Actor’s work for Down syndrome community praised

Published date25 May 2023
Publication titleIrish Times (Dublin, Ireland)
Martin, whose film An Irish Goodbye recently won the academy award for best live-action short film, visited the Down syndrome Centre in Sandyford, Dublin, yesterday to meet young people and staff at the charity

Actor Orla Casey (25) says Martin's recent success had a life-changing effect on her career. "He made a change in the world, and on people's perspective on Down syndrome," Casey said.

"I'm an actor, I was in Clean Sweep on RTÉ. It [Martin's Oscars success] has made a big impact on my life, it defined us as actors. Hopefully I can win an Oscar just like James."

Tom McDonough, another young actor, says that before he saw Martin's success, "I never pictured myself being in his situation, being famous."

Martin was welcomed with a red carpet, two life-size replica Oscars statues and a keen group of children, young adults, parents and staff at the south Co Dublin charity. Upon arrival, the Belfast native greeted the group with hugs, handshakes and high fives before posing for photos.

"I just automatically do that because Down syndrome means so much to me," said Martin. "It's been really fantastic, being a role model and not just to people with Down syndrome."

Jan Glover, whose 11-year-old son Milo was one of the children to meet Martin, says that she and her son are big fans of the actor. "It's been so positive for the Down syndrome community to have someone as cool as him and as talented as him representing us," said Ms Glover.

"Milo talks about him a lot, knows quite a lot of personal facts about him. He's very interested in James' background as well, whether he has a girlfriend! Milo has picked up on all the things that come with celebrity. James won [the Oscar] during Down syndrome awareness...

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