RTÉ Radio 1 Drama On One

Hairy Jaysus by Donal O'Kelly

Francis Sheehy-Skeffington 'pacifist, socialist, feminist, atheist'..

Frank Sheehy-Skeffington, the pint-sized livewire dubbed Hairy Jaysus by his friend James Joyce, along with his wife Hanna relentlessly challenged the societal paralysis Joyce fled. A campaigner for Votes for Women and against recruitment for The Great War, he was jailed for sedition in 1915 and went on hunger-and-thirst strike until released. He was summarily executed in Portobello Barracks Dublin during the Easter Rising of 1916, having been arrested while trying to stop the looting. Frank was often called a crank. He wasn't offended; he said a crank is a small instrument that makes revolutions. In Hairy Jaysus the tragedy of his enforced via dolorosa through Rathmines is ruminated on by Trod, a homeless guy begging beside an Irish bank ATM in present-day Rathmines.

Written and performed by Donal O’Kelly

Original music by Ellen Cranitch

Sound supervision: Damian Chennells

Producer: Kevin Brew

Frank Sheehy-Skeffington, released after his hunger-and-thirst strike, Mountjoy Jail, June 1915.