Watch John Connors' widely acclaimed IFTA speech in full

By Anna O'Donoghue

Love/Hate star John Connors' claimed the award for Best actor in a leading role category for his role in Cardboard Gangsters at this year’s Irish Film Television Awards.

The ceremony was aired last night on RTÉ One and people are still talking about the actor's acceptance speech.

As Connors' took to the podium he thanked the academy for the award, his family - who he described as the “best family in the world” - and the organisations who had funded the film.

“TV3, BAI, and the Film Boards … no, wait. The Film Board didn’t fund us,” he said.

“They didn’t understand our approach”.

He went on to say despite the fact that he can’t get an agent to represent him and no film-makers or casting directors will look past the fact that he’s a Traveller, this is still a huge moment for him.

“Seven and a half years ago I was sitting in my house, in a little box bedroom in the darkness, contemplating suicide. I believed there was no way out”.

He explained that it was a conversation with his brother, Joe about acting, that saved his life.

“I discovered this world I never knew existed called creativity. It saved my life, it really did.

“Our government is never going to do anything about the mental health crisis. Our reptilian, psychopathic government.”

He then signed the speech off with, “Creativity can definitely be the mode to healing people” before he dedicated the award to his late father who died by suicide.

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