimes you get asked to do something that transcends all the nonsense.

Someone proposes an ongoing story so complex, courageous and beautiful that you remember why you became a filmmaker in the first place.

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you get invited to Russia by the founder of ‘To Children With Love,’ Debbie Deegan.

Strolling into the airport with a small camera on my back, I had no idea what I was getting into but I didn’t question Debbie. She asked for trust and that was good enough for me.

I had gotten to know Debbie through her powerful ‘Ted Talk‘ but thinking you know somebody and spending twenty-four-hours a day with them for a week are not the same thing.

Debbie wanted some of the unfolding events captured. The days were going to be long and the engagements were going to be raw. We have a newborn miracle baby at home, which means I was already vulnerable to the profound fragility of children.

Steeling myself for the inevitable heartbreak of visiting similarly vulnerable miracle children in Russian orphanages, the truth is, I was very nervous. But I hid it because I was ashamed of my fear, ashamed that I might collapse like a cheap accordion at the first orphan child who looked at me.

In Dublin Airport, Debbie introduced me to her translator and longtime collaborator, Zhenya Chevrenenko.

A charismatic Russian with good looks and effortless charm, Zhenya was the kind of bloke every woman wants and every man wants to be. An incredible translator, Zhenya couldn’t have been nicer, in five languages, but the airport was eerie, with some of the staff at our boarding desk a little on edge.

Nobody else was wearing gloves and a surgical mask but this staff was. It made us feel a little less ridiculous for wearing the gloves and masks that Debbie insisted we wear. The larger world had yet to wake up to the insanity that was coming in the form of Covid-19.

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From top: Glen Hansard performs to hundreds at Apollo House, Dublin, December 20, 2017; Cilian Murphy at the launch of the Simon House of Light festival in Dublin on December 5; from left: Brendan Ogle, Terry McMahon and Oisin Fagan at a press conference during the Home Sweet Home occupation of Apollo House, January 1, 2017

When a Fine Gael TD ridiculed Cillian Murphy and Glen Hansard last week for discussing homelessness, a newspaper asked me to pen an 800 word response.

They are going to print the article but now it will be after Christmas. My New Year’s resolution is to back away from the poison of political posts, so, in the giving spirit of season, here’s the article for you beautiful folks now…



Three years ago, a group of activists and artists took over Apollo House to protect our most vulnerable in society.

A Government TD [John Paul Phelan] has just dismissed the idea of artists taking action against homelessness, or even talking about it, and he specifically named Cillian Murphy and Glen Hansard as two offenders “banging on about housing and homelessness.”

Mythomania is an abnormal psychological condition where a person attempts to make himself appear important by making things up.

Despite fundamental ignorance on multiple subjects, the mythomaniac convinces himself that he has insights into others despite them being significantly more accomplished than him.

Diagnosed in people with low self-esteem, the mythomaniac desperately seeks attention from others, particularly ‘celebrities’ or famous ‘artists.’

Talentless, vacuous, and lacking in any measurable skills himself, he seeks out the vicarious rush that comes from hearing his name in the same sentence as world-renowned artists.

Behind the closed doors of their private fantasies, mythomaniacs often live a harmless life. Occasionally, one will allow his fallacies to spill into reality onto his sticky floor for all to see.

Rather than feeling embarrassed, the mythomaniac will revel in his own stench. Slumped in the hot steam of his vomit, he may throw his own filth at the artists, in the feverish hope that some of it will stick.

This can even create in the mythomaniac an erotic frisson. Often, it is the only intimacy he has experienced in years.

It tortures the mythomaniac that the artists don’t even know he exists. His frenzied yearning to associate himself with greatness causes him to conjure up any form of association, no matter how spurious.

He fantasises that when someone inputs an internet search for Glen Hansard or Cillian Murphy, right beside them, front-row-centre, is his name; the name of the callous fantasist who shamelessly used the iconic names of artists to score cheap political points and elevate, by association, himself.

The mythomaniac cares nothing for the selfless reasons behind artists banging on about housing and homelessness. Banging on about parents living in poverty. Banging on about children going hungry. Banging on about people dying in despair.

These details are sideshows in the larger circus. By accusing artists of “banging on,” the mythomaniac doesn’t just get to suck up to his PT Barnum boss in the national tent, he gets his unheralded name inserted into the same sentence as revered artists.

Three years ago, I met Glen Hansard. We were part of the group formed by Ballymun youth worker, Dean Scurry, that took Apollo House.

The Axis Theatre had facilitated a series of workshops with the artists John Connors, Damien Dempsey, Maverick Sabre, Lethal Dialect and me, and we realised that we wanted to do something to honour the centenary of the 1916 Rising and to protect the country’s most vulnerable people.

Many other remarkable people became involved, including trade unionists Brendan Ogle and Dave Gibney, and the consequence was the occupation of Apollo House.

None of the artists did it for fame. Or glory. Or “celebrity.” It terrified us at the time and did lasting damage to some careers.

When the awards are being handed out on the international stage, politicians ride the coattails of the artist, but, if we look at the Government endorsed treatment of our artists on the Abbey’s national stage, the increasingly refined contempt for artists is clear.

Several years ago, I did a little work with Cillian Murphy. A warmer, kinder, more agenda-free fellow would be hard to find.

Having seen the worst of Glen Hansard and the best of him, the worst of him is the best of the rest of us. A staggeringly generous man, most will never know the pragmatic kindnesses he shows to countless people.

Same with Dean Scurry, John Connors, Damien Dempsey, Maverick Sabre, Neili Conroy, Dave Gibney, Mattress Mick, Brendan Ogle, Jim Sheridan and many others who believe the job of the artist is to interrogate truth and the responsibility of the activist is to protect that truth; despite us all realising that drive of the mythomaniac is to exploit truth to protect the lie.

Perhaps, none of this is true. Perhaps, I’m the liar and the suggestion that this is real is absurd.

Surely, not even an Irish politician could be this malicious. This shallow. This stupid. For such a level of psychotic malice to be facilitated on a grand scale, we’d have to believe that our Government is mostly made up of opportunistic liars creating myths to divert from the cancerous consequences of their malignant policies. That’s patently ridiculous.

Surely, they can’t all be that dangerously deluded, no matter what the facts might prove. Because, as all good fantasists know, there are facts, and there are alternative facts; but, then, there are Irish facts.

When parochial liars fumble with pathetic fallacies to score political points by attacking iconic artists fighting for rights, the political class once again reveals Ireland to truly be the Land of Saints and Scholars and Mythomaniacs.

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

Previously: Terry McMahon on Broadsheet


Terry McMahon (left) in the ‘dodgy’ Roger Corman thriller ‘Dangerous Curves’ (2000) starring David Carradine

When we were kids the greatest show on television was Kung Fu. Today there’d probably a queue of crazy caucasians wailing about cultural appropriation but for us at that time there was nobody cooler than David Carradine as pacifist-monk cum closet-killing-machine Caine.

Every week Cain – played by this mongrel mix of Irish-Brit-Dutch-Welsh and Christ-knows-what-else Carradine – would confront inner and outer demons to restore balance to a chaotic world.

We didn’t have video players, so when something screened there was no pausing or playback or recording for later. The world stopped and you watched. That show spoke to our soul in a way that no Catholic Bible ever did.

When we got a little older we fell in love with the movie, ‘Revenge of the Nerds (1984). We never knew that the brilliantly-realised lead character Lewis was played by none other than Robert Carradine.

It was only when we sat down to watch both men in Walter Hill‘s iconic ‘The Long Riders (2000) that we realised these two pivotal characters of our youth were real-life brothers. It blew our minds.

Years later, in a bizarre deal brokered by then Minister for Arts and Culture Michael D.Higgins, legendary Yank producer Roger Corman set up a studio in the back arse of Connemara to make American B-movies.

Nobody quite knows the full story of how that happened but there’s definitely a feature-length documentary somewhere in there screaming to be made.

Corman controlled the movies by selecting the scripts, the central cast, and the director. The rest was up for grabs and actors who never got a foot in the door of the closed-shop that was Dublin were allowed audition.

That’s how I got cast as the bad guy pitted against the Carradine brothers in a dodgy straight-to-video Roger Corman movie.

I knew somebody had made a mistake in the Casting Department but I kept my mouth shut because it’s also how I would get to spend a month in the company of two icons that we had grown up adoring.

I was so nervous on the train journey I couldn’t sit. Walking up and down the moving carriages praying for a crash. I had just found out that the central cast were living in the same purpose-built house.

Two great cooks had been hired and we were going to be having dinner together every night. Me and the goddamn Carradines. I ran through the carriages to the tiny bathroom and puked up an already emptied stomach.

A car picked me up at the station and the driver tried to have a conversation but my childhood stammer had returned like a serial killer coming back to gloat over its prey. Fear was ripping my insides out and I regretted ever auditioning for this ridiculous movie.

As the driver pulled into the long driveway, the house was amazing. Built as an active-set to accommodate filming, the staircase was vast, the doors and the rooms were huge and the facades outside were designed for four different film genres. Roger Corman is renowned for his genius pragmatism.

The driver let me out and, as I nervously stepped inside, a beautiful blonde woman smiled the kind of smile that lights up the world. I was in love with her before she spoke a word. Two children came running in.

The girl was angelic and the boy was panting. This was Robert Carradine’s wife Edie, and their son and daughter, Ian and Marika. Before I could exhale, the boy grabbed my hand and dragged me to play with him. It’s as if he knew I was terrified and he decided to turn my fear it into magic.

Brought to Wardrobe and Hair and Make-up, the script may have been crap but the people trying to make it work were wonderful. At my request they shaved my head bald. My eyebrows too. Which was not the smartest move.

I went back to my room and began to shave the rest of my body. I was into the whole ‘method’ thing back then and I decided to go down the line. And down the ball sack. Just as I was about to finish turning my nether regions into a plucked turkey, I heard the door open and the sound of a woman’s voice.

Then I heard his voice. One of the most recognisable voices in movies. There I was with my nutsack in one hand, a razor in the other, and David Carradine had just walked into my room.

I slowly opened the bathroom door. My room was empty. But I heard him again. He was next door. The walls were so paper-thin he may as well have been whispering directly into my ear. I couldn’t believe my room was next to his. I couldn’t believe I could hear everything. I couldn’t believe the pain of shaving my scrotum.

David and his loving wife were looking to express their recently-married yearning for each other so I bolted out of the room to give them a little privacy.

As I ran downstairs, I nearly knocked someone over. He looked up with that gentle smile very few folks in the world possess and said, “You must be Terry.” Robert Carradine extended his hand and, from that moment on, all fear was gone.

From left: Marina Anderson Carradine, David Carradine, Bobby Carradine, Terry and Maxine Bahns

That night I was too excited to sleep so I snuck downstairs to the kitchen. A couple of minutes later, the sound of soft footsteps on the stairs. I thought it was the security guard to tell me to keep my starving fingers off the food.

Turned out it was David Carradine and he wasn’t one for sleeping much either. He tested me at first. Needed to figure out if I was indiscreet. He’d tentatively say, “Why am I telling you this?”

Then he’d stare at you. The way only he can. Caine in Kung Fu. But it wasn’t a real question. I’d stay silent. And he’d continue. Before repeating the same question. This became our nightly ritual for the rest of the shoot. We’d do that dance until 4 or 5 in the morning.

There are too many stories to be told. Plus, some are private. But these people brought me into their lives in a way that blew my mind, the same as they had done when I was a kid; particularly Bobby and his family.

After filming finished they came to visit my little family in our one-bedroom corporation flat on Dorset Street. It was bizarre to see a Hollywood star and his family strolling through the flats. And kind of beautiful.

We stayed in contact for years and Bobby and Edie even loaned me a baby Mercedes to drive my missus and young son from LA to San Francisco in the full knowledge that I had never really driven before and had no license.

David invited us to his house and I’ll never forget his words. He put his arms around me and said loud enough for everyone to hear, “There hasn’t been a day that has passed since, that I haven’t thought about you.” I had no reply. The hero of my childhood.

Time passed and we lost contact. People moved, phone numbers changed and life went on. When David died I thought of Bobby and Edie and their kids. I adored these people and was sad that we had lost contact.

David had become a huge star again with Kill Bill (2003) and Bobby was directing film and television. I had made a couple of tiny movies too and when one of them, Patrick’s Day (2014) was selected for the Woodstock Film Festival, we were flown over.

Woodstock was incredible and, as we were wrapping up an interview outside the sold-out cinema, I heard someone call my name. It was dark and there was a large queue but I knew I recognised that voice. From twenty-years ago. And then I saw her.

That beautiful blonde hair. That smile to light up the world. Edie Carradine. And standing beside her, that beautiful boy, Ian – now a man – and her iconic husband, Robert Carradine. They had read about the screening and, all these years later, they’d traveled half-way across the country to support me. I was so moved I nearly wept.

We went to a small bar after the screening. They were so proud of me. Like family. We raised a glass to the memory of David. The boy who had grabbed my hand that first day had grown up but he had lost none of his magnificent heart.

His mother had lost none of her beauty or her warmth. It was her who took the black-and-white photographs all those years ago. But Bobby had lost something precious. His brother. And it showed. The world hits the kindest people hardest.

They had to leave. A long journey ahead of them. They had come all this way. To rekindle something. With a nobody. We won the Grand Jury Prize in Woodstock that night with our tiny film in front of a huge crowd but all I remember is that quiet drink in that small bar with the Carradines.

Life is a gift. But it’s the people you meet that make it a miracle.

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

Previously: Terry McMahon on Broadsheet

From top: John Connors winning an IFTA  last year; Calls to action against Mr Connors and Terry McMahon from ‘Collective Action’

When I was publicly labeled a “cowardly traitor” by Gemma O’Doherty I received late-night messages from private numbers.

I didn’t blame Gemma O’Doherty for those calls. My number is easy to get and they weren’t so different to any other sad-sack trolls on social media who get to be the hero in their own fantasy.

You could hear subtle breathing but nothing else. It was as if the callers were thinking. Planning. Perhaps fantasizing. One time you could hear somebody urinating. Long and slow. Knowing I was listening.

After that, things escalated. The callers finally found their voices. It was just ridicule, initially. Juvenile insults about my crap writing. My shit films. My horrible voice. But that progressed to declaring I was the enemy. A fraud. A dead wanker walking.

I said nothing to my family. My missus is pregnant and there are enough lunatics to be dealing with in our family already. She doesn’t need to be burdened with any more of my ‘political bollox’ as she aptly describes it.

In truth, the whole thing was kind of embarrassing. I’d backed the wrong horse and understood this was part of the fall-out. So I just deleted the messages and got on with the day-to-day reality of preparing for a beautiful baby.

But I was with a close friend one night when one of the messages was left. We were in his gaff reminiscing over a good single malt when one of the anonymous patriots let rip. My mate was shocked. He was adamant I should call the cops.

But a good single malt with an old friend is too rare to be interrupted by the ravings of some broken soul. It made sense to just pour two more measures. Besides, there was too much pain in their wailing messages.

Like the high-pitch hurt of an ex-lover at 4 in-the-morning who swears to themselves they will never call again. Except one last time. This final time. To say what can only be screamed.

O’Doherty can’t be held responsible for the 4am rage that they feel the need to express from the confused confines of their dank and sweaty bedrooms. There was never any real danger.

It’s the ones who smile directly to your face in daylight that are often the real threat. Or it’s the censorious cowards who insist they have right on their side as they attack with impunity anybody who doesn’t subscribe to their world view.

You know the ones. The new Puritans.

This anonymous group of brave-as-hell soldiers recently declared their intention to name and shame and takedown Ireland’s Right Wing “Fascists.” A noble call if ever there was.

Only problem is, they don’t seem to know what a fascist is. But, courageous as these heroes are, they’re not going to allow silly little facts get in the way of their feels.

The fact that John Connors has done more for disenfranchised people of all socio-economic classes and races than these keyboard warriors combined is irrelevant.

The fact that John Connors has single-handedly rewritten the social contract when it comes to society’s expectations of Travellers is irrelevant.

The fact that John Connors has created more works of film, television and theatre for no money than many of the state-funded companies combined is irrelevant.

The fact that John Connors has won multiple IFTAs and gave an acceptance speech that inspired millions of people is irrelevant.

The fact that John Connors is a young man in his twenties who refuses to be limited by any political doctrine or engage in censoring any opposition is irrelevant.

John Connors did commit one fatal error. The dumb bastard stood by his principles. And, frankly, he wasn’t the most articulate about it. He hurt some folks’ feelings.

Caught up in the national maelstrom of a profoundly divisive referendum John Connors refused to subscribe to the frenzy of Repeal. And, by Christ, for that, he must be punished. No matter how long it takes.

John Connors is a fascist. That’s a fact. He is a fascist because a small band of nameless-faceless self-appointed keyboard warriors feel he is a fascist.

They feel he must be stopped. By any means necessary. And the other sad fact is, some people who should know better have refused to defend him against what could easily become a career annihilating accusation.

Some people who should know how dangerous the weaponising of censorship is have remained silent because John Connors is a mouthy chap who should have learned acquiescent silence as all the other artists did.

John Connors is a man who might have had a different moral position to some people on a life and death issue. He may have articulated it badly. Trying to do the right thing, we’ve all messed up.

The self-appointed moral guardians of a so-called ‘Antifa’ group publicly naming and shaming John Connors as a fascist is one thing but the fact that many people would rather watch a good man hang because of a difference in opinion than stand up for a larger principle is the real reveal here.

When will it be your turn to be publicly named-and-shamed for refusing to subscribe to the teachings of the New Puritans?

The moronic stench of the screaming poseurs is to be expected but the increasingly common silence of decent people gives too much breath to the frightening idea that, in our new political landscape, when it comes to to the cancer of censorship, feeling truly is the new fact.

Update: ‘Collective Action’s  response to this post was to call for a personal boycott and publicly label me a:

“Neo-nazi, racist, homophobic, transphobic, right-wing, hatred-inciting wanker.”

I mean I can take most of those insults but, come on, labeling me a wanker really is a step too far.

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

Previously: Terry McMahon on Broadsheet

From top: Painting at the Abbey Day Nursery which has been closed by TUSLA in the wake of the Hyde and Seek scandal; Terry McMahon

Sickened having to write this. Everyday when I picked my daughter (above) up from the not-for-profit nursery in the city the children would shout in unison, “Be the monster!” I’d have to put all the crap of the day aside and become their imaginary monster.

The kids would scream and run around that huge downstairs room until everyone was an exhausted mess. None more so than me. Then they’d shout, “Go to sleep!” I’d slump to the ground and curl up in pretend slumber.

Except it often wasn’t pretend. I’ve had four kids attend this nursery over the years so, as I’d shut my eyes and grimace at the pain in my knees, I’d think, “I am literally too old for this.”

The kids would tentatively poke their sleeping monster. Their excited giggles would become high-pitched squeals until the monster would growl. They’d scream and back off, only to become braver and advance once again.

Their imaginary monster would roar and stand up to pursue the screaming lunatics all over again. It was exhausting. It was worse than working out in a gym. But as my daughter watched her deadbeat dad with pride it was often the highlight of my day.

Like many others creches in the city that not-for-profit nursery is a profound place. Located across from The Garden of Remembrance it is called The Abbey Day Nursery, and for the last 26  years it has been run by one of the most remarkable women I have ever met, Deirdre Moore.

This gift of a human being has done more for children than can ever be quantified and she’s just about to burst open those beautiful nursery doors once again to welcome all nationalities from all walks of life in Dublin’s north inner city.

Except the nursery doors have just been bolted shut.

By an incomprehensible force.

By an organisation increasingly under disturbing scrutiny.

By the national child protection agency TUSLA.

Under the leadership of Deirdre Moore, these children at The Abbey Day Nursery learn much more than the necessary basic skills. They learn to be non-judgmental of other cultures. Of other races. Of each other.

At my last count, there were nine different nationalities shouting, “Be the monster,” in that glorious downstairs room. Yet every one of them played without prejudice.

They learn that forming deep-rooted friendships with the ‘foreign’ on both sides becomes just as natural as loving the ‘local’ in each other. Seeds are sown that blossom into a life-long fearlessness of the ‘other.’

But there was another creche across town that developed the darkness within. A private for-profit creche that fostered fear in children. A cancer that extorted cash from parents who paid to believe their kids were safe.

If a fiction writer had named this creche they’d be accused of being too on-the-nose in their comic book evil description.

Located on Dublin’s fancy Botanic Road, the creche that would become a national scandal after an undercover sting on PrimeTime Investigates is called Hyde and Seek.

A woman who has brought horror to children’s lives and nightmares their parents, the woman behind Hyde and Seek creches has made profits from the misery she has caused to the tune of millions.

TUSLA did a little mooching around, imposed a few easy-to-pay fines.

The Abbey Day nursery is shut down but no doubt at the soon-to-be rebranded Hyde and Seek everybody will be welcome. As long as your folks have cash. Lots of cash. And no conscience.

TUSLA is now using the righteous outcry over the scandal of Hyde and Seek as leverage to investigate other nurseries.

They arrived at The Abbey Day Nursery and declared the nursery needs an alarm. Nothing wrong with that. There are multiple alarms in the building already.

But this alarm is different. TUSLA are demanding that a not-for-profit nursery which has been operating without incident for twenty-six-years pay ten grand for an alarm.

TUSLA has also determined that the children need an outside playing area. In the city centre. Despite the vast open space of The Garden of Remembrance being fifty feet away.

THE Abbey Day nursery doesn’t have ten grand. The Abbey Day Nursery doesn’t have an outdoor space. It has a huge room downstairs where happy children run with unfettered freedom. It has staff and a leader with more heart than TUSLA could ever comprehend.

It has a twenty-six-year legacy of legacy of inspiring countless children to rise above their limits.

The Abbey Day is not the only not-for-profit nursery to be punished for the actions of a private creche.

Talk to parents. It’s happening all over the country. And when enough not-for-profit nurseries are shut down the only option for parents will be to find some way of sourcing non-existent finance to send their children to a private creche. Oh, wait, perhaps that was the plan all along.

No matter what you are found guilty of in Ireland, if you are in the correct club we will reward profiteering mercenaries making money from the vulnerable. We will reward the carnage created by organisations that should be under criminal investigation on multiple fronts.

We will reward the cancerous policies of a Government that is willing to use the lives of children as pawns for political gain.

We will reward anyone who makes it clear that Ireland is no place for any child who does not have the necessary socio-economic stamp of approval to participate in that costly but cosy club.

Meanwhile, we will continue to punish cash-strapped parents who want their children to have the opportunity to engage with other children of all nationalities in a structured and beneficial environment that is not driven by commerce.

We will punish singe parents who will never be able to afford private childcare. We will punish staff whose salary was already too low for the incredible work they were doing but who now have nothing. We will punish a woman who should be sainted instead of fired.

But nobody will say a word.

Those beautiful children have yet to learn that there are profiteers at the door willing to rip away their future. Every day I picked my daughter up from that nursery those kids shouted, “Be the monster!” In their innocence they didn’t know that the monster is no longer imaginary.

They don’t know how real it is. How dangerous it is. Because, for reasons that defy comprehension, their paralysed parents won’t stop it.

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

Previously: Terry McMahon on Broadsheet

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and former Minister for Health Mary Harney during a Project 2040 event at the University of Limerick last week

Imagine you are a woman diagnosed with cervical cancer and you stumble across this photo (above) taken a few days ago.

Or you are the husband or son or daughter or mother or father or brother or sister or friend of a woman who just died from that same preventable cancer.

Imagine our ex-Health Minister/current Leader grinning in joy at the jaunty speech being made by the funny woman at the podium.

This is the same leader who is forcing women terminally ill from cervical cancer to go to court to fight for basic dignity as they and their families prepare for death.

Imagine the stand-up at the podium is our ex-Tanasite/current Board Member of multiple Pharmaceutical Companies.

Along with her massive monthly state pension, she is also the woman who, despite countless warnings of fatal dangers, aggressively privatised-for-profit those same cervical smear tests.

Perhaps both parties should be dragged out of their beds in dawn raids. Perhaps they should be put on trial. Perhaps they should be thrown into jail with multiple convictions.

Instead, they’ve just appeared on stage together where he rocked in his seat in spasmodic glee as she killed her stand-up debut with a sizzling set about his infamous socks.

It’s impossible to comprehend the horror those women diagnosed with cancer might experience. To comprehend the heartbreak those long list of bereaved people might feel.

But imagine trying to comprehend the lack of empathy it takes to make trite jokes about a man’s socks while families are robbed of their mothers and women are robbed of their lives directly as a result of your premeditated policies.

Imagine living in a democracy where the murderous decisions of a comedy duo of laughing psychopaths aren’t just protected, they are celebrated.

This is not our Ireland.

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

Previously: Terry McMahon on Broadsheet

Top pic: University of Limerick

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

The 1916 Proclamation.

Live and unplugged.

Recited by Filmmaker and activist Terry McMahon at an unspecified pub gathering featuring turns from Damien Dempsey and Maverick Sabre

Terry writes:

Having to step up after Damien and Maverick is like a donkey trying to chase Secretariat but this captures the atmosphere of beautiful lunatics reaching for a love revolution.

Easter is coming.


Paddy Holohan‘s No Shame podcast.

Episode #065: Film director, writer and activist Terry McMahon.

Paddy, a Sinn Féin candidate for Tallaght South in May’s local elections  (a decision inspired by Terry’s speech ‘This Is Ireland‘), writes:

This episode with Terry is an incredibly thought provoking discussion on where we’re at as a society, the challenges we’re facing as a nation and the potential we have to make real and meaningful change if we, the people, stand together against a system that has failed us for generations.

No Shame