When the circus comes to a small Irish town, the air changes. The colourful peaks of the Big Top rise and the bright lights and flags tell everyone that a wholly different world has arrived.
But what happens when the circus world people dream of joining is the very life you are longing to leave? In 1937, the attempted elopement of a young German acrobat and an Irish circus performer from Galway led to a midnight car chase to the Irish border, and a court case that captivated the country.
Read the Podcast Script
Sources and Further Reading
Irish Circus History
- The sacred dance of the Irish circus: Rural Ireland and Traveling Shows and Showpeople, 1922-1972, by Michael O’ hAodha
- Our Story – Fossett’s Circus
- Maureen’s Memories: Nono Goes to the Circus
- Circus Antics, Panto Passions, and Puck Fair Madness
- Heckenberg Circus Acrobatics Review
The Heckenberg Circus Abduction – Newspaper Reports
- Ballina Romance: Germans and Chinese, Tales of the Circus – Ballina Herald
- Circus Romance Shattered, Man Charged with Abduction – The Irish Times
- Ballina Abduction, A Circus Romance Shattered at the Border – Ballina Herald
- Circus Motor Chase – Irish Examiner
- Abduction of Girl, Man Sentenced At Castlebar – The Irish Times