A special screening of a film documenting the life of a boy growing up with Asperger's syndrome was made extra special at the Wexford Omniplex last week.
Hosted by Cottage Autism Network (CAN), 'This is Nicholas' was introduced by none other than the film's director, Nicholas Ryan-Purcell. Although he grew up in County Tipperary, Nicholas's mother is from Wexford and it was this familial tie which enabled CAN to secure an appearance from a man who is currently very much in demand.
And yet despite his growing profile, which has seen his film open to rave reviews throughout the country and will culminate with a slot on the Late Late Show later this month, the young documentary-maker retains a remarkable sense of humility.
'He was so giving of his time, he gave an introduction before the film and then had a question and answer session afterwards,' said Maria Banville, secretary of CAN. 'He made sure that every query was answered and that every person who wanted to speak to him was looked after. He got a standing ovation afterwards.'
With over 120 people in attendance on the night, among them people on the autism spectrum and their parents and family members, Maria was quick to thank Wexford Omniplex for hosting the event on their behalf.
And although primarily organised to give CAN's members an insight into Nicholas's work and to heighten awareness of the condition, there was some fundraising on the night too.
'Nicholas waived his fee on the night which enabled us to raise some funds,' said Maria. 'He's an inspriational person, he would have been through a lot himself throughout his life but he's so positive, he's just a lovely person.'