Gabriel Byrne, director of “James X,” a play about sexual abuse in the Irish Catholic church, commends Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny for speaking out against the Vatican, an act that resulted in the replacement of the papel nuncio of Ireland.
An Irish government tribunal of inquiry into institutions responsible for cruel and inhumane treatment of children is in session. In the foyer, James X, one of those children, now a man anxiously prepares to offer the testimony which he hopes will unshackle him from the past. As he waits, James is confronted with the fact that the tribunal he is about to go before is part of the very same system that made prisoners of children like him and sighting this truth prompts him to tell the story that will really, finally set him free.
In the last decade, the Catholic Church and State institutions in Ireland and throughout the world have been the center of an emerging secret history. That history involves the sexual abuse and torment of tens of thousands of vulnerable children. This is the human story of one of those children who is trying to emerge from a place of darkness into the light — a light in which the human spirit is allowed to triumph into its full magnificence.
Gabriel James Byrne is an Irish actor, film director, film producer, writer, cultural ambassador and audiobook narrator. His acting career began in the Focus Theatre before he joined Londo’s Royal Court Theatre in 1979. Byrne’s screen debut came in the Irish soap opera The Riordans and the spin-off show Bracken. He has now starred in over 35 feature films, such as The Usual Suspects, Miller’s Crossing and Stigmata, in addition to writing two. Byrne’s producing credits include the Academy Award-nominated In the Name of the Father. More recently, he has received much critical acclaim for his role as Dr. Paul Weston in the HBO drama In Treatment.