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Where: The Button Factory
When: Saturday January 14 – 2.30pm
How much: FREE!!!! 

Ireland needs meaningful discussion on mental health. To start this conversation, we’ve gathered well-known voices from Irish cultural life to share their ideas and bring their personal interpretation of the subject to life through performance, prose, music and all important discussion.

Hosted by Claire Byrne. Admission to the event is free.

Soapbox Sessions

Dil Wickremashinghe: Dil is a Broadcaster, Journalist, Activist and stand-up comedian. She presents ‘Global Village’ on Newstalk a social change and equality focused magazine show and is an ambassador for See Change’s Make a Ripple online campaign and an ambassador for One in Four.

Paul Murray: Paul Murray is an Irish novelist from Dublin. His first novel An Evening of Long Goodbyes was shortlisted for the Whitbread first novel prize in 2003. Skippy Dies, his most recent novel, with depression as one of the central themes, was long listed for the 2010 Booker Prize and was #3 on Time magazine’s top 10 works of fiction in 2010.

Eileen Dunne: Eileen Dunne anchors the 9 o’clock news and presents The God Slot on Radio1.

Diarmuid Gavin: Diarmuid Gavin is a garden designer and television personality. He has appeared on BBC television programmes including Gardeners’ World; Home Front, and has recently screened the TV show “Dirty Old Town” for RTE.

Mary McEvoy: Mary McEvoy has been acting since 1983. She appeared on the Irish Soap Glenroe until 2000 and has since performed in plays such as Big Maggie, The Field, The Vagina Monologues and Shirley Valentine. In 2010 Mary became a regular guest panellist on the TV3 show Midday and her recently published autobiography How the Light gets in has become one of the Irish bestsellers this year.

John Saunders: John is the Director of See Change and Shine. He is also a published poet, with his poems appearing in numerous journals and magazines. In 2010 he published a collection of poems called After the Accident.

Stephen James Smith: Stephen is a Dublin poet and playwright who performs at musical and literary festivals and events all over Ireland and abroad. His poetry has been included on US university syllabi and has won him the Cúirt Literary Festival Grand Slam in 2009 and numerous other awards. He conducts poetry workshops with TY students across Ireland and his ABSOULTE Dublin Fringe play; ”Three Men Talking About Things They Kinda Know About’ was nominated for the ‘Little Gem Award’ 2011. He has recently released an album of music and verse with musician Enda Reilly entitled Arise and Go. His poetry has been translated into six different language to date and someday he hopes to make sense of it all! Most of all though he loves shortbread, tea and feeding the ducks in Stephens Green.

Tony Bates: Tony Bates is the founding Director for Headstrong. He is a clinical psychologist and He is a writer and editor of Ireland’s current mental health policy – A Vision for Change and is a regular contributor to the Irish Times and the Marion Finucane show on RTE radio 1.

Caroline Casey : Caroline Casey is a social entrepreneur, international speaker, adventurer and founder of Kanchi and the O2 ability awards. This past year she spoke at TED in Washington and the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. She has received many high profile awards in recognition of her inspirational work worldwide for enhancing the relationship between disability and society.



  1. […] down to the free Soapbox Sessions event on Saturday to hear John, and many more well-known face, speak about mental health and pose your […]

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