The meeting

Marie Keenan, and Ailbhe Griffith, are the protagonists of the film “The Meeting” (see trailer below) directed by Alan Gilsenan. The film is based on a real restorative justice meeting which took place between Ailbhe and the man who, nine years earlier, subjected her to a horrific sexual assault and left her seriously injured and fearing for her life.

The film will be available for free during the Festival week and screened in Leuven (2 December, 18.30-20.00), followed by a live virtual discussion with Marie, Ailbhe and Alan (20.30-21.30). We also invited two additional guest speakers: Peter Keeley, the restorative justice facilitator who participated in the actual meeting, and Terry O'Neill, the actor who performed the man who committed the assault.

Alan, Ailbhee and Marie

Marie Keenan is an Associate Professor at the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice at the University College Dublin (since 2000) and a member of the Advisory Board of UCD's Criminology Institute.  She has served on several statutory boards and professional bodies in Ireland and internationally in relation to policy responses to sexual violence and abuse, and best practice interventions. She is internationally recognised as one of the main leading international scholars in two main streams of Comparative Social Policy research and scholarship: Child Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church and Restorative Justice and Sexual Violence. Her scholarship is multi-disciplinary and international with a current focus on social, therapeutic and legal responses to sexual crime. She is an accredited psychotherapist, a restorative justice practitioner and a registered social worker.

Ailbhe Griffith is an advocate for restorative justice in cases of serious violence, including sexual violence, following her own experience of a restorative meeting with the man who offended against her in 2014. She has spoken publicly about her experience, travelling domestically and internationally, accompanying Associate Professor Marie Keenan to various restorative conferences and criminal justice events. Marie and Ailbhe have worked closely together in promoting restorative justice as an additional mechanism of justice for victims of violence, since Marie assisted Ailbhe through her own restorative journey. 

Alan Gilsenan is an award-winning Irish writer, film-maker and theatre director. His diverse body of film work extends across documentary, feature films and experimental work. His many productions include the feature film Unless, his adaptation of Carol Shields’ final novel; The Meeting; Meetings with Ivor, a cinema documentary about the radical psychiatrist Ivor Browne; an experimental life of WB Yeats entitled A Vision: A Life of WB Yeats; and the television documentary, Daniel O’Connell: Forgotten King of Ireland. Gilsenan has also recently made a film installation inspired by Joyce’s Ulysses currently on permanent display at Dublin’s new MOLI (Museum of Literature Ireland).