Tragic death of Jonathan Corrie inspired play

A play inspired by the tragic death of homeless man Jonathan Corrie near the Dáil in December 2014 is to be performed at a renowned theatre in West Cork tomorrow night.

Homeless, written by Kieran Doyle, is a one-act drama examining the issue of the continuing crisis in Ireland today.

“There is a thin line between the haves and the have-nots,” said Mr Doyle, an English teacher in Clonakilty Community College, who said the tragic story of Mr Corrie, along with his own experiences working with St Vincent de Paul, had inspired and informed his writing of this play.

Proceeds from the performance in the Rossmore Theatre at 8pm, which features Clonakilty actors Greg Mulcahy and Caroline Conway, will be donated to St Vincent de Paul and the Simon Community.

“I remember a man came in through the door of the St Vincent de Paul hostel once when I was working with the organisation,” said Mr Doyle.

“He was an ex-rugby international and a former sports hero, and he was now homeless after a number of different things happened.

“The play was inspired by a number of stories of homelessness that I have encountered,” he said, noting the death of Mr Corrie two years ago was a major inspiration for the play.

“I feel this play challenges the audience’s own prejudices about homelessness — people often have this idea that a homeless person was sort of ‘born’ that way, that homelessness only happens to a particular type of person. However, this perception is strongly challenged by the play.”

In Homeless, a wealthy bank official and former rugby international Ray Mullins, played by Paul O’Regan from Bandon, loses his job, separates from his wife, and eventually becomes homeless.

In a telling line, Ray declares: “Everyone wants to do something for you at Christmas, but the rest of the year you’re just a bum, a nothing, a nuisance, a statistic.”

Mr Doyle said: “Ray Mullins was also a victim of the recent recession, and the effects on Ray and on his life are very far-reaching.”


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