Paddy Doyle

Life
1951- ; b. Wexford; wrote The God Squad (Raven Arts Press 1989 [var. 1988]; London: Corgi 1990), a best-seller autobiographical account of physical abuse in orphanages run by religious orders following death of mother from cancer in 1955 and father from suicide by hanging out of grief; sent to St. Michael’s Industrial School, Cappoquin; suffered physical and sexual abuse and underwent brain surgery at ten; contracted polio with lifelong paraplegic symptoms; first holder of Christy Brown Award for Literature; m. with three sons; The God Squad trans. Danish and German; protested law against marajuana for medical purposes in 1995; engaged on sequel; appt. to the Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities – resulting in “A Strategy for Equality” (1996), considered by many the best such report in the world.

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Quotations
Then and now
: ‘Behind the house a high-speed diesel-engined train hooted as it rushed past, replacing the hissing and panting sound of the old steam engines I had been so used to as a child. Looking out the bay window, I fleetingly remembered St. Michael’s Industrial School. I am typing these words in that same room where trains and granite walls are as clos to me now as they were thirty years ago in Cappoquin. I had never been loved there. I am here.’ (The God Squad; quoted in Audrey Dillon-Malone, review of rep. edn., in Books Ireland, Nov. 2002, p.286.)

The Darkest Corner (Abbey Th., Sept. 2010): The Darkest Corner takes its name from a statement issued by then Taoiseach Brian Cowen in describing where the enquiry and subsequent report now left Ireland, morally and socially a dark corner indeed. [...] Paddy Doyle, author of The God Squad, makes the point that The Darkest Corner  or any of its parts did not essentially need the Abbey to stage these works. He or any group would have read the Ryan Report on any street in Ireland, claimed Doyle. Doyle who is confined to a wheelchair felt betrayed as the Peacock theatre at the Abbey is not wheelchair accessible, thus negating his presence from any performance of his own testimony. (See Staged Reaction online; accessed 20.03.2011.)

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