Week 17 – Visit from Mark O’Halloran « Designing Dublin: Learning to Learn

Week 17 – Visit from Mark O’Halloran

We were delighted to be joined by Mark O’Halloran, a writer and actor, who has been voicing the true character and grit of the City for many years. Coming to Dublin at age 20 from Ennis, he was initially dazzled by City Hall and the feeling of being in a capital City. He became quite fascinated by heroin addicts in the City, keeping diaries filled with different observations about what they were doing, reflections on their curious place in society and their daily struggles as invisible people in the City. Mark soon became involved in RADE (Recovery through art, drama and education) and was exposed to working with heroin users there, which provided the inspiration for Adam and Paul, which he wrote and starred in.

Prosperity, is a four-part television drama series Mark wrote to show the bleakness of the day. Beginning on O’Connell Street, he picked 10 people and followed them around the City. The story that emerged from these 10 people’s day was a reflection of how the Celtic Tiger was embraced by the City and the many sections of society that never experienced this sudden wealth.

Reflecting on the qualities of Dublin City now, Mark enjoys the great creative energy from young people, the room that has been created for people to put forward ideas, and also the financial viability of living in the City. “We got a little ostentatious to the end!” Mark shared sound advice with the team of “Just do things: don’t wait for permission, if it’s the right time and place for you to do it and just see what happens”. We really enjoyed Mark’s refreshingly honest perspective on the City and the current state of the country, and the passion that drives him to represent the real people and the real stories.

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