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Ben has written 71 posts for benmurnane.com

Blood and Ink – New Piece on ArtsandHealth.ie

“Writing was a means of escaping the pain of my condition by imagining and creating other realities. It was also a method of explaining my illness to myself, by documenting experiences, thoughts and emotions, and trying to build something meaningful from them.”

Read the story of Two Suitcases and more!

Two Suitcases – New Film Based on Two in a Million

Two Suitcases is an innovative and award-winning new short film, written and directed by Emma Eager and Ben Murnane. Made with the involvement of teens with chronic illness, the film describes (in 11 minutes) the journey of Ben’s bone marrow transplant and recovery, combining a myriad of storytelling methods, including live action, animation, puppetry, home movie footage, and original music.

Dublin: The Local Way

The Local Way is an exciting new series of video guides to cities around the world! The Dublin series is based in part on the guide to Dublin I wrote with Katherine Farmar. What’s more, Katherine and I are the presenters of the show! Check out some videos in the series, Dublin: The Local Way, here. More to follow!

Feather Silence: Poems by Ben Murnane – Now Available

Emotionally direct, with ‘the ordinariness/all hearts/demand’, these poems are fascinating documents in a remarkable journey of survival, testaments in every line to a brave, unbowed, enduring heart—anchored in the ordinary world, yet not afraid to dream.

- Eamon Grennan

The Blood Line

Had a fun experience the other week, got my acting on to do a little interview for this shortfilm about donating blood and where donated blood ends up (in me – as the case may be!). It’s a little promo for the Irish Blood Transfusion Service, filmed by some Masters students at Independent Colleges in Dublin. Look – it’s me standing on a bridge in the sun! And getting on the Luas, which in real life I never get anywhere at all! That’s the magic of the movies for you.

Perilous Masters

Then, in some wild act of folly, last September I decided to start studying a one-year full-time Masters in Popular Literature at Trinity College. I am enjoying the course – we get to read porn and comics! – and I do like moving between the two worlds of work and study. But it takes time for extracurricular activities – i.e. updating this site and continuing my own projects – greedily away.

Michael Jackson, 1958-Forever

I remember being

so moved by him, by

his being who he is,

the sheerness of his voice

climbing somewhere in soft words,

skipping nothing human,

loving that he could love.

Night skies moved with his feet, stars

pocketing themselves

in and out of the stage lights:

the wonder of socks,

silver glint




glitter moments.

Ben’s Second Book, Dublin on a Shoestring – Buy Here Now!

Shoestring Dublin is the Dublin of the quiet streets, the second-storey cafés, the little places tucked away in unlabelled cul-de-sacs and only advertised through word of mouth. Opinionated, practical, entertaining – Dublin on a Shoestring is the original insiders’ guide.

A Living Word: Five Hospital Days

The Chinese writer Lin Yutang once wrote that if you can spend an afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live. When I was 16, I paid a rather useless trip to Powerscourt Waterfall in Co Wicklow. At the time, I was in the middle of a bone marrow transplant. Admitted to hospital in late June, I’d quickly become incredibly ill, in violent pain and too weak to lift myself out of bed. It was now early August, and I was allowed out of the isolation ward for day trips. Even so, I clung to the idea of hospital, and the routine I had there. I was worried about infections and daunted by all the pills I had to take. Hospital was the only place I felt safe.

The Gold-Clad Warrior

This was my first pop concert. My dad and I arrived at the RDS on the evening of July 19, 1997. I was kitted out in my favourite black jeans and black jacket, along with a black t-shirt with Michael’s ghost-white face imprinted upon it. As Des and I wandered towards the RDS arena, I gawked wide-eyed at the sights which are common to any big pop concert, but which were all new to me. There were throngs assembled around hotdog stands and burger vans, and crowds queuing at stands that were selling programmes and tour merchandise. You could also buy cardboard ‘periscopes’ that were about a foot long, and had a system of mirrors inside them. The ‘periscopes’ were designed so that, if you happened to be a shorter person situated in the standing area of the arena, you could hold one end of this apparatus to your eye, and hold the other end straight up in the air, and then the action from the stage would be reflected into your view. Clever!


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