A HARD-HITTING play depicting the killing of a teenage Traveller in Ellesmere Port had a high-profile performance in Wales’ capital.
Johnny Delaney, by Iola Ynyr, is produced by North Wales-based theatre-in-education company Cwmni’r Frân Wen.
It graphically portrays the story of 15-year-old Johnny Delaney, a member of the travelling community, who died after being attacked by youths in Ellesmere Port in May 2003.
The group gave a performance of the work during Many Paths, One Journey, an event in Cardiff celebrating Wales’ Gypsy and Traveller communities.
The event provided an opportunity to hear the voices of Gypsies and Travellers in Wales. Later the four political parties in Wales spelled out how they are working to counter prejudice.
Later in the day the actors of Cwmni’r Frân Wen put on two performances of the play at Urdd Hall.
Delegates then took part in a discussion about the issues raised.
Last year the play toured secondary schools in Wales and scenes from it, showing two youths kicking another as he rolls on the ground, were shown on video website YouTube.
Two youths were charged with Johnny’s murder but were subsequently found guilty of manslaughter after the judge decided the attack was ‘not racially motivated’.
At Chester Crown Court, 16-year-olds Lewis McVeigh and Ricky Kearney both received custodial terms of four-and-a-half years.
The play was made with the help of Cheshire and North Wales police.
Iola Ynyr, artistic director of Cwmni’r Frân Wen and author of the play, said: “Our aim is to raise awareness of prejudice towards the travelling community as an ethnic minority group and to discuss racism in its wider sense with 14-and 15-year-olds.
“We also want to raise awareness not just about Johnny’s tragic story but also to highlight the feeling by the family that they were failed by the legal system following his death.”
In connection with the project, the company was in close contact with the Delaney family and the Commission for Racial Equality.