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  • Northside West

Inmates tickled by Tiernan

Monday, 18th February, 2019 6:00pm
Inmates tickled by Tiernan

Pictured in Mountjoy Prison are (l-r) chairman of Bohemian Foundation, Thomas Hynes; Lord Mayor, Niall Ring; comedian Tommy Tiernan; and Deputy Governor, Donnacha Walsh. PHOTO: Kimberley Kirnan

Inmates tickled by Tiernan

Pictured in Mountjoy Prison are (l-r) chairman of Bohemian Foundation, Thomas Hynes; Lord Mayor, Niall Ring; comedian Tommy Tiernan; and Deputy Governor, Donnacha Walsh. PHOTO: Kimberley Kirnan

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By Ryan Clarke

PRISON is usually no laughing matter, but there were giggles galore when Tommy Tiernan performed in Mountjoy prison earlier this month.

The funnyman from Navan was in the ‘Joy as guest of the Bohemian Foundation, the Northside soccer club’s division for charitable and community activities.

Supported and introduced by Ballymun comedian, Willa White, Tiernan hosted an improvised chat show similar to his RTE series, with fascinating mystery guests that included retired Bohs’ ‘keeper, Shane Supple, a prison inmate and renowned medical anthropologist, Dr Dana Walrath.

Supple spoke about how he turned his back on a professional soccer career after becoming disillusioned with the game and came back to Dublin where he played GAA for his local club, St Brigid's.

He later returned to soccer with Bohs at the request of manager Keith Long and earned a call-up to the Irish soccer squad before retiring last year on medical advice.

Supple is well known to the inmates having spent much of his time with Bohs coaching and playing soccer in the prison on behalf of the Bohemian Foundation.

He aims to continue his work with the Foundation inside Mountjoy despite his retirement.

“Although I now have full-time job outside football and with the evenings getting brighter, I’ll have time to come into Mountjoy,” he said.

“Even though we recently lost players that were stalwarts of the Foundation, the new players are eager to get involved.

“From my experience they’ll personally benefit greatly from working with the Foundation.”

The inmate interviewed by Tiernan inspired the audience made up of invited guests and fellow inmates when he spoke passionately about how he had changed in prison and become more self-aware.

Dr Walrath finished the chat show with a captivating dialogue on caring for people with Alzheimer’s and dealing with death.

Later, she thanked the Bohemian Foundation for the invitation to attend.

“It was such a wonderful night and I am so excited to work with the Foundation with any events they have planned in the future,” she added.

The evening was wrapped up with songs from top trad performer, Radie Peat.

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring who was a guest on the night described the event as a great success and had words of praise for the Bohemian Foundation.

“What Thomas Hynes and the Bohemian Foundation are doing, in terms of reaching out to the community is fantastic,” he said.

“The Foundation does stellar work in preparing prisoners to reintegrate into the community after their release and tonight was just another example of that.”

One of the eminent guests on the night was also full of praise for the work of the Bohemian Foundation.

Lecturer in Criminology in Maynooth University, Dr Ian Marder, said recent research indicated that physical activity in prisons, such as sports, can have a number of benefits for prisoners, including for their mental health and wellbeing.

“It can also act as a pathway to education, where sporting qualifications are made available,” he continued.

However, Dr Marder stressed that the most important thing the Bohemian Foundation does is to bring the community inside the prison walls.

“What the Bohemian Foundation is trying to do is show that the prison and the people in there are part of the community,” he said.

“The Foundation does this through the respect they show to the people they work with and by bringing the community into the prison with all the events they organise.”

Pictured after the Mountjoy performance are (l-r): Radie Peat, Shane Supple, Lord Mayor Nial Ring, Gov Donacha Walsh, Dr Dana Walrath, Dr Ian Marder, Dr Laura Booi and Dr Sophia Carey. PHOTO: Kimberley Kirnan

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here