Powerful RTÉ documentary reveals the story of 12-year-old Patrick McDonagh who died by suicide
WATCH the trailer here.
Patrick: A Young Traveller Lost is a new ground-breaking RTÉ documentary shining a light on the issue of alarmingly high suicide rates among the Irish Traveller community through the harrowing and deeply personal story of 12-year-old Patrick McDonagh. The documentary only hears from Traveller voices, with the story told from their perspective and not through the lens of settled community. It will be broadcast this Monday, November 27th at 9:35pm on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player.
12-year-old Patrick from Finglas in Dublin, died by suicide a year ago. Sensitively following his parents, Michelle and Pat, as they come to terms with their loss, the documentary explores the wider multifaceted challenges facing the community and highlights the devastating impact on those left behind. Patrick’s father Pat McDonagh reflects on the bullying his son experienced which the family were unaware of until after Patrick’s death. In sharing their personal story, the family’s hope is to inspire other people to speak up and ask for help when they need it.
A special screening was held on in the Lighthouse Cinema in advance and attended by the President. The event was MC’d by Ray D’Arcy and included a panel discussion with members of the Traveller community.
In a statement, the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins said: “What an honour it was to attend an advance screening of Patrick: A Young Traveller Lost. Even though I am familiar with the issues with which the Travelling Community struggle, the personal testimonies of Patrick McDonagh’s parents, and Bernie Power moved me in a way I find difficult to describe. It would be so valuable if all members of the public could see this film, which describes a life lost to bullying. An incredibly talented boy, interested in all aspects of life and full of curiosity, within one year had his life destroyed.
RTÉ and Alleycat Films have in my mind placed all of us in their debt in what is a splendid, valuable exercise in public service broadcasting. There are so many reasons I could think of why this film should be seen in every household, and it would be just incredibly valuable if it were seen in every school.”
Leading Traveller voices from around the country including Senator Eileen Flynn and Director of the Traveller Counselling Service Thomas McCann, contribute to the documentary and delve into the complexities facing this marginalised and often discriminated against community.
This deeply moving, unprecedented film, created in close collaboration with the Irish Traveller community, hopes to provide an opportunity to ignite conversations, dismantle stigmas, and encourage proactive measures to address the underlying factors contributing to this devastating crisis.
Patrick: A Young Traveller Lost was directed and produced by Alan Bradley of Alleycats Films for RTÉ. Michéal MacDonnachada, a member of the Irish Traveller community, was an Assistant Producer throughout the making of the documentary. Kathy Fox and Grainne McAleer were Executive Producers for RTÉ.
Watch Patrick: A Young Traveller Lost tonight, Monday 27th November at 9.35pm on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player.