Podcast: Deconstructing the Kerry babies case through theatre

Róisín Ingle talks to theatre-maker Luke Casserly about his Dublin Fringe show Efficacy 84

Photography by Fenna von Hirschheydt

Photography by Fenna von Hirschheydt

 

"On 14 April 1984 a woman’s identity was shattered to pieces. Thirty-three years later we are still trying to piece it back together."

So goes the tagline for Longford theatre-maker Luke Casserly’s directorial debut, Efficacy 84, inspired by public reaction to the Kerry babies case.

Casserly was not even born when two tragedies more than thirty years ago set off a chain of events leading to the case and later to a judicial tribunal into its handling by the authorities.

On the night of April 12th 1984 in the village of Abbeydorney, Joanne Hayes gave birth to a son who did not survive. 

Over 70 kilometres away on White Strand beach two days later, the body of a second baby was found with stab wounds.

On the latest Róisín Meets podcast, Mr Casserly speaks to Róisín Ingle about how he came to be fascinated with the story and the piece of theatre that he has created in response to the treatment of Joanne Hayes.

The show will be staged as part of the Dublin Fringe festival this month and aims to ask questions about the limitations of art and how society can begin to engage with an event, and an Ireland, that seems so far away from us today, in the context of the Kerry babies story.

To listen to the full conversation, go to www.irishtimes.com/podcasts, iTunes, Soundcloud or your preferred podcast app.

Catch efficacy 84 in Smock Alley Black Box, Exchange St Lower, Temple Bar, Dublin 8 from September 20th – 23rd at 7pm every night. Additional matinee on Saturday 23rd.

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