The Independent North Tipperary Dail Deputy, Michael Lowry, took centre stage last Friday night in his native Holycross, when he officially opened the 31st annual County Tipperary Open Drama Festival in a packed Holy cross Community Centre, where the adjudicator was Biddy White Lennon, who once starred as “Maggie” in the hit RTE soap, “The Riordans”.
Mr Lowry, who received a warm reception from the audience in the packed theatre in his home village, sponsored the local awards-winning Holycross / Ballycahill Drama Group production of the comedy,
“The God Of Carnage” by French playwright, Yasmina Reza, which opened the festival which continues nightly until Saturday, March 23rd.
Mr Lowry has supported the festival for many years and is a popular figure with audiences. The attendance at the opening night also included his son, Councillor Micheal Lowry, members of drama groups from various parts of County Tipperary, the “Rose of Thurles”, Ms Emma Moore, Littleton, Jim Ryan, MCC. and Fr. Tom Breen, PP, Festival Committee President.
Mr Lowry lauded the organising committee on its work for the festival over 31 years and in particular Festival Director, Donal Duggan, who has been in that role for all that time. He also noted the loyal support over many years for the Festival by Thurles Drama Group members, Dan and Brid Gallagher.
The Holycross/Ballycahill group got the Festival off to “a great start“ according to the adjudicator, Ms White Lennon, who has been to Holycross before, as Michael Lowry pointed out. Groups are bidding for the “Tipperary Star” Cup in the Confined Section and the Tipp FM Trophy in the Open Category.
The all conquering Holycross /Ballycahill DG, with three Festival wins behind them, together with other awards, have now qualified for the All-Ireland Finals in Rossmore, West Cork.
Mr Lowry lauded the organising committee on its work for the festival over 31 years and in particular Festival Director, Donal Duggan, for his leadership and guidance who has been in that role for all that time. He recalled that in 1983 when the late TJ Maher, MEP, opened the first Festival in Holycross only fourteen people were in the audience that night.
The Festival had grown and developed over the years since then. ”We have a fantastic organisation here, in Holycross, and I congratulate them. It is a totally voluntary organisation who have given endless hours to the Festival. Groups come from all over Ireland to Holycross and almost every year, groups from Holycross Festival reach the All-Ireland Finals. Holycross is now established as one of Ireland’s major festivals”.
“The God Of Carnage” was directed by Pat McGrath and the cast comprised of Jacqui Lacey, Martin “Marty” O’ Neill, Derek Doherty and Salome Hennessy. Lighting was by Paddy Connolly and Set Construction was by Pat McGrath, Andy Slattery, Catherine Lowry. Set Design/Dressing was by Catherine Lowry and, Marian Gilmore. Sound was by Joanne O’Neill and make-up by Peg Ryan, whilst Sally O’Rourke was in charge of Continuity. The Set Crew comprised: Elaine O’ Dwyer, Gerry O’ Dwyer, Jack Henchion, Diana Lacey, Geraldine Henchion, Claire Ryan, Kevin Darmody.
Full story in this week’s Tipperary Star.