Pain is the Price


About this Item

The city of Olongapo in the Philippines has grown up around the largest American Naval base in the Pacific. Alongside the huge influx of American seamen to Olongapo has come the problems of prostitution and drug abuse. The Radharc team looks at the work of the Irish Columban Missionary Father Shay Cullen. 

  • Title
    Pain is the Price
  • 1st Broadcast
  • Contributor
    Robert Monks (Camera)
    Daibhi Doran (Editor)
    Declan Coyle (Research)
    Chris Kenneally (Script)
    Dermod McCarthy (Narrator/Director)
  • Clip Duration
  • Material Type
  • Series title
  • Clip title
    Pain is the Price
  • Extended description

    This was the first documentary made about the work of this extraordinary Irish priest later nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

    Shay Cullen trained as a therapist and is the director of the drug rehabilitation Preda Centre. Many of the young men treated at the centre are heroin addicts. The treatments used there are based on the theories of Arthur Janov where patients re-experience the pain, anger and hurt which they have been supressing. In a padded room young men vent their pain and suffering. Afterwards there is a group discussion on the individual's primal feelings.

    Father Shay Cullen travels to some of the poorest neighbourhoods to celebrate Mass on a Sunday.

    At a furniture workshop attached to the Preda Centre local people make wicker furniture. Much of the furniture is exported but most of it is bought by sailors from the American Navy. For Shay Cullen the sale of wicker furniture to sailors has its own irony, it helps finance a centre that tackles the problems created by the same naval presence.

    Shay Cullen goes on to the streets of Olongapo at night in search of a young hostess who has secretly made contact with him looking for help. He says of his work,

    "Evangelisation takes many different forms and I suppose just like Jesus he went around with many of the prostitutes himself. He was always seen with the poor. He never really lived with the rich or the wealthy. And quite honestly the traditional church in this area is wedded to some extent to the rich and the powerful." 


  • Information

    'Radharc', a series specialising in religious programming, was produced for RTÉ by Radharc, an independent production company run by Catholic priests and lay staff. 'Radharc' can be translated to English as 'view' or 'panorama'.

    Co-founders Fr Joe Dunn and Fr Desmond Forristal who had received training in television production in New York in 1959 gathered around them a team of like minded priests with creative talent.

    The 'Radharc' team made their first production in 1960 in Donegal, a short film about customs relating to St Brigid's Day. The first programme in the 'Radharc' series for RTÉ was broadcast on 12 January 1962.

    Between 1961 and 1996 the Radharc team would produce over 400 films in Ireland and 75 countries worldwide. The films dealt with human rights, injustice, faith, religion, persecution, struggles against oppressive regimes, famine, and Christian heritage.

    The popular series ended production in 1996 after the death of Fr Joe Dunn.

  • Local keywords
    Radharc, Religion, Shay Cullen, US Army, US Navy, Poverty, Prostitution, Sailors, Navy, Prostitutes, Sex, Drugs, Addicts, Addiction, Therapy, Catholic, Priests, Philippines
  • Geographical coverage
    Subic Bay, Philipines, Olongapo
  • Topic
    Religion and Belief
  • Publisher Broadcaster
  • First broadcast channel
    RTÉ One
  • Production year
  • Country of production
  • Original identifier
  • IPR restrictions
    Rights Reserved - Free Access
  • Rights terms and conditions

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  • Item type
  • Item colour
  • Item sound
  • Aspect ratio
  • Language used
    English (eng)