Terminal_1- A Day of Testimonies
Film Artists' Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Presents

A Day of Testimonies- Film Programme

  • 26 August 2017

From 11am  – Admission free, donations welcome, no booking required

A selection of short films and documentaries from the 1983 up to 2017. The films that feature on the programme deal with the lack of abortion access and impact the Eighth Amendment has had on women’s lives in Ireland over the past few decades. This includes previously unseen footage..


Programme 1:

11am – 11:45pm  &  3pm – 3:45pm

Total: 42 minutes

Terminal (short; Dir Natasha Waugh, Prod. David C. Lynch; 11 mins)

An Irish girl and a woman meet in an airport departure gate. Before they board a plane to Manchester, we witness a private exchange as they share the different reasons that brought them to this moment, and the traumatic journey that awaits them.

Sent Away (short doc; Dir Luke MacManus; 20 mins)

This documentary tells the story of pregnant women who were diagnosed with fatal foetal abnormality in Irish hospitals. These women travelled abroad for termination because Irish law denied them this treatment at home. Their group, TFMR (Termination For Medical Reasons) are now lobbying to have the law changed.

Journeys (short doc; Dir Karen Byrne; 10 mins)

‘Journey’, the act of travelling from one place to another. When taken literally the act of travel is painless, even forgetful. But when paired with distressed emotion the act becomes something more. 12 women travel from Ireland everyday to the UK to access safe, medical abortion. This body of work looks at the scars left on those who had to seek impartiality outside of their own country and how the act of travelling from one place to another can bring so many hazardous connotations mentally and physically. The journey becomes an event, a lie and an added hardship



Programme 2:

12:00pm – 12:35pm   &   4pm – 4:35pm

Total: 35 minutes

Heartbreak (short; Dir Dave Tynan, Written Emmet Kirwan; 7 mins)

Emmet Kirwan’s stunning poem Heartbreak brough to life; the IFTA winning Heartbreak shows us a young woman’s journey through her teenage years, to pregnancy, to raising her son in modern Ireland, and the everyday sexism she encounters.      

The Christening (short; Oonagh Kearney; Prod. Rachel Lysaght, 14 mins)

Ailbhe is a smart and confident Irish teenager. Nothing fazes her except the christening of her nephew this weekend.

Mary Coughlan (short footage; March For Choice, 3 mins, 15 seconds)

Footage from the March For Choice – Mary Coughlan address the crowd about her own experiences travelling to seek safe and legal abortion.

Our Right To Choose (short doc; Hanan Dirya; 10 mins)

A short documentary about repeal activists in Galways, following the death of Savita Halappanavar. Jenni, mother of two, is a pro-choice activist living in Galway. The film follows Jenni and the challenges she and other activists face and what drives them to continue.



Programme 3:

1pm – 2pm  &  5pm – 6pm

Total: 53 minutes.


50,000 Secret Journeys (short doc; Produced & Directed  by Hilary Dully & Fintan Connelly; 1994; 26 mins)

The television documentary 50,000 Secret Journeys was commissioned by RTE in 1994. In the film, three Irish Women speak openly about their experiences of having abortions in Britain. Although it attracted a lot of publicity prior to the scheduled broadcast, the film was dramatically pulled the day before it was due to be aired.  RTE made a statement, announcing that the film would not be shown in the interests of ‘balance’. The film was finally broadcast as part of a programme called ‘The Abortion Debate’ later in 1994.  This broadcast event was carefully constructed to re-establish and maintain the norms of ‘balanced’ debate. 

Statistic (short; Dir Alison Kelly; 1983; 27 mins)

The film programme for A Day of Testimonies includes films made between 1983 and 2017. ‘Statistic’ a powerful student film made by Alison Kelly has the narrative intercut with original footage shot on Super 8 of the Anti-Amendment protests in 1983 demonstrating the extent of the resistance to the Eighth at the time. Not seen because of damage to the sound a new digital  copy of the film, struck from the original 16mm print, has been created by staff at the IFI Irish Film Archive for this event. We’ are indebted to them.



Programme 4:

Total: 32 minutes 2:15 – 2:50pm  &  6:15pm – 6:50pm


My Body My Choice (short film; Dir Laragh McCann; 2 mins)

A powerfully beautiful film to support the Repeal movement. The film aims to express the the current sentiment and spirit of irish woman with femininity, strength and anger through dance. There is a sisterhood, compassion and solidarity in this movement. It is about passing the eighth amendment in Ireland, and a strong peaceful voice encouraging woman of all backgrounds to support each other and to stand up for our human rights.

Like a Ship In The Night (short doc; Dir Melissa Thompson; 31 mins)

Every year thousands of Irish women “make the journey” abroad for abortions.  They do so despite the risk of life imprisonment and social stigmatization. They often travel in secret and return in silence, some of them never telling a soul.  LIKE A SHIP IN THE NIGHT  follows a young artist, a working class mother of five, and a devout girl from the rural west, as they plan their clandestine journeys.  Along the way we hear about the legal and social history that makes their journey necessary.  Although the three women begin their journeys with different views on abortion rights, they all return similarly silenced, terrified, and angry at their country.


End of screening.

Total run time of film – 160 minutes

Programmed by Natasha Waugh and Cecily Brennan.

*Some films may contain material that some viewers may find distressing.



Recognising the complexities of the human situation is traditionally the artist’s role.


The Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment presents A Day of Testimonies at Project Arts Centre, a day of performances, visual art and film that will reflect both the complexity of the issue and the simple truth that women’s health is put at risk because of the Eighth Amendment to our Constitution.


Find out more about the full programme of events for A Day of Testimonies and the Artist Campaign to Repeal the Eighth here