Skip to main content


11th May 2024

Age Range

John Hume Building

Maynooth University
W23 F2H6

Nilly and Nullius

Nilly and Nullius by Theatre Maker and Actor Donal O’Kelly

Saturday 11 May, 4:30pm. Tickets: €5

Get your tickets on Eventbrite!

MU Arts and Minds Festival Writer-in-Residence Donal O’Kelly reads excerpts from his current work-in-progress exploring modern border control doctrine and its tangled roots.
After several years of digging with a short-handle shovel in the backyard of his late mother’s reformatory convent in the north-west of Ireland, Nilly is amazed one drizzly day when he breaks through into an ancient underground bunker. The rising stench of wealth amassment mania envelopes him in its saturating mist and he slumps to the sludge. When he awakes, cautiously aware of the basic tenets of the National Monuments Act, he quietly excavates alone, with his three psyches, the extensive cave-works he names Nullius, and documents in diary-style the people he encounters there, alive, dead and imaginary. Every now and then, he reaches up and manages to grasp one of the writhing roots hanging from some flourishing plant of a fertility grove above, cuts it and sucks the glistening pulp for border security savvy.

About the artist:
Donal O’Kelly has been a playwright and actor for four decades, touring his solo shows such as Catalpa, Bat The Father Rabbit The Son, Fionnuala and Hairy Jaysus globally.  He’s now focusing on writing creative non-fiction, and is writing a book on the origins of the Direct Provision system of accommodation for people in need of international refuge.

Please note that the details of events listed above are provided by the relevant Local Authorities.

Stay up to date