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Ballycuggeran, near Killaloe, which is situated near the starting point for the walk organised by Ogonnelloe GAA Club.

Small Clare Parish Produces Special Show On Phones In Defiance Of Covid-19

A tiny Co. Clare community will bring a special and unique performance into its homes on Sunday night in a show of solidarity with parishoners during the Covid-19 lock-down.

‘Ogonnelloe Remembers’, a show commemorating the Easter Rising, will be broadcast on Facebook and Youtube on Sunday night at 8p.m. having been recorded on parishioners’ phones and produced this week.

The 40 minute special ‘at home’ production, which is supported by Clare County Council, is a shortened version of the OGonnelloe community’s unique 1916 centenary commemoration that saw it create it’s own piece of theater to celebrate the Easter Rising.

The show weaves celebrated songs and poems of the Rising together with a special diary from the time written by local man Tim Lynch that gives a fascinating insight into how word was received and anticipated of events in Dublin, some 200kms away from the picturesque parish on the shores of Lough Derg. The show is knit together brilliantly by a narrative written by well know journalist Jim O’Brien, who lives in the parish.

Explaining the initiative, co-director and local resident Louise Donlon said, “We have a very vibrant community here and typically at this time of year we would put on a show involving local people for local people and many from beyond who are now coming here for these shows. There’s a great closeness here in the parish and we are just reinforcing that with this production at this time.  Once the lock-down came a few of us chatted and said let’s do this and, to a person, everyone we asked to contribute said yes.”

The cast comprises a mix of ages and professions, including farmers, people from marketing backgrounds, a landscape gardener and a journalist.  Each recorded their own piece on their phones this week, with the items sent to Co. Clare video editor Brian Ruane, who is pulling the final production together.

“It’s been a frantic week as we are all trying to do our day jobs in difficult circumstances but it’s been a great and fun distraction.  We’ve had the first cut and we’re into final edits now and will have our best foot forward on Sunday night,” said Michael MacNamara, one of the performers.

“There’s a great sense of community spirit and solidarity about it at this difficult time. We might not be able to do something in the community hall this Easter but we will be bringing that spirit into people’s homes.

“What’s really special about this show are the excerpts from Tim Lynch’s diary, whom I knew as a boy growing up when he was moving on in age. He wrote brilliantly and you get a real sense from the diaries as to how word travelled back then. You are very much with him as he hears with excitement what’s happening in Dublin and then his disappointment but pride as he hears of how things ultimately unfolded.”

About Derrick Lynch

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