Tuesday 17 July 2018

He only had the blink of an eye, but Simon was tireless

Director Simon Fitzmaurice never let motor neurone disease stop him from doing what he loved, writes Lesley McKimm

Simon and Ruth Fitzmaurice with Jack, Raife, Arden and twins Hunter and Sadie
Simon and Ruth Fitzmaurice with Jack, Raife, Arden and twins Hunter and Sadie

Lesley McKimm

I first met Simon Fitzmaurice five years ago, it was October and I'd just read his script for the film My Name is Emily. I'd loved it, and had been equally blown away by his short films and the articles he had written about his illness - MND.

I was going out to his house in Greystones to meet him, to have a first conversation about how to get his film made. I was nervous, I wasn't sure how it would be to talk to someone who was completely incapacitated and I suppose afraid of seeming awkward or saying the wrong thing.

But like everyone who went to meet Simon, I was struck by the warmth and sunniness of his home, the friendliness and incredible calm of his wife Ruth (at that time balancing nine-month-old twins Sadie and Hunter on either hip), and then struck of course by Simon himself.

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