Drake to return to Sligo to make documentary
THE GAY American author who was severely beaten in an assault by two men in Sligo in January 1999 and was left paralysed as a result, will return to Ireland in October to be filmed in a television documentary.
Robert Drake, from Maine, suffered severe head injuries, speech impairment and spent two weeks on a life support machine in the wake of the assault that occurred at his then home at Holborn Street.
Drake (48) will be filmed as part of a documentary, 'A Stranger in a Strange Land' and will observe Drake as he conveys his "struggle to walk, talk and forgive."
The documentary is being directed by UK based, Pamela Drynan who made Surgeons for RTE and Chancers for BBC.
Drake came to Dublin in April 1999, moving to Sligo in Christmas of that year.
Two men, Glen Mahon and Ian Monaghan were convicted of recklessly causing serious harm to Drake following a Circuit Court trial in Sligo and were jailed in January 2000 for eight years. Presiding trial Judge Anthony Kennedy said the events of that night were "truly shocking". He said it was plain that Drake had been grievously crippled for life.
Their defence had claimed that the American author had made a sexual advance towards Monaghan, and that he had been "thumped" at most three times. Drake, who returned to the US in March 1999, could not travel to Ireland for the trial and the court was told that Mr Drake would be confined to a wheelchair for some years, if not for life.
Judge Kennedy described the events of that night as "truly shocking".