‘I was brought into this huge space with these machines – the noise of the machines, the deafening noise – and then out of the haze I saw these women, young women, old women, and they looked at me like I was another of the people who’d locked them up . . . it was like I was in Dante’s inferno.’
Patricia Burke Brogan
Dublin Arts and Human Rights Festival
Date and Time: Friday 23 October 2020, 8pm
Platform: Online screening hosted by dlr Mill Theatre
Category: Film screening & post-show discussion
Speakers: Rachel O’Connell, actor; Muriel Caslin O’Hagan, actor; Kate Canning, director and manager of dlr Mill Theatre; Dr Maeve O’Rourke, Programme Director of the BCL Law and Human Rights, NUIG, and Director of the LLM Human Rights Law Clinic at the ICHR.
Presented by dlr Mill Theatre in February 2020, Eclipsed by Patricia Burke Brogan is an award winning play set in a Magdalene laundry during the 1960’s It is one of the first plays to tell the story of the Magdalene laundries and was inspired by Patricia’s own experience as a young novitiate. Her play highlights the plight of four women who struggle to bear the austerity of their existence and desire to break the shackles of this landmark of societal repression. This is a poignant, funny, moving and sad play. We are starkly reminded of the brutal intolerance of ‘female deviance’ in our country’s not so distant past while also being brought on a finely crafted journey of friendship, love, hope and survival.
Rachel has just wrapped on BBC’s new Series of “The Young Offenders”. She starred in the Irish premiere of the one woman show “Iphegenia in Splott” by Gary Owen (Smock Alley Theatre) Which will return next year. Most recently she played Lucelita in “Copperface Jacks The musical” by Paul Howard (Olympia theatre) which returned for another summer. Other theatre credits include Girlplay in Smock Alley as part of the Fringe festival, Tinder the musical -Olympia Theatre, Mercutio in “Romeo and Juliet”, Guildenstern in “Hamlet”, Pegeen Mike in “Playboy of the Western World” and Madeline in “Albertine in five times”. Sarah Brown in Auckland Theatre Company’s “Guys and Dolls”, five different roles in The Good Doctor, Ladies of Jane and under Milk wood and in the past few years alone has performed roles in Same Old Moon; One For The Road, Big Maggie, The Sunshine Boys, Grease, Bar and Ger, Beauty in a Broken Place, Calendar Girls, Sit on it and Death of a Salesman. Rachel co wrote the original Sunbeam Girls for Cork Opera House in which she also played Rose and Stella and most recently co wrote the new Cork play Shawlies (Everyman Palace Theatre).
Muriel Caslin O’Hagan
Muriel has played a variety of roles ranging through comedy, tragedy & musicals. From her successful experience on the Drama Festival Circuit she has a collection of awards, including All-Ireland Best Actress. While having graced the stages of the Project Theatre, Andrews Lane, the New Theatre, the Gaiety and the National Concert Hall she always feels at home in the Mill, ever since she played Mrs Webb in its Inaugural Production of ‘Our Town’. She followed up with various roles such as Mrs Kilbride ‘By the Bog of Cats’; Kitty Curley ‘Many Young Men of Twenty’; Kate Keller ‘All My Sons’; Chorus Leader ‘A Christmas Carol; Witch + Nurse ‘Macbeth’; Annie ‘Calendar Girls’; Frances Nurse ‘The Crucible’; Madame Arcati ‘Blithe Spirit’; Nurse ‘Romeo & Juliet’, Lady Catherine deBourg ‘Pride & Prejudice’ and most recently Lady Bracknell in ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’.
Kate was appointed Manager of dlr Mill Theatre in June 2016. Previously she worked as a freelance Director, Actor and Singer. She founded and facilitated the Shakespeare Schools Programme at the Gaiety School of Acting. During this time Kate directed Othello, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and The Importance of Being Earnest at Smock Alley Theatre. Kate now directs here at the Mill, most recent productions include The Importance of Being Earnest and The Playboy of The Western World. She has a particular interest in Arts Education and thoroughly enjoys her work with Mill Youth Theatre and Shakespeare Schools Festival.
Dr Maeve O’Rourke
Maeve’s research interests lie primarily in the development of the rule against torture and ill-treatment, human rights protections in institutional and care contexts, access to justice and redress for systemic and so-called ‘historical’ human rights abuses, and human rights research and advocacy methods. She was awarded her PhD (entitled ‘Older People, Dignity and Human Rights: Towards the Development of the Rule against Torture and Ill-treatment in International Human Rights Law’) in 2018 from Birmingham Law School where she was supervised by Professor Fiona de Londras and Professor Rosie Harding. Between 2015 and 2017 Maeve was a Visiting Scholar and Occasional Lecturer at University College Dublin School of Law where she established a Human Rights Clinic for LLM and MSc Human Rights students.
Since 2010 Maeve has provided pro bono assistance to the voluntary advocacy group ‘Justice for Magdalenes’ and she is currently a member of the research group ‘Justice for Magdalenes Research‘. She is co-director of the evidence-gathering initiative with Hogan Lovells LLP, ‘Clann: Ireland’s Unmarried Mothers and their Children: Gathering the Data’. She is also a lead lawyer on the case of Elizabeth Coppin v Ireland, currently awaiting judgment on the merits by the UN Committee Against Torture following a landmark admissibility decision in December 2019. Maeve’s legal research and advocacy concerning Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries abuse and the forced separation of unmarried families in Ireland during the 20th century has received international and national recognition; awards include UK Family Law Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year (2013), Ireland Fund of Great Britain ‘Forgotten Irish’ Award (2013), University College Dublin Inaugural Alumni Achievement Award in Law (2014), Ireland/United States Alumni Association Inaugural Emerging Leader Award (2015), Lord Mayor of Dublin Award (2016), and PILnet Local Pro Bono Impact Award (2018).
Maeve is a barrister at 33 Bedford Row, London, and she is a registered Attorney at Law in New York. She has previously practised in family law, and between 2013 and 2014 she worked with Leigh Day solicitors representing 15,000 claimants from Bodo, Rivers State, Nigeria in their claim against Shell Petroleum Development Company in the Technology and Construction Division of the English High Court. She currently practises in the broad area of human rights law.
From October 2017 to January 2019 Maeve held the position of Senior Research and Policy Officer at the Irish Council for Civil Liberties where she undertook legal research, policy development and public advocacy in all areas of the ICCL’s work (including human rights-based policing, state surveillance and data protection, deprivation of liberty, shrinking civil society space, judicial reform, access to justice for ‘historical’ systematic human rights abuses, and reproductive rights).
Maeve has previously worked as a Consultant to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Professor Nils Melzer; Harvard Law School Global Human Rights Fellow at Equality Now; and researcher at the Harvard Law School Human Rights Program, the University of Minnesota Law School Human Rights Center and Just for Kids Law (UK).
Articles: Image Magazine https://www.image.ie/life/eclipsed-the-powerful-all-female-play-exposing-a-magdalene-laundry-176947