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John Connors' IFTA Acceptance Speech Watched over 95,000 on IFTA Facebook
19 Feb 2018 :
John Connors at IFTA
Full speech posted on facebook by IFTA after the Awards Ceremony broadcast on RTE One on Saturday 17th February.

John Connors’ powerful speech at the IFTA Film & Drama Awards Ceremony has been viewed over 95,000 times on IFTA’s Facebook.

Winning the Best Actor in a Lead Role – Film, for his performance in ‘Cardboard Gangsters’, John’s full speech was posted by IFTA immediately after the broadcast of the show on RTE One on Saturday evening 17th Feb, which had included an edited version of the category, The Award was presented by Orla Brady. 

Watch John Connors' full acceptance speech for Best Actor here. From sitting in his bedroom in despair to an Award Winning Performance in Cardboard Gangsters, John's story is an inspiration for everyone.

Here is the full transcript of John’s speech

“First of all, I want to thank the Academy, you’ve been brilliant. I want to thank Mark O’Connor, my brother-in-arms who gave me my first shot at acting. Richie Bolger, our producer, who it could not have been made without. All cast and crew, too many to name. My family, the best family in the world.

Our funders Egg Post-production, Filmbase, TV3, BAI and the Film Board. Oh wait, the Film Board didn’t fund us. They turned us down. They didn’t get out approach. Well, I suppose we just won awards all across the world and were the biggest box-office hit of the year, not that it matters to me, but it matters to you and you can’t take that. As you can see self-sabotage is my greatest quality!

Despite the fact that I can’t get an agent to represent me and no filmmakers or casting directors will look past the fact that I am a traveller; this is still a huge moment for me. Because seven and a half years ago I was sitting in my house in Darndale in a box room in the darkness contemplating suicide. That’s no messing. I thought that there was no way out until my brother Joe reached out to me and we talked for house He said that I ‘needed something’. I needed something to latch onto, somewhere I could put this energy and he suggested acting. I don’t know why but it was just a lightbulb moment. I remember coming out of my first class at the Abbey and walking down Abbey Street, it was like walking on a cloud. I’d just discovered something. This world that I never knew existed called creativity and it saved my life. It really did.

Our government is never going to do anything about the mental health crisis. Our reptilian psychopathic government. Creativity can definitely be the mode to heal people. I’d like to dedicate this award to my father who passed away 20 years ago this year through suicide. This is for you daddy!”

Further information about the Irish Academy, and the IFTA Film & Drama Awards is available here

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