By Dan Walsh in Kilmuckridge
The newly crowned All-Ireland drama champions Kilmuckridge Drama Group were afforded a hero’s welcome on return from Donegal this evening and were cheered through the village and were proudly paraded through the village aboard a large truck.
Award-winning Director Anthony O’Connor and his cast and crew were given a great reception. “It was absolutely brilliant coming back to our own village and our own parish with the trophies. I could not believe it, drove down the street and the crowds on both sides of the street. It was absolutely stunning!” said an almost emotional Mr O’Connor.
Liam Buttle, Chair of Kilmuckridge Drama Festival, offered congratulations to the cast and crew and stated how proud the people are to have the All-Ireland title back in Kilmuckridge again.
John Hearne, who played the part of Michael John Flaherty in the play, acted as master of ceremonies for the homecoming and he extended congratulations and appreciation to everybody associated with the All-Ireland success, but he didn’t forget many who played a role in promoting and supporting the drama group over many years.
The celebrations commenced immediately in Hammels Lounge in the village and it may be months before they end! The community is proud of its champions.
Kilmuckridge Drama Group won the Claregalway Perpetual Trophy and the Premier Award for their production of The Playboy of the Western World by John Millington Synge. They also picked up the Ray Leonard Memorial Trophy for ‘Best Presentation’, Anthony O’Connor won ‘Best Director’ and Richard Devereux was adjudged ‘Best Supporting Actor’ as Old Mahon.
Kilmuckridge Drama Group was reformed in 2007 and has taken part each year on the three-act circuit and later on the one-act circuit. The group reached the three-act confined finals from 2008 to 2012 and were first crowned winners of the confined finals in 2014.
In 2015 and 2018 the group reached the three-act All-Ireland finals of the Open Section. The group returned to the confined section in 2019 winning many awards and reaching the three-act confined finals in 2019. In 2022 Kilmuckridge Drama Group are winners at the Bostik All-Ireland Confined Drama Finals held at Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal.