- 31 Aug 17
John Connors, star of Love Hate and Cardboard Gangsters, and Hot Press’ Adrienne Murphy, tackle the propaganda and stigma surrounding the travelling community and also autism.
The pair will discuss matters close to their hears in a panel, 'Myths & Minorities: The State Has Let Us All Down', at 4pm on Saturday, September 2.
- John Connors has debunked the State-sponsored propaganda that Travellers are dispossessed people from the Famine (ie failed settled people) and uncovered, through DNA testing, that Travellers are in fact the last vestiges of pre-colonialist Gaelic society, which was nomadic. The 'dispossessed Famine victims' myth has been used by the State to justify the ongoing destruction of the Travellers' indigenous way of life.
- Adrienne Murphy has succeeded in breaking her 14-year-old son, Caoimh, out of his locked-in state, to become one the first severely autistic non-speaking people in history to enter the world of full communication through letter-pointing on an alphabet stencil. Caoimh and others like him are overthrowing the myth that non-speaking autism de facto implies intellectual disability (previously called 'mental retardation', denoting low IQ and an inability to understand language).
In what promises to be controversial, challenging and hugely inspiring conversation, the two discuss the particular myths that their own revolutionary work has overthrown, and dogma-breaking in a more general sense, including the perseverance required in the face of ongoing hardwired bigotry, fake news, and blinkered indoctrination in demonstrably erroneous theories.