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Mannix sex abuse play hits NY stage

HOLLYWOOD great Gabriel Byrne will bring a play written by Dublin councillor Mannix Flynn to life in New York.

The one-man show, which will appear off-Broadway, is loosely based on Flynn's own experience of institutional abuse in Ireland.

Flynn will star in the show, which is also being produced by Liam Neeson.

The city councillor obtained a personal file from the Department of Health and copies of these documents will form part of the play.

James X is opening at a particularly poignant time but Cllr Flynn believes that New York audiences are ripe for receiving it.

"The play has appeared in a number of guises in the past, but this is the first time it is being brought to New York," he told the Herald.

"I believe it is now the correct time. This work predates what was contained in recent reports.

"The story of James X is not that different to the stories of those revealed in the Murphy, Ryan and Cloyne Reports."

He said that the Irish actors were eager to come on board at a very early stage.

"This is a global issue and we need to be able to interrogate and absorb what has happened," he added.

James X opens on December 9 at Bleecker Street Theater.

clairemurphy@herald.ie