On July 30th 1995, now RTE radio producer/presenter, Olan McGowan, broke his neck while diving at Dublin's 40 Foot. He's been a wheelchair user ever since.
15 years on from that fateful summer's day, in One Evening In July Olan now looks back at the accident itself and all that's happened since, both to him and those he met while in hospital at the time, and contemplates his life today.
This is a very personal journey for Olan. Along the way he recalls what life was like for him before his injury, how it dramatically changed that day with one careless dive and how he subsequently has come to terms with being a wheelchair user.
He revisits the 40 Foot for the first time since his accident to see what he remembers of the day itself. He calls in on the National Rehabilitation Hospital where he had to retrain his body and mind for everything that lay ahead. And he meets up not only with some of the wheelchair-using friends he made during this period to compare their experiences with his, but also with someone whose recent spinal injury has meant they now are starting out life as a wheelchair user.
One Evening In July is a fascinating and revealing voyage of discovery. It's full of mixed memories of times past, of exhaustive efforts to do the ordinary stuff non-disabled people take for granted, of dark humour necessary to get through each day and of hope and optimism for the future.
It will be an emotional and informative trip for anyone who has ever had to deal, directly or indirectly, with serious disability.
Produced by Pat O'Mahony.
Production supervision by Nicoline Greer.
Sound supervision by Richard McCullagh.
First broadcast 24th July 2010
An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries.